Thy Kingdom Come by Christopher Catherwood is an interesting but uneven look at the state of the Evangelical Christianity. It’s interesting because of the global perspective it offers and its rich appreciation of evangelical history. It’s uneven because of some the subject matters (a chapter dedicated to eschatology for example) and, for this reader, the chapter order.
The book also contains lengthy extracts from the Lausanne Covenant and two churches vision statements (St Andrew the Great in Cambridge and Capitol Hill Baptist in Washington DC) which in a short book is quite a lot of someone else’s thinking. The book opens with a look at evangelicals’ core beliefs but it would have been a much more dynamic opening had it started with chapter 3 and the overview of global evangelicalism. It also ends without any real conclusion so the book just seems to fizzle out.
However, there are some interesting asides, a very British take on politics and doctrine and some facts and figures all make for easy and interesting reading. Chapter 3 (Who are Evangelicals?) was excellent, peppered with facts on the explosion of evangelical Christianity all over the world (except in Europe). Chapter 4 (Evangelicals past and present) was essentially a summary of the Lausanne Covenant and this is an excellent statement of evangelical belief and one I thoroughly enjoyed reading.
The fifth chapter (Trials and Tribulations) attempts to dissuade people from buying the theology of the Left Behind books and quite right too, but it seems an odd subject choice in an overview of global evangelicalism that was presented in chapter 3. The final chapter survey on politics is an attempt to break the connection between evangelical and Republican but I think it unlikely that anyone who had that notion would be reading this book.
Despite not being a bad book, the unevenness and slight eccentricity of the book leaves me at a loss as to know who I might recommend this book to, or indeed even why. As they used to say of my essays at school, ‘could have been much better.’