How Empire and Colonialism Perverted Missions 

November 17, 2022

How Empire and Colonialism Perverted Missions 

Western missions were tied to imperialism and colonialism. Kai Steinman and Rebekah Mui discuss the interweaving of empire, Christendom, and mission with all its dark sides. At the same time, they call our attention to the beauty of Christ’s kingdom shining among the ashes.

The China Mirage by James Bradley

The Way of the Cross by Guy Hershberger

Rebekah discusses and quotes extensively from Hershberger’s book in this essay.

Stuart Murray, “After Christendom: Does the Label Matter?” 

Find more of Rebekah’s work at https://kingdomoutpost.org/

Episode Guest Info

Rebekah Mui

Besides her regular teaching job Rebekah Mui is an editor and prolific author for the Kingdom Outpost. She has an active research interest in the relationship between Christianity and empire and how this has played out in political theory.

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Kai Steinman

Kai Steinmann is a deacon at Marrowbone Christian Brotherhood in Burkesville Kentucky. He is involved in agricultural construction. He enjoys studying history and politics but is far more concerned with the church being the body of Christ.

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Episode Host

Marlin Sommers

Marlin and Meredith live with their five precious children in southeast Tennessee. Marlin has been trained in philosophy and carpentry, and enjoys pushing into other areas, such as mechanics and biblical Greek. Marlin works at Kingdom Channels and Anabaptist Perspectives in finance, communications, and other roles that are harder to describe. He is slowly endeavoring to put his public brain on his website marlin.work.

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Jason Yutzy

1 year ago

I realize the episode was short and perhaps if the participants had more time, they would have talked about this, but isn’t it kind of a fallacy to assume an empire builder is doing what he is doing for the reasons he gives? The historical examples given, particularly the US in the Philippines, has always seemed to me to be an example of using missions as a fig leaf to justify empire building. How do we differentiate between stated goals and actual reasons driving actions?

Marlin Sommers

1 year ago

Good questions. No doubt missions is sometimes used as a mere figleaf. Other times, and I find this almost as troubling, the two get merged together, as when Christianity and “civilization” were so closely connected. And then there is the lingering challenge for us to ponder. How do we best avoid these temptations in our own mission efforts?

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