Do missionaries destroy cultures?


I wrote a similar article previously. Perhaps this article here says it better.

eating.with.sinners

MissionsKenyaChristian mission work can get bad press. It’s not just the antagonists who oppose missions – the Christian church finds itself under attack from all sides, both within and without. And the missionary arm, that which extends understanding of God’s work in Jesus to others, is often the first stop for criticism. So it should come as no surprise that Christian mission is portrayed in many circles as destroying culture. But does it? And what is the best response to this kind of criticism?

Whatever else we say, a knee-jerk denial is useless and can be positively unhelpful– a deeper answer is needed. Let’s look at this on two fronts.

Firstly, the very concept of the destruction of culture. Like energy in Einsteinian physics, “culture” itself can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only change its form. Culture can be transformed, subsumed, fused with another, engulfed, enriched… but not…

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