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Why Evangelical Theology Needs the Global Church

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Christianity Today 2024 Award of Merit (Missions/Global Church)

Christian theologians and students are aware that evangelicals in the Majority World now outnumber those in North America and Europe, and many want to know more about emerging voices in the global church. At the same time, these voices are largely absent from Western evangelical theology.

Stephen Pardue seeks to bridge this divide by arguing, biblically and theologically, that it is imperative for Western evangelical theology to engage with the global church, and he provides examples of how this can be done. Case studies throughout the book illustrate opportunities for fruitful engagement with non-Western theology in various areas of Christian doctrine.

Readers will be given an introduction to the riches available within the worldwide body of Christ and learn how to engage productively with the global church.


"Pardue challenges us with the truth that theology is not neutral. By considering the authority of Scripture and taking contextual realities seriously, he challenges our assumptions about and broadens our understanding of Scripture, its interpretation, and its application. This book is an encouragement to readers to embrace the concept of unity in diversity that is vividly illustrated in Revelation 7. Pardue has succeeded in inviting Majority World evangelical voices into the theological conversation that has, for too long, been dominated by the West."

Elizabeth Mburu, associate professor of New Testament and Greek, Africa International University, Kenya; Langham Literature Regional Coordinator, Anglophone Africa

"For too long, fear of compromising the primacy of Scripture has led evangelicals to marginalize the role of the Christian tradition and local cultures. In this lucid and well-argued work, Stephen Pardue has shown that tradition and culture are in fact indispensable theological resources for developing a robust 'catholic contextual theology.' Here is a work in constructive theology that should set the direction for the global evangelical movement."

Simon Chan, editor, Asia Journal of Theology

"At the very moment when evangelical theologians are struggling with cultural issues on the Western home front, Stephen Pardue calls them to look east and south, to learn from the global church how to engage one's local context while maintaining biblical authority and respecting the Christian tradition. This is a signal contribution to evangelical theology from one who identifies with and understands both it and the global church. Pardue here integrates canon, culture, and catholicity in five theses that have the potential to revitalize evangelical theology in the West and worldwide."

Kevin J. Vanhoozer, research professor of systematic theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"Pardue offers an impressively informed argument for Western evangelicals to welcome theological contributions from around the world. He responds to misgivings about the impact of culture on the theological enterprise by drawing on basic evangelical commitments and constructive work by significant Majority World scholars. This is a broad vision that conceives of a church committed to Scripture, diverse yet seeking unity, relevant yet appreciative of the Great Tradition. The tone is gracious, but the call is timely and challenging!"

M. Daniel Carroll R. (Rodas), Scripture Press Ministries Professor of Biblical Studies and Pedagogy, Wheaton College and Graduate School

"Affirming the diversity but unity of the church, Pardue calls for an evangelical theology that engages with world Christianity--both past and present. Why Evangelical Theology Needs the Global Church provides solid theological frameworks along with relevant case studies that support a vision of an evangelical theology enriched by contextual and historical expressions of the Christian faith. This book is a gem, a precious gift to the global church!"

Theresa R. Lua, general secretary, Asia Theological Association; director, Global Theology, World Evangelical Alliance

"Pardue bravely takes on Western evangelical theologians' varied responses to broad theological issues pertaining to the phenomenon of the global church and the field of contextual theology. His engagement with these issues is refreshing, insightful, and constructive."

Victor I. Ezigbo, professor of theology and world Christianity, Bethel University

"Why Evangelical Theology Needs the Global Church is at once a theology of culture, a theology of plurality, and even a theology of ethnicity and the nations (the Greek ethnos, in the New Testament, is often translated 'nations'), although it is not a theology of nationalism (in the West or anywhere!). Pardue writes out of a hermeneutic of charity that welcomes the many voices from the global church to engage with the biblical and historic theological traditions, and hence invites us all to consider our own posture toward others that we may before have held at arm's length."

Amos Yong, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Pardue's book is a timely and unique contribution to evangelical theology. He takes seriously the reality that evangelicalism is a worldwide movement, burgeoning especially in non-Western contexts, and makes a compelling theological case for principled engagement with global theology. He critically and charitably interacts with past attempts at embracing 'contextual' theologies and presents a way forward rooted in the doctrine of the church. The book is also helpful in providing illustrative case studies. Pardue is an expert and wise guide through this increasingly important terrain. I hope this book becomes the standard reference point for future conversations regarding how Western theology engages with the contributions of the Majority World."

Uche Anizor, associate professor of theology, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

The Author

  1. Stephen T. Pardue

    Stephen T. Pardue

    Stephen T. Pardue (PhD, Wheaton College) directs the ThM/PhD in Theological Studies and Church History at the Asia Graduate School of Theology and teaches theology at the International Graduate School of Leadership in Manila, Philippines. He is the author of...

    Continue reading about Stephen T. Pardue


Christianity Today 2024 Award of Merit (Missions/Global Church)

"Pardue has written a unique volume that significantly advances the discussion of global theology among evangelicals. Respectfully acknowledging the hesitations of Western evangelicals, Pardue carefully, thoughtfully, and convincingly argues that the global church is a gift from God. We need each other, and the cultural and historical diversity of the global church across the ages brings God greater glory."

Susan Maxwell Booth,

Christianity Today