In some circles the descriptor Evangelical is a derogatory term. With churches like westboro baptist church (left in lowercase on purpose) calling themselves evangelicals and the rise of the alt right in defiance of the alt left and calling themselves evangelicals it is easy to see why. Global Evangelicalism: Theology, History and Culture in Regional Perspective edited by Donald Lewis and Richard Pierard is a collection of essays from around the world on what evangelicalism actually is outside of a talking point on some news show.
The first subject to be discussed was a definition of Evangelicalism. For most people when they hear the name evangelical, the first thing they think of is a republican whose religion and politics are intermixed. Most would be surprised to find out that evangelicals go much farther back in history. Mark Noll, in his essay, first gives the hallmarks of an evangelical. He does this by giving Bebbington’s four key ingredients “Conversion, Biblicism, Activism, and Crucicentrism” Noll goes on to discuss the thing that makes evangelicalism so easily taken to other parts of the world. “evangelicals are often flexible about nonessentials.”  Where Catholicism, or even other religions such as Islam have tenets that must be adhered to, evangelicals are not tied to a certain central church. There are pros and cons to each way of thinking. For example, without a central authority Baptists can have many different offshoots of the denomination and each makes their own doctrine they follow. So you have megachurches like Saddleback Church in California who have great outreach and do a good job of taking the love of God to the world. On the flip side, you have your westboro baptist (lower case on purpose) who is known as the “god hates fags” church who bring shame to the name of Christ. In Catholicism, you can go to any parish and be assured the theology and teachings will always be the same. The downside is, every church is very similar, it is more difficult for these churches to be indigenized.
The International Mission Board (IMB), the missions sending arm of the SBC, began about 20 years ago to understand the necessity of allowing indigenous peoples to use their own culture in planting a church. The missionaries began to not use English hymns translated into local language for worship, but to encourage new songs of worship to be written in native tongue and styles. While in South Africa I witnessed the beauty of their worship in their style and it was clear the Holy Spirit was moving in the hearts of those who were worshiping. While in Hong Kong and attending the Baptist church, they sang the same hymns as American Baptists but translated and although they were worshiping, it seemed to me to be missing something. I could have been in any little SBC church in Texas and heard the same thing. As a throw in, I was shocked to find out the number of evangelicals in “Africa, Latin America, and Asia exceeds the total in Europe and North America combined”  Most would call evangelicals a product of the U.S. but they are world wide under the definition given by this book.
Next, I concentrated on the essay by Donald Lewis called Globalization, Religion and Evangelicalism. Most evangelicals I know are against globalism, or as they call it “one world government” but globalism is so much more than just the governing body. Lewis gives us a list of common features. “It is a cultural and economic phenomenon…rooted in the expansion of European nations, it is linked to the rise of capitalism, for better or ill most agree that international capitalism has triumphed, and it involves these things. A process of contraction of the importance of barriers, the dimembedding of people from their traditions, a reorienting of people, companies and nations to a wider world and the undermining of universal claims and identities. Next the identity of the nation state is at debate, globalism does away with the need for this identity, and finally academic analysis needs to operate on a global level.”  There is a reaction against globalism that has popped up, the rise of nationalism vs. globalism gave rise to the Brexit discussion, and the election of Donald Trump. Both movements pushed back on the aligning of governance by a single organization in favor of self rule. There are dangers in both directions though, in the idea of a one world system lies the ability to put all the same groups under one way of government, but to do so destroys what makes cultures unique. To give rise to nationalism can reorient a people to who they are culturally but can also give rise to what we saw in Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and even what happened in the Soviet Union. The us versus them mentality gives rise to hatred and war, the all are the same mentality gives rise to one moral code being raised above all others and can lead to the death toll seen under Communistic rule.
So where does the Christian lay in all of this? As a believer, I have hope in the love of Christ bringing all together, but as a pragmatic person I understand that both sides of the coin seem to be immovable from their stance. I would argue as a Christian that having a “smaller” world opens up the possibility of missions from home, I can interact with those who are around the world and talk about belief and what it means as a Christ follower. I can also argue that the loss of culture and identity is a terrible thing, just look at the crimes committed against people groups in the name of colonialism and “making the world a smaller place”. We must, as believers fight for all, a smaller planet than was once imagined all needing the love of God no matter their identity.
 Lewis, Donald M., and Richard V. Pierard, eds. Global Evangelicalism: Theology, History and Culture In Regional Perspective. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, an Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2014. 20.
 Ibid. 23.
 Ibid. 17.
 Ibid 63-65.