Most of us like an anniversary, and a centenary is about as good as it gets. This week saw the centenary of the 1910 Edinburgh Missionary Conference, when Christians of many nations and traditions gathered in Scotland’s capital under the bold theme of “evangelizing the world in this generation.”
Edinburgh 1910 is widely regarded as the birth of the global ecumenical movement, although of the 1200 delegates, only one was a black African, and only about 19 were from Asia.
What is perhaps most noteworthy a hundred years on is that Christianity is now very clearly a global, multicultural faith, reflecting the vision of Revelation 7:9 in which God’s children constitute a great multitude of believers “from every nation, tribe, people and language.”
And I think it is also true that the churches have a keener sense today of the balance between proclaiming the Christian message and promoting justice in a Christian context.
Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 13 June 2010.