Learning From Work
Noll’s experiences and relationships have stimulated his vocational efforts toward documenting the global Christian story. In this third section of the book he shares insights he has gathered from his work and sources of inspiration including the work of missiologists, experts, statistics and his own opportunities to teach and write on the subject.
What is particularly striking is the credit that he gives to his students for how they have helped to shape his understanding. Emerging world Christianity is a living history that is daily being written. Students have reported back to him about the movement of God in every part of the world and also helped to point him toward additional resources for research. The praise he shares for his students is an example of the self-understanding humility that Noll conveys throughout the book.
From Every Tribe and Nation is best suited for those who are already exploring an understanding of world Christianity. It does not aim to assert a proposition or answer many questions on the topic. Rather, it walks us through the journey of an evangelical who gradually came to understand the importance of gaining and sharing an understanding of the world Christian movement. The insights and resources mentioned throughout the book would also assist the reader with further research.
If you are an evangelical who asks questions about your faith in relationship to global Christianity, you will find this an engaging read. Likewise, those who find themselves on a journey toward a more nuanced understanding of their faith will find Noll’s reflections encouraging. For those considering a career in academia this book also provides a view from the front row of how a scholar develops and pursues intellectual interests.
Noll’s memoir of discovery calls our attention to the infinitely larger story of global Christianity. May it inspire us to appreciate and share God’s heart for his people whom he is gathering to himself from every tribe and nation.