A Response to Jonathan Ingleby’s Lectures

Author: Dr Cathy Ross, Mission Interchange Advisor, Church Mission Society (CMS)


I loved reading these lectures – how I wish I had been there to hear them! At last, a Westerner who can give an honest assessment and ask the hard questions concerning our past and contemporary engagement in mission.
Jonathan’s list of Western failures is honest and straightforward (finally, a Brit who offers honesty over politeness!) – we squirm because we know it is true. We are racist, we do lazily employ unhelpful stereotypes, we do consider ourselves the default setting with that unexpressed but somehow innate superiority (do I have a complex, coming from the Antipodes or is that superiority really there – you decide), we do secretly find immigrants difficult, we do believe in capitalism and so on.
Yes, Jonathan has really unpacked and exposed (some of) our weaknesses and how these weaknesses have harmed our engagement in mission. Yes, we have short memories – a Western luxury. They remember the demise of colonialism, we remember the fall of Communism. Yes, a solid enough analysis of our problem… and the solution? Would the South were “less like us” he posits.

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