200 Years Worth of Global Trends and the Gospel

An amazing visual demonstration of the progress 200 countries of the world have made in the last 200 years.  Plotting life expectancy against income for every country since 1810, Hans Rosling shows how the world we live in is radically different from the world most of us imagine.

What implications are there in this data for the spread of the gospel?  I’m reminded of Paul’s words in the midst of the Areopagus in Athens:

“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.  And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him.  Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for

“˜In him we live and move and have our being’;

as even some of your own poets have said,

“˜For we are indeed his offspring.’

Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.  The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:24-31)

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