Thursday, 2 September 2010

A New Imperialism?

Dr Mouneer Anis
It is hard to know what to make of this. On one level it makes a good deal of sense that Africa, with its burgeoning Christian population and energy, will change Christianity, including the Western Churches. However, as reported it sounds a little too triumphalistic, even imperialistic. The missionary activity of African Churches in other countries will, presumably, be working with the churches in those countries, wouldn't it? Well ... given the actions of some Anglican African dioceses, one could be excused for thinking not. Some might say that it would be poetic justice if the shoe were on the other foot after the centuries of western ecclesial imperialism in Africa. While this is true, it would also be a possible example of the way in which human sin is ingrained across the generations, races and cultures. Original Sin, in other words.

A more nuanced response came from the Archbishop of Canterbury when he says that "God raises up different countries and cultures in different seasons to bear witness to his purpose in a specially marked way, and it may be that this is indeed his will for Africa in the years ahead."


  1. A Compass report about the African Church a couple of months ago was touting the fact that the locus of the Church had shifted.
    While this may be true, it also seemed to me that one of the things it didn't critique was the fact that what seemed to be happening was that Africa was embracing the Christendom paradigm that the West has been trying to sinful I would suggest, and certainly unscriptural

  2. It's strange. But I suppose sin is like that: it just keeps playing over and over.

  3. I have never heard the word sin mentioned as often as I have since I went back to church. No wonder people are leaving. Life is interesting enough without constantly being hammered with the word sin.
    A new way of approaching the sin concept is required if the church is to survive.