lundi 5 avril 2004

This is interesting...

"...Belief in the middle level began to die in the 17th and 18th centuries with the growing acceptance of a Platonic dualism and of a science based on materialistic naturalism. The result was the secularization of science and the mystification of religion....Science was based on the certitudes of sense experience, experimentation and proof. Religion was left with faith in visions, dreams and inner feelings. Science sought order in natural laws. Religion was brought in to deal with miracles and exceptions to the natural order, but these decreased as scientific knowledge expanded.

It should be apparent why many missionaries trained in the West had no answers to the problems of the middle level - they often did not even see it. When tribal people spoke of fear of evil spirits, they denied the existence of the spirits rather than claim the power of Christ over them. The result, Lesslie Newbigin has argued, is that Western Christian missions have been one of the greatest secularizing forces in history...."

- Excerpt of "The Flaw of the Excluded Middle" by Paul G. Hiebert, from Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader 2002:414-421, first appearing in Missiology 10:35-47 January 1982 and originally from Anthropological Reflections on Missiological Issues, 1994, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

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