Earlier this week Dr. Philip Jenkins came and spoke to a number of faculty and students at Bethel Seminary on the subject matter of several of his books (most recently ‘The Lost History of Christianity‘). It was very eye opening. His focus has primarily been the eastern and African church during the millennium of the church. Here is a brief except from an interview with him discussing the eastern church.
Also, this Eastern world has a solid claim to be the direct lineal heir of the earliest New Testament Christianity. Throughout their history, the Eastern churches used Syriac, which is close to Jesus’s own language of Aramaic, and they followed Yeshua, not Jesus. Everything about these churches runs so contrary to what we think we know. They are too ancient, in the sense of looking like the original Jerusalem church; and they are too modern, in being so globalized and multi-cultural.