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is christian mission unethical?

Introduction

Is Christian mission unethical? Is it wrong to share your beliefs with someone from a different faith perspective hoping that they will one day share the same beliefs as you? What do today's emerging generations believe to be true about the mission of God and the Church's engagement in said mission? How is Christian mission today different from the colonialism of the past? Or, perhaps you're asking, "Is it different?"


Let's talk about it...


According to Barna’s 2020 report, The Future of Missions, evidence suggests that among today’s emerging generations there is a growing sentiment toward the unethical nature of missions, particularly the act of evangelism, or sharing one’s beliefs with those outside of a Christian religious worldview. In this US-based study, it was made known that 34%, or one-third, of Christians aged 18 to 34 agree that missions work in the past has been unethical.[1] 42% of respondents in this same study agreed that “Christian mission is tainted by its association with colonialism.”[2] Sentiments such as “Missions work can sometimes lead to unhealthy local dependence on charity,” “Charity work often hurts the local economy,” and “Christianity should fix its reputation before doing more mission,” are also shared by many of these same respondents.[3]


Similarly, Barna’s recent Canadian-specific findings from their Reviving Evangelism report indicate 44% of Christian Gen Z agree “it is wrong to share one’s personal belief with someone of a different faith in hopes they will one day share the same faith.” [4] This data should be deeply concerning to the church as the implications of such beliefs regarding mission and evangelism are far-reaching for the future of Christian witness in the world.


For some in the Church today, including but not limited to Millennials and Gen Z, there is a growing sense of pushback and concern around the notion of sending Christian missionaries across borders, be they geographical, political, ethnic, or other, to share one’s Christian faith and engage in God’s Missio Dei. According to Dr. Andrew Spencer, Senior Research Fellow for the Institute for Faith, Work and Economics, a growing number of voices in North America today are arguing that "a Christian ethic is repressive, detracting from human flourishing.” [5] These same respondents refer to Christian missions as “cultural imperialism.”[6] Others like Kenneth Scott Latourette write similarly of this colonial notion of Christian missionary activity as imperialistic.[7]


But, is this what Christian missions is: cultural imperialism? Is the Christian message repressive and devoid of human flourishing, as is argued above?

Further, some are also questioning the ethical nature of imposing our Christian beliefs on those from another worldview or religious or cultural background.[8] Yet, is this the true nature of Christian missions: an imposition of one’s beliefs upon another? Clearly, more investigation is needed.


Additionally, recent discoveries around residential schools in Canada have caused many to seriously reflect on the colonial ties to the church and its mission history. Canada’s residential schools “were created for the purpose of separating Aboriginal children from their families, in order to minimize and weaken family ties and cultural linkages, and to indoctrinate children into a new culture—the culture of the legally dominant Euro-Christian Canadian society.”[9]

According to the 2015 summary report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Canada, the “residential school system was based on an assumption that European civilization and Christian religions were superior to Aboriginal culture, which was seen as being savage and brutal.”[10] Built on the conviction that Canada was a ‘Christian nation,’ and coupled with a general posture of disdain toward native culture and spirituality, Canada’s government committed itself to ensuring all its citizens belonged to the Christian church.[11] As such, while governmentally funded, Canada’s residential schools were chiefly administrated by Roman Catholic, Anglican, United, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches who sought to indoctrinate students against their indigenous spirituality and toward adopting Christian faith.[12]


Considering this brief historical overview of the church in Canada’s complicity with colonial powers, again, the question must be asked, is the nature of Christian mission today inherently unethical? Is sharing one’s Christian beliefs with the hopes that another will one day share the same faith truly morally wrong, as is stated above? Is the whole of the church’s mission history tainted with and by colonialism?


Moreover, what can and must we learn from the way missions and evangelism have been conducted in the past for the sake of ensuring Christian missions in the present and future are in fact ethical, holistic, and contributing to human flourishing? It is the exploration of such questions that is the focus of this blog.


Colonialism and Christian Missions

In his article on colonialism and missions published by the Presbyterian Historical Society, Professor of Theology, Daniel J. Adams wrote,“It is…well known that the great missionary expansion of the church in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries corresponded with western colonialism. This was true in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Pacific Islands.”[13] Led by various European nations, with England, France, Portugal, and Spain at the forefront, the purpose of colonialism “included economic exploitation of the colony’s natural resources, creation of new markets for the colonizer, and the extension of the colonizer’s way of life [including state religion] beyond its national borders.”[14] To this end of empire-building, missionaries were often used “as tools of the governments… instruments of western infiltration and control.”[15] According to Latourette, “most of the spread of Christianity in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries was by Roman Catholic missionaries who were agents of the kings of Spain and Portugal.”[16]


Though missionaries (often) held their own personal and religious objectives for going to the new worlds --such as the evangelization of unreached peoples and the propagation of their faith -- truly, no missionary could go to any of the new colonies “without the consent of the Crown.”[17] Thus, by serving as instruments for the extension of their respective colonial state,[18] and with the added bonus of their missions work being “financed by the royal coffers,”[19] many missionaries were enabled to go to foreign lands, granting the gospel access to new frontiers. To this end, however, missionaries, as the vanguard of European contact with the indigenous peoples, and through the learning of local languages and establishment of relationship with local leaders, did open the door for colonizers to establish themselves in places like Africa, India and the Americas. As Latourette states, “on some occasions missionaries were at least partly responsible for the annexation of territory by the colonial powers.”[20]


Sadly, some missionaries also shared in the colonialist belief that European culture was superior to the beliefs and customary practices of the native peoples of these new lands, as seen above in the discussion on residential schools in Canada.[21] Not only did missionaries seek to introduce a new religious belief, ‘delivering’ the indigenous peoples from their “ignorance and superstitions,”[22] but so too their Western religious forms and ‘advanced’ European culture.


In his review of missions work in Northeast India, David R. Syiemlieh notes how Christian missionaries’ imposition of certain clothing styles led to the extermination of tradition and loss of cultural identity for the Naga and Assamese peoples.[23] Such ‘civilizing’ effects were met with opposition by local Indian leaders and anthropologists alike as “old beliefs and customs [were] dying, the old traditions…being forgotten,” and unwelcome changes “pervading every aspect of village life.”[24]


In many places under colonial rule, India being the example here, the introduction of the new Christian faith “brought in a break with [the locals’] primal religion. It also had its effects on the social and community life of the converts” leading to ostracism, infighting, division, and worse.[25] In such places, the introduction of the Christian faith by missionaries was met with sharp resistance by locals and local leadership as it was “regarded as alien, destructive of the ancestral religion and inherited customs and way of life.”[26] As Esther Mombo points out, “The Kikuyu saying ‘Gutire muthungu na Mubea’ (meaning there is no difference between a European and a missionary) captures the link between missionary work and colonialism” in many places around the globe.[27]


Returning to the residential school system that operated in Canada between the 1870’s and 1990’s, missionaries were a primary culprit behind the attempted cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples. Woefully, many of the abuses and racist attitudes reported by residential school survivors were conducted at the hands of Christian missionaries.[28] Further, “because most missionaries viewed conversion as their primary goal, they often ignored abuses that did not hamper [evangelism].”[29]


Further yet, as many missionaries were selected and their salaries paid by colonial officials, they “generally did not protest abuses,”[30] presumably for the sake of job security. Apart from the deep anguish caused by such atrocities to residential school survivors, a subsequent sorrow is seen now in many Indigenous peoples’ attitudes of anger and hatred toward Christ and his church. In light of the horrific events of residential schools perpetrated by missionaries, many since, both Indigenous and settlers, have turned against Christianity, unable to disassociate the church today with the colonizing powers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.[31]


Is There Any Good To Christian Missions?

This said, “the [missionaries’] association with politically minded monarchs did not mean that among the missionaries there were no heroes or great Christians.”[32] Rather, many missionaries and church agents carried with them a sincere desire to bring to the world, as they saw it, the “superior advantages of western civilization – modern medicine, educational opportunities, [and] new ideas of democracy and human rights.”[33] The introduction of the smallpox vaccines and the inoculation against typhoid in 1914 is one such illustration of the positive work of Christian missionaries.[34] Missionary William Carey’s translation of the Bible into the Khasi language[35] and his opposition to the Indian practices of infanticide, temple prostitution, slavery, the oppression of women and children, and sati, or wife burnings, were among other positives of missionary work in India.[36]


Additional positives of colonially employed and empowered missionaries and their work included “providing written scripts for the tribal communities…pioneering education and ministering to the health of the people of the region.”[37] Others have noted that Christian missionaries began schools for physicians and nurses, fought famine, improved agriculture, and “pioneered the education of women and girls which would elevate the status of that sex.”[38]


Hospitals and schools, too, were built through the efforts of European missionaries.[39] So, too, were churches birthed and planted by these same individuals. As Woodberry advocates, benefits of the colonial missions era also included “initiating the development and spread of religious liberty, mass education, mass printing, voluntary organizations, most major colonial reforms, and the codification of legal protections for nonwhites in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.”[40] In other words, many a missionary’s goal of westernization was truly, in their eyes, for the benefit of those they lived to serve, improving their quality of life, body, soul and spirit.[41]


It is interesting to note that while some missionaries were complicit in colonial and racist abuses toward indigenous peoples of the majority world, others engaged oppositely. In his research on the effect of Christian missions on the spread of democracy worldwide, Associate Professor of Political Science at the National University of Singapore, Dr. Robert D. Woodberry asserts “nonstate missionaries moderated colonial abuses, particularly when abuses undermined conversions.”[42] Woodberry goes on to report how missionaries sought to punish colonial officials for their abusive treatment of indigenous persons and counterbalance the effects of white settlers[43] by “publicizing colonial abuses” and “advocating for changes in colonial policy.”[44] Woodberry also argues that Protestant missions is chiefly behind the spread of democracy in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania.[45]


In sum, while colonial powers sought the subjugation and overrule of their new colonies, many conversionary Protestant missionaries advocated for the dispersion of power back to the people, including the oft-overlooked of society: women and the poor.[46] Truly, many missionaries “perceived societal reform as a natural extension of their faith,” and thus were advocates for such movements as abolition and temperance.[47] Others, too, note how the work of missionaries was conducted to the chagrin of colonial powers, often frustrating them with their insistence to travel and preach in new lands and their efforts to support colonial subjects in their treaty rights.[48]


Finally, as argued by Woodberry, Protestant missionaries worked to disperse power among the people whom they ministered to by “developing and spreading new organizational forms and protest tactics that allowed non-elites, early nationalists, and anticolonial activists to organize nonviolent protests and, in British colonies, form political parties prior to independence.”[49] To this end, Woodberry highlights the early work of missionaries’ advocacy for people experiencing the injustices of systems of abuse, racism, and power.


Learning from the Past

Considering such evidence both for and against Christian missionary activity as complicit in colonialism and unethical behaviour, we must return to the questions posed in the introduction: In light of the historical ties between colonialism and Christian mission, what can and must we learn from the way missions has been conducted in the past for the sake of ensuring Christian missions in the present and future are in fact ethical, holistic, and contributing to human flourishing?


First, as lifelong missionary, Lisa M. Rohrick, states in her article titled Is Modern Missions Colonialism All Over Again?, while colonialism seeks to destroy cultures, assimilating one culture into another, namely that of the colonizer, true Christian mission respects and honors culture. One such learning from the errors of Christian mission history is the unethical practice of cultural assimilation.


The gospel is meant to thrive in every culture as it is contextualized and planted indigenously under local leadership and allowed to thrive. Christian missions mustn’t seek to impose cultural forms but to discover with and alongside the community the lifegiving practices and expression of the church in that given cultural context, as led by the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit. True Christian mission celebrates the uniqueness of culture.


Second, according to Rohrick, biblical Christian mission differs from colonialism in that colonialism imposes while God’s mission invites. Colonization includes the “extension of the colonizer’s way of life [including state religion] beyond its national borders.”[50] Jesus, on the other hand, never commanded anyone to follow him; he simply invited them to “come and see.”[51] This is the way of Christian mission.


A third distinguishing mark between colonialism and true Christian mission is that while colonialism seeks “economic exploitation of the colony’s natural resources” [52] Christian missions includes the sacrificial giving of oneself for the benefit of the other. Again, this is the way of Jesus, the Son of God, who, for the sake of the salvation and reconciliation of needy humanity divested himself of divine power, put on human flesh to identify with and for us, and ultimately gave his life as a ransom for many.[53] True Christian mission does not extort or extract or exploit, says Rohrick. Rather, it gives selflessly and sacrificially for the sake of others.


Moving Forward

According to Dr. W. Jay Moon and W. Bud Simon in their book Effective Intercultural Evangelism, the twenty-first century has certainly brought about new complexities in today’s pluralistic and culturally and religiously diverse world.[54] While the gospel is still good news for our family and friends, coworkers and neighbours, we must address the faults of the past if we are to effectively communicate the good news of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection to those without faith in Christ. So, too, must we approach evangelism and mission through a holistic lens.


In the words of Brian Woolnough, unfortunately, “much missionary work in the past has been far from holistic.”[55] As Woolnough puts it, missions work has far too often been directed solely at conversion, that is the immediate and eternal salvation of one’s spirit, while neglecting the other aspects of a human being’s flourishing, namely their mind, inclusive of their emotional and psychological state, and body, or their physical being.[56] As in the case of the above-mentioned residential schools in Canada, the neglect of the whole person for the sake of their spiritual needs has led to grievous abuse and injustices in the past. This cannot happen again. Christian missions must be holistic, addressing “the body, mind and spirit of human beings.”[57]


Truly, “the purpose of God’s mission in our world is to bring life in all its fullness.”[58] It is only as we minister to the whole person will they experience this full, abundant life.

So too must Christian mission include social action. As was affirmed at the Lausanne Conference of 1974, the gospel we preach must include “both personal salvation and social responsibility for the fallen world.”[59] In the words of Moon and Simon, “Jesus’ desire [for us] was to proclaim the gospel… At the same time, words alone are not sufficient.”[60] No. Rather, holistic mission and evangelism must include deeds. As Rick Richardson points out, “Jesus seamlessly modelled ministries of compassion and proclamation.”[61] Truly, Christian mission must include both. Thus, by making social action an integral part of the covenant, “Lausanne ’74 clearly recognized and affirmed social concern as essential to the task of world evangelization.”[62]


According to Barna’s research on the future of missions, this same sentiment is shared today by many engaged Christian young adults who assert “humanitarian work is and must be an essential aspect of 21st-century-missions – at least as and sometimes more important than sharing the gospel of Christ.”[63] To this end of social action and justice, the biblical precedent for Christian mission is ultimately about joining the Triune God, Father, Son, and Spirit, in their work of making whole the dis-harmony brought about by sin.[64] This dis-harmony has not only broken humanity’s relationship with God, but so too our relationship with self, others and creation. Herein, any missionary efforts of the church must therefore seek to bring about the healing and restoration of all these broken relationships.[65] In other words, any Christian mission activity that does not seek to address the holistic needs of the individual including their relationship to God, self, others, and creation is not holistic, and thus, represents a truncated understanding of the gospel and the mission of the church.


A further learning from Christian mission’s association with colonialism is the understanding that mission is not simply ‘from the west to the rest’ but from everywhere to everywhere, from everyone to everyone.[66] While missions was at one time understood as coming from the developed world (i.e., Europe) to the undeveloped regions of the globe “as something that is done by some to others,”[67] such a mentality only sowed into the erroneous historical beliefs and practices, and now common perception, of Christian mission as cultural imperialism, as mentioned above. But is this what Christian missions is? Is Christian mission something to be owned by the West (a more recent understanding as opposed to the Church's historical roots in the Middle East, Asia and Africa before its arrival to Europe)? Is it something done by a select few to and upon others? Rather, is not “God’s mission for all people in any given context”?[68]


As Mombo asserts, the centre of Christian mission must move “from its assumed location in the west to a multiplicity of centres.”[69] To do this, the church must deal swiftly with hierarchical issues of race, class, and gender, seeking to dismantle unjust systems of power and oppression and embracing the truth that the mission of God is the responsibility of all followers of Jesus, not just a select few.[70]


Christian missions must be embraced and lived out by everyone, everywhere, to everyone, everywhere.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we cannot and must not deny that some Christian missions work in the past has been associated with colonialism and unethical behaviour. This much is clear. Yet, it is also clear from above that the theme of colonialism is not indicative of all the church’s missional activity throughout Christian history.


In the words of Dr. Andrew Spencer, “Though there are clearly cases of abuse and sin by [some] missionaries, there is a strong correlation between the advance of gospel people and the common good.”[71]

Certainly, many acts of Christian mission and witness in the world, historically, have sought to defend human rights, bring healthy solutions to poverty and inequality, and work toward the flourishing of all humans as promised to us by and promoted through Jesus.[72] The work of many Christian missionaries and the impact of the gospel they preached has been overwhelmingly positive in many places around the globe.[73]


To this end, we can confidently say that the argument stating the whole of Christian mission is tainted with and by colonialism is, in fact, false. We can also take hope in the positive efforts of many toward the church global embracing a holistic approach to Christian mission. As we honestly assess the mistakes of the past, confessing and repenting of our sins, breaking ties with systems of power, injustice, and inequality, and embracing a fuller, more holistic gospel and witness, the future of Christian mission is indeed hopeful.


To help keep the conversation going, please leave a comment or ask a question below.


 

Endnotes

[1] Barna Group, The Future of Missions (USA: Barna Group, 2020), 15. [2] Barna Group, The Future of Missions (USA: Barna Group, 2020), 23. [3] Barna Group, The Future of Missions (USA: Barna Group, 2020), 14. [4] Barna Group, Reviving Evangelism in the Next Generation (USA: Barna Group, 2021), 9. [5] Andrew Spencer, “Robert Woodberry and the Benefits of Protestant Missions,” n.p. [cited 6 May 2022]. Online: https://tifwe.org/robert-woodberry-and-the-benefits-of-protestant-missions/. [6] Spencer, “Robert Woodberry.” [7] Kenneth Scott Latourette, “Colonialism and Missions: Progressive Separation,” Journal of Church and State, Vol. 7, No. 3 (1965): 330-349. [8] Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Honoring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future: Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (Canada: Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication, 2015), 4. [9] Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Honoring the Truth, v. [10] Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Honoring the Truth, 4. [11] Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Honoring the Truth, 5. [12] Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Honoring the Truth, 3. [13] Daniel J. Adams, “From Colonialism to World Citizen: Changing Patterns of Presbyterian Mission,” American Presbyterians, Vol. 65, No. 2 (1987): 147-156. [14] Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "colonialism, Western summary". Encyclopedia Britannica, 29 Apr. 2021, https://www.britannica.com/summary/Western-colonialism. Accessed 6 May 2022. [15] Adams, “From Colonialism to World Citizen,” 148. [16] Latourette, “Colonialism and Missions,” 331. [17] Latourette, “Colonialism and Missions,” 331. [18] David R. Syiemlieh, “Colonial Encounter and Christian Missions in North East India,” Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, Vol. 73 (2012): 509-527. (518). [19] Latourette, “Colonialism and Missions,” 331. [20] Latourette, “Colonialism and Missions,” 338. [21] Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Honoring the Truth, 4. [22] Adams, “From Colonialism to World Citizen,” 147. [23] Syiemlieh, “Colonial Encounter and Christian Missions in North East India,” 517. [24] Syiemlieh, “Colonial Encounter and Christian Missions in North East India,” 516. [25] Syiemlieh, “Colonial Encounter and Christian Missions in North East India,” 516. [26] Latourette, “Colonialism and Missions,” 338. [27] Esther Mombo, “From Fourfold Mission to Holistic Mission: Towards Edinburgh 2010,” in Holistic Mission: God’s Plan for God’s People (ed. Brian Woolnough and Wonsuk Ma; Oxford: Regnum Books International, 2010), 40. [28] Robert D. Woodberry, “The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy,” The American Political Science Review, Vol. 106 (2012): 244-274. [29] Woodberry, “The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy,” 255. [30] Woodberry, “The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy,” 255. [31] Woodberry, “The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy,” 254. [32] Kenneth Scott Latourette, “Colonialism and Missions: Progressive Separation,” Journal of Church and State, Vol. 7, No. 3 (1965): 330-349. [33] Adams, “From Colonialism to World Citizen,” 147. [34] Latourette, “Colonialism and Missions,” 339. [35] Syiemlieh, “Colonial Encounter and Christian Missions in North East India,” 518. [36] Samuel Jayakumar, “The Work of God as Holistic Mission: An Asian Perspective,” in Holistic Mission: God’s Plan for God’s People (ed. Brian Woolnough and Wonsuk Ma; Oxford: Regnum Books International, 2010), 90. [37] Syiemlieh, “Colonial Encounter and Christian Missions in North East India,” 518. [38] Latourette, “Colonialism and Missions: Progressive Separation,” 340. [39] Adams, “From Colonialism to World Citizen,” 148. [40] Woodberry, “The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy,” 245. [41] Latourette, “Colonialism and Missions,” 332. [42] Woodberry, “The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy,” 246. [43] Woodberry, “The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy,” 246. [44] Woodberry, “The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy,” 253. [45] Woodberry, “The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy,” 245. [46] Woodberry, “The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy,” 249. [47] Woodberry, “The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy,” 254. [48] Latourette, “Colonialism and Missions,” 337. [49] Woodberry, “The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy,” 252. [50] Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "colonialism, Western summary". Encyclopedia Britannica, 29 Apr. [51] John 1:39, NIV. [52] Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "colonialism, Western summary". Encyclopedia Britannica, 29 Apr. 2021, https://www.britannica.com/summary/Western-colonialism. Accessed 6 May 2022. [53] Damon So, “The Missionary Journey of the Son of God Into the Far Country,” in Holistic Mission: God’s Plan for God’s People (ed. Brian Woolnough and Wonsuk Ma; Oxford: Regnum Books International, 2010), 47. [54] W. Jay Moon and W. Bud Simon, Effective Intercultural Evangelism: Good News in a Diverse World (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2021), 21. [55] Al Tizon, “Precursors and Tensions in Holistic Mission: An Historical Overview,” in Holistic Mission: God’s Plan for God’s People (ed. Brian Woolnough and Wonsuk Ma; Oxford: Regnum Books International, 2010), 67. [56] Woolnough, “Good News for the Poor–Setting the Scene,” 4. [57] Woolnough, “Good News for the Poor–Setting the Scene,” 4. [58] Mombo, “From Fourfold Mission to Holistic Mission: Towards Edinburgh 2010,” 43. [59] Woolnough, “Good News for the Poor–Setting the Scene,” 10. [60] Moon and Simon, Effective Intercultural Evangelism, 117. [61] Rick Richardson, You Found Me (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2019), 174. [62] Brian Woolnough, “Good News for the Poor–Setting the Scene,” in Holistic Mission: God’s Plan for God’s People (ed. Brian Woolnough and Wonsuk Ma; Oxford: Regnum Books International, 2010), 3. [63] Barna Group, The Future of Missions (USA: Barna Group, 2020), 44. [64] Woolnough, “Good News for the Poor–Setting the Scene,” 6. [65] Woolnough, “Good News for the Poor–Setting the Scene,” 6-7. [66] Mombo, “From Fourfold Mission to Holistic Mission: Towards Edinburgh 2010,” 43. [67] Mombo, “From Fourfold Mission to Holistic Mission: Towards Edinburgh 2010,” 46. [68] Mombo, “From Fourfold Mission to Holistic Mission: Towards Edinburgh 2010,” 46. [69] Mombo, “From Fourfold Mission to Holistic Mission: Towards Edinburgh 2010,” 43. [70] Mombo, “From Fourfold Mission to Holistic Mission: Towards Edinburgh 2010,” 44. [71] Spencer, “Robert Woodberry.” [72] John 10:10, NIV. [73] Spencer, “Robert Woodberry.”

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2 Comments


A Schmidt
A Schmidt
Jul 22, 2023

Thanks for this Nick. It’s a timely and important topic. I’m Métis and I know a lot of Anglican and Catholic Christians who are grateful for 400 years (+) of Christian missions in Canada. No matter how flawed some of the people involved were, Jesus saves.

Some biographies I’ve read that give insight into missions in the Americas include the lives of Jean de Brébeuf; Isaac Jogues; Kateri Tekakwitha; Juan Diego; Bartolomé de las Casas; Bishop Vital Grandin; and most recently published, “Black Elk: Colonialism And Lakota Catholicism.”

Thanks again Nick. JC S

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Nick Kadun
Nick Kadun
Jul 31, 2023
Replying to

Thanks for sharing, JC. I'll be sure to check out the authors you've mentioned.

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