Edinburgh 1910 World Missions Conference

100 years ago a conference on world missions was held in the beautiful city of Edinburgh, in Scotland. These prescient words were issued by the Commission of the conference afterward:

Edinburgh 1910 in Comission I

“It is a testing time for the Church. If it neglects to meet successfully the present world crisis by failing to discharge its responsibility to the whole world, it will weaken its power both on the home and foreign fields and seriously handicap its mission to the coming generations. Nothing less than the adequacy of Christianity as a world religion is on trial.”

So was the church successful? Or did the church over the last century fail? Remember, Edinburgh had representatives from all Protestant traditions (including high-church Anglicans), but not from the Catholics or Orthodox.


Don said…
I think that the Spirit of God has been successful in the last century, but the church is another matter altogether.

The fact that the "home" and "foreign" fields are now reversing themselves should give some idea that the mission impulse has been more successful than the churches that attended this conference ever dreamed of. Or wanted.

One thing that living a life for Jesus has done to me is sour me on institutions and institutionalism. We need institutions as instruments to fulfil the mission. But when they become the real objective they're in the way.

It's also worthy of note that the whole concept of "Christian civilisation" is going out the window, esp. in the places where it seemed impregnable (Scotland itself is Exhibit #1.)

"Foxes have holes," answered Jesus, "and wild birds their roosting-places, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head."
(Matthew 8:20) These days, neither does Christianity. So we are thus prepared to follow our Master most perfectly.

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