Top positive review
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Effective, readable and informative
on 14 April 2015
A major strength of David Bentley Hart's study is the fact that it has a truly ecumenical approach. While Hart is a Theologian of the Eastern Orthodox Church, he nonetheless provides a study of all Churches, movements and includes the sects that essentially failed or went extinct.
Hart includes all the historical events one would expect, the early Church Councils, the Great Schism of 1054, the Reformation and the Enlightenment, but his concluding chapter has some ground breaking insights.
Apparently, movements such as Pentecostal and Charismatic are more widespread than one (or at least this reader) had imagined and it's now not inconceivable to encounter a Catholic church service involving Spiritual gifts.
But his most sobering analysis is in Christianity's global shift from north to south, and from East to West.
Hart concludes that while Church numbers may be declining in Europe and the US, Christianity has literally exploded in Africa and is growing ever faster in China, and perhaps this is where Christianity's future may be strongest.