It is such a rare delight to find together in a single book Christian theologians from such a wide variety of non-Western backgrounds and perspectives offering new and fresh views on such an important topic — the church's role in the civil and political realms. This makes A Church For the World a unique and valuable addition to the ongoing worldwide Christian conversation. The topic itself is not new, but how many times is it addressed from a non-Western perspective and dealing with real life examples from developing countries throughout Africa and Asia? How many times do you find Martin Luther, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Gudina Tumsa (Ethiopia) in the same book, let alone the same chapter?! During my many years on the African continent and even now in working with under-represented groups in the United States, the flow of ideas has always tended to be from the West to the non-West. This book attempts to reverse the flow. This time the non-West advises the West and I found these suggestions to be relevant and thought provoking. Throughout, my own theological thinking was challenged, shaped, and sharpened!
In an increasingly globalized yet politically fragmented world with competing visions of the common good and economic relations, the perspective of religious scholars and theologians from the majority world can no longer be seen as an optional voice in an already constituted Western choral arrangement. Samuel Yonas Deressa and Josh de Keijzer push us not only to reflect on but also reframe how we approach questions concerning democracy and sustainable development through the lens of emerging critical and constructive Global South voices. This composition of chapters will train our ears to listen for a more complex, deeper, and richer polyphony of voices contributing a challenging vision toward the common good informed by the Christian tradition.