Tuesday, 1 December 2009

New Book Outlines the Revolutionary Effect of Christianity on Mission Fields

The religion that Jesus Christ established changes both individuals and societal structures. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

Christianity can change both individuals and the structures of society. In her new book Christian Mission: How Christianity Became A World Religion, (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), Dr. Dana L. Robert, an expert on missions history, shows how lady missionaries promoted the welfare of women and brought about societal reforms in Asian and African villages.

Dr. Robert says that these brave pioneers

- established thousands of orphanages and schools
- medicated women in cultures in which male doctors refused to treat female patients
- fought for women’s rights
- resisted prostitution and child marriages
- protested against the killing of widows in India
- campaigned against foot-binding in China
- resisted women’s circumcision in Africa
- tried to prevent honour killings in the Middle East

Such radicalism should not astonish us. According to the New Testament, Christianity is a revolutionary faith. Writing to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul said, ”Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Cor. 5:17).

This radical message is no mere theory; it motivated these missionaries to resist societal ills.

Atheists and freethinkers who are eager to notice the shortcomings of Christians would definitely benefit by discovering how the gospel makes this world into a better place.

Perhaps even the worldview of Richard Dawkins might change a little bit, were he to have the courage to read Dr. Robert’s book.


Carpenter, Joel. 2009. Bridging the Local and the Global. ChristianHistory.net. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/booksandresources/reviews/bridgingthelocalandtheglobal.html