Sunday, January 20, 2008

Missionary oppression and new concerns of faith

Brian McLaren will be in Dallas on February 22-23. I'm making my way through his latest book, Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope (Thomas Nelson, 2007).

There is no way to deal with McLaren and remain unchallenged. Here's an example of his honest analysis of Christian missionary action in the African colonial period. What he describes here occurred in Asia and South America, and, of course, in North American even earlier.

This dynamic interplay of truth and justice was captured by South African archbishop Desmond Tutu, echoing a similar statement by the first Kenyan president, Jomo Kenyatta: "When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land." I have been told that during the apartheid years, Archbishop Tutu, when speaking to white Christian leaders, would then hold up the Bible and say, Now, my brothers, based on this Bible you have given us, I call you to give us back our land!" (page 45)


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