The complexities of the task of world evangelization during the first decade of the twenty first century are apparent to the casual observer. What used to be a tranquil and controlled world under the aegis of Western Christendom has become a cacophony of sounds, a mixture of peoples, and a battling for loyalties in the political and religious realms.
Islam can boast of having more than five hundred mosques in London; Robert Schuller can claim to be the first Protestant TV evangelist/pastor to broadcast a service from the Crystal Cathedral in Orange County, California to Moscow; and many world evangelization plans were developed to evangelize the world by A.D. 2000. What used to be a "closed world" for missions is suddenly opening up.
One of the most formidable challenges confronting the world evangelization strategist is the movement of people groups from one country to another. On account of wars, famines, political and military displacements, economic oppression and related factors, people from the Third World migrate from country to country. This migration affects the future of political certainty and influences the mission of a church somewhat unprepared to receive different peoples speaking strange languages, who bring their religious customs, forms of worship, and theological formation to many countries of the First World.
From among the many possible approaches available I have chosen to expound a selected aspect of cross-cultural evangelization. The purpose of this article is to alert First World Kingdom persons to the major currents of cross-cultural evangelization in the United States, setting forth predictive horizons and seeking realistic scenarios for effective models of cross-cultural evangelization for the twenty-first century.
The article is presented in two major parts. Part one, "Understanding the Context," will survey selected manifestations of cross-cultural evangelization in the United States among Asians and Hispanics. The second part, "Envisioning the Future," will deal with selected theological, missiological, and ecclesiological issues that will affect cross-cultural evangelization strategies for the twenty first century.
I. Evangelization Across Cultures in the United States
(c)Review and Expositor, 90 (Winter, 1993): 83-99; Used with permission.
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