By Editorial Staff
Published December 22, 2007
OXFORD, England (WEIS) – A broad analysis of trends in world evangelization by the international director of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization predicts the largest response to the Gospel between now and AD 2000 will be in Latin America, India and China.
Tom Houston of Oxford, England, estimates that by AD 2000, there could be 50 million new believers in Latin America, 40 million in India, and 30 million in China.
Houston’s forecasts entitled, A Scenario Status of World Evangelization, 1991-2000, are in the final stages of editing for possible publication by Missions Advance Research and Communication Center (MARC) in Monrovia, Calif., USA.
Houston says research by David Barrett, Patrick Johnstone and Frank Kaleb Jansen shows that Christians are only marginally increasing their percentage of the world population by 0.1 percent per annum. Barrett is author of the World Christian Encyclopedia, (1982), Johnstone is author of Operation World, (1986), and Jansen is author of Target Earth, (1989).
The “Scenario Status” is forecast in what Houston describes as “relatively homogeneous regions,” with data on the status of world evangelization in various countries within each region. In each section, Houston also summarizes key factors and trends which affect evangelization in that region.
The greatest response to the gospel, he says, will be in Latin America where 50 million new believers are anticipated. Currently members of Protestant/Evangelical churches comprise about 11 percent of the population. Houston predicts evangelical churches will continue to grow because of the Biblical message and warm fellowships they provide. About 75 percent of the evangelicals are Pentecostal.
Houston also forecasts fast growth of “mega-churches” like the Jotabeche church in Santiago, Chile, and the Vision of the Future church in Argentina. He says eight Assemblies of God churches in Brazil report memberships of 20,000 to 110,000.
Houston projects the possibility of 40 million new Christian believers in India, or five percent of the population, if the Christian churches can respond to the barriers they face. “India has the people resources, the education in its leadership, and a great story of contributing to nation development,” Houston observes.
China and the Soviet Union
In China, the phenomenal growth of Christianity will continue, but at a slower pace than in past decades. Houston projects 30 million new believers in China, or three percent in 10 years.
In post-Marxist republics of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Houston cites 18 trends and characteristics which could lead to as many as 20 million people turning to Christ in the next 10 years.
In Southern, Eastern and Central Africa, Houston projects a total of 11 million new believers in non-Islamic parts of Africa. “Churches (in East and Central Africa) have struggled and grown incredibly in spite of, or perhaps because of adverse circumstances,” Houston says. “The churches will continue to grow … because they are the only element of hope in a bad situation.”
In describing church growth in Indonesia, Malaysia, Comoros, Brunei and Maldives, Houston believes “achieving a 20 percent of population professing faith in Christ should be possible in 10 years. That would mean about 24 million converts.”
Other Islamic sections of the world where response to evangelization is 10 percent of the population are in the African countries of Niger, Guinea, Mali, the Gambia, Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and South Sudan. Houston forecasts about 23 million new believers there. If there is a major and unexpected favourable shift in the Islamic political scene in Pakistan and Bangladesh, Houston said there could be as many as 20 million people who might come to faith in Christ in those countries.
Challenges that face the Gospel
Houston says that poverty and literacy are significant factors indicating where the gospel needs to be preached. Low literacy rates call for a strong focus on the spread of literacy and use of non-print media in Christian communication, he observes.
In response to the scenario, Houston says Christians concerned about world evangelization should focus on the great blocks of resistant peoples, the greater openness to the gospel in light of the changing face of Communism, the challenge of secularism, migration, urbanization, poverty, injustice, corruption, and the mobilization of laity.
He also urges Christians to focus on “the concept of all the people of God in one place having a total strategy for evangelizing the place where God has placed them that puts the churches and the parachurch organizations in joint harness as different expressions of the one people of God.”
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » World Events
Your comments are welcome!
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
High Quality Paperback — 40 pages of dynamite!
Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification
In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.
By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).
$7.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)