Los Evangelicos: Portraits of Latino Protestantism in the United States is a small contribution to a much larger project. It is part of CEHILA's (the Commission for the Study of the History of the Church in Latin America and the Caribbean) effort to write church history from the perspective of those who have had no voice, those who have not been allowed to reflect on their own history. It serves as a call to gather more "snapshots" of Latino Protestantism, to organize these portraits according to different interpretive schemes, to analyze the photos with their historical contexts in mind, and to utilize these results to challenge the traditional ways in which the history of Christianity in the United States is generally told. This book is proof that there are women and men in the Protestant Latino church in the United States with the ability to carry out these tasks. Yet an exhaustive history of Latino Protestantism in the United States is still missing. The Latino Protestant community needs people to rise up and interpret within wider contexts the stories told in this volume and elsewhere. Telling our stories is both a testimony that God has been present in our pilgrimage and a confession regarding the future. The same God who accompanied us this far will remain among us. Thus, we will keep collecting portraits and preparing to take new snapshots of whatever God may do in the future. Our "photo album" closes at a dynamic moment for Latino Protestant churches in the United States. From many different perspectives, the authors of this book present a growing, enthusiastic church ready to serve the Lord. The portraits show how much has been done and yet how much remains to do. There are many more stories to tell.
As the church continues to hear and heed Christ's call to reflect the multiethnic character of his people, pastors and lay leaders need to gain skills and competencies to serve in those contexts. The multicultural team of Juan Martinez and Mark Branson has written this book to equip such leaders to create environments that make God s reconciling initiatives apparent in church life and in our missional engagement with neighborhoods and cities. Generated by courses they teach at Fuller Theological Seminary, Branson and Martinez take an interdisciplinary approach that integrates biblical and theological study with the disciplines of sociology, cultural anthropology and communications. The result is a rich blend of astute analysis with guidance for practical implementation of a deeper intercultural life for the church. Case studies, Bible studies and exercises for personal reflection and classroom use connect the real life and everyday challenges that inevitably arise in multi-ethnic contexts. Martinez and Branson offer not static model but a praxis of "paying attention," reflection and study that can lead to a genuine reconciliation and shared life empowered by the gospel that is personal, interpersonal, cultural and structural.