Book Reviews

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Book review – Crossing Cultural Frontiers: Studies in the History of World Christianity

Mission Round Table Vol. 13 No. 3 (Sep-Dec 2018)

Reviewed by Rose Dowsett

Rose Dowsett joined OMF in 1969, serving in the Philippines until 1977. Since then she has taught missiology and global church history in Glasgow, and exercised leadership and advisory roles in the WEA Missions Commission, Lausanne, Interserve, UCCF, and other mission agencies. Retired since 2008, she continues to research and write books and articles for OMF.

This is the third collection of published essays from the pen of Professor Andrew Walls (Edinburgh and Aberdeen). Each volume is a goldmine, and this is no exception. His earlier collections, The Missionary Movement in Christian History (1996) and The Cross-Cultural Process in Christian History (2002), have been warmly appreciated in the global south as well as in the north, such is the incisive wisdom of this godly scholar.

The new collection contains sixteen essays (many originally given as addresses) arranged in three sections, a short introduction, and a tantalizingly brief conclusion. All revolve around the central thesis that “World Christianity is normative Christianity.” Part one presents The Transmission of Christian Faith; part two, Africa in Christian Thought and History; and part three, The Missionary Movement and the West. Part two may at first seem of less interest to those whose main mission focus is Asia, but in fact it is packed full of observations applicable anywhere. Walls is a profoundly biblical scholar whose writing is refreshingly easy to read. This book will richly reward your attention.

Crossing Cultural Frontiers: Studies in the History of World Christianity
By Andrew F. Walls
Maryknoll: Orbis, 2017

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