Barth and modern Western mission

“But Christianity was now represented as a better foundation for philosophy and morality, as a better satisfaction of ultimate needs, as a better actualisation of the supreme ideals of modern man, than any of its various competitors. Just at this time and on these presuppositions, and supported by the Jesuits and the Protestant Pietists, there was a comprehensive re-adoption of the missionary task of the Christian Church. The result was a fresh confrontation of Christianity with the non-Christian religions. . . And the debate whether the aim of the mission was the representing of an Americo-European or the founding of an autochthonous [indigenous] African and Asiatic Christianity, could not help towards a solution of the hidden difficulty that either way the main concern was the “glory” of this or that Christianity in its relation fo the needs and postulates of man.” (I/2, 336, emphasis added)

Do you think Barth’s characterization is fair? What is the problem of seeing Christianity in a comparative manner with other religions (or ideologies)? More importantly, are we doing our mission based on an imperialistic understanding of our religion?


2 thoughts on “Barth and modern Western mission

  1. dpredie

    how can we make it bigger, faster, better? dont mind if its wrong, we need to make it better!

    better man vs new man?

    to be better is to go west. (and north? – autocritique)

    1. septian Post author

      what happens now of course is that many people think that Christianity is actually a worse foundation of philosophy and morality, as a worse satisfaction of ultimate needs, and as a worse actualisation of the supreme ideals of modern man, so, by using the same line of thought, they don’t see why it’s worth to keep..

      (and then the church starts to compete again, hence baptism of many secular forms..)


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