Professor Andrew F. Walls is not only a towering figure in the study of the contemporary World Christianity; he is undoubtedly one of the most prolific scholars of the nature, history and the future of African Christianity today. Long before the recent numerical shift in the center of gravity of world Christianity from the to the global South and East took place, Walls has been prophetic in calling the attention of Western academy and the world church to that impending drama. Now the reality is dawning!
The gradual fulfillment of Walls ‘prophecies’ is the geist of this post. In one of his writings, Walls pointed out that when the shift in the heartlands of the contemporary world Christianity will eventually dawn on the world, ‘Africa, Asia and Latin America will increasingly become the powerhouses of Christian though and significant amount of the next leaders of the world church will emerge from those contexts.’ The election of Pope Francis on 13 March, 2013 as the first Roman Catholic Pope in recent church history from the global South makes a significant statement of the new leader-shift that the world church now witnessing. In similar vein, the recent appointment and commissioning of Dr. Joshua Bogunjoko of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) Nigeria on 9 June 2013 at the chapel of Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary as the first African international director of SIM is yet another confirmation of Walls prediction. See the Commissioning Service of the new SIM International Director Dr. Joshua Bogunjoko; SIM Names Dr. Joshua Bogunjoko next International Director; and Dr. Joshua Bogunjoko nominated for next SIM International Director on SIM Website for more details.
Kwame Bediako, Christianity in Africa: The Renewal of a Non-Western Religion (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1995), viii.
Andrew F. Walls, “World Christianity, Theological Education and Scholarship,” Transformation: An International Journal of Holistic Mission Studies, Vol. 28, No. 4 (October 2011), 238.