Christianity Rediscovered

Christianity Rediscovered by Vincent J. Donovan

Vincent Donovan was a missionary to the Masai tribe of Tanzania. After struggling with his mission and the ineffectiveness of it, he begins to search for something that would work. What he finds is that Western Christianity was the biggest impediment. With this revelation he discovers that the simple Gospel and the methods of the early church were needed in this time and place. This book is the story of how it developed.

What I find interesting is that his discoveries forty to fifty years ago are very relevant to our mission in the United States church today. As we struggle with anemic faith communities and declining influence in the post-Christian west, we must accept that something is not right and begin our search. I believe our search will lead us back to the Gospel that transcends culture and the simple, incarnational methods of the early church. Here are the dog-ears, underlines, and brackets from this book:
  • pg. xii - the current irrelevance of church life
  • pg. xiii - sending young people forward in faith - not to where they were or where you are
  • pg. xiii - the Gospel in the midst of human life, as it is lived in the neighborhoods
  • pg. 54 - the troubling questions of Masai, or of all life
  • pg. 64 - the Gospel message presented to the community (finding it, working within it)
  • pg. 65 - America's greatest need - finding community again
  • pg. 68 - stumbling blocks for American Christians - individualism and love of organization
  • pg. 69 - the minister, or priest becoming a servant of the community
  • pg. 70 - Ndangoya describes the burden carrying community
  • pg. 78 - 90% of American church resources spent on itself
  • pg. 79 - self-serving, salvation-of-the-individual as a masquerade of authentic Christianity
  • pg. 79 - "do it good (church activity) and the world will come to you."
  • pg. 97 - missionaries spreading our ills and weaknesses
  • pg. 105 - Christian "witch doctors"
  • pg. 107 - western school system disrupts the good things of Masai culture
  • pg. 127 - the Gospel as the door to true human development
  • pg. 140 - the nomadic Masai church
  • pg. 141 - Evangelization is not propaganda
  • pg. 151 - Western culture brought capture and subjection to Africa
  • pg. 157 - searching for the God of Abraham


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