Rev. Mark Gornik says go to the outer boroughs of New York, to the neighborhoods of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx if you want to see the cutting edge of the church today.
There you will find a vibrant transnational movement of faith, in particular African Christianity, propelled by globalization and other forces, says Gornik, a Christian Reformed Church minister, author and seminary director in a wide-ranging interview for an article published by the online maganize Faith & Leadership at Duke Divinity School.
Gornik once served as a minister at Spirit and Truth Fellowship, a CRC congregation in Philadelphia, Penn.
He is founder and director of City Seminary of New York and author of the new book, “Word Made Global: Stories of African Christianity in New York City,” published by Wm. B Eerdmans in Grand Rapids, Mich.
He spent 10 years studying African Christianity in New York City for his new book, which was named one of Christianity Today’s best books of 2012.
Gornik says the growing presence of African Christianity in the United States is largely unnoticed by most Americans, but it an important development for all Christians, with important lessons for the church.
“African Christians give us an example of how to recover a comprehensive, holistic faith,” he said. “They remind us that Christ is about flourishing, that God is interested in our bodies, our hearts and our souls.”
Gornik spoke with Faith & Leadership recently about, among other things, how he got interested in studying African Christianity in New York.
“When I started 10 or more years ago, there wasn’t one article or book on African churches in the United States that I was aware of. So I tried to see if there were any churches . . .”