Kingdom Without Borders: The Untold Story of Global Christianity by Mirian Adeney is an absolute cracking book and one that everyone interested in the development of the Church around the world must read. It isn’t a book about statistics, graphs and projections; it is simply a book of stories. Sometimes books of this sort can be a little disjointed with little to link the different narratives that go to make up the book. In this case, the author has done a great job of making the stories flow into chapters each of which revolves around a single theme. Sometimes the themes are geographical, sometimes the are more abstract, but it seems to work well.
Because the book is essentially a whole series of stories it is very easy to read. Books about the world church can get mired in statistics and discussions of world view, but this one manages to be profound, while avoiding the pitfall of being complicated to read. The stories come from all around the world covering countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. They are stories about ordinary Christians facing extraordinary challenges and being sustained by a remarkable God. There are also lots of stories about missionaries, but very few of the missionaries are white or come from the US or Europe. Welcome to the real world of the Global Church!
If I have one complaint, it is that there are so many profound and touching stories in the book that you start to take them for granted as you go on. I don’t know about other people, but I can only cope with so much heroism before I start to gloss over it.
If you want a good analysis of the Global Church, I still think that Philip Jenkins The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity is the best book out there, but if you want the human side to the story, you really can’t beat Kingdom Without Borders: The Untold Story of Global Christianity