Eddie and Sue Arthur

Who is Driving?

I love this quote from David Smith:

However, it would be a grave mistake for Christians in the West to imagine that they are somehow in a position to predict, far less to control, the precise shape and nature of the twenty-first century Christianity which is emerging with its centre of gravity firmly located among the poor peoples of the Southern hemisphere. As the churches in Africa, Latin America and Asia mature and seek for biblical answers to the pressing issues that arise in contexts charactarized by poverty, sickness and oppression, their theologies and spiritualities are likely to take unpredictable forms and will pose questions for believers in the West that are likely to be profoundly challenging and disturbing. Thus while the emergence of ‘World Christianity’ begins to look like a phenomenon of world historical importance, it would be deeply misleading to interpret it as nothing more than an extension across the globe of the kind of revivalist religion made in America and at home with Western cultural and economic values.

From Against the stream p. 63.

The problem is, that from where I’m sitting, many Western agencies are trying to control the development of World Christianity; either by uncritically importing teaching and methods from the West which are not directly relevant in the new context, or (more sinisterly) by removing funding when Christians in other parts of the world don’t conform to what is expected of them.

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