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In die Skriflig

On-line version ISSN 1018-6441

Abstract

KOMMERS, Johan. The enquiry and the Serampore 'Form of Agreement: William Carey as mission strategist for the 21st century. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2013, vol.47, n.1, pp. 284-294. ISSN 1018-6441.

Worldwide attention has been given to William Carey's 250th birthday in 2011. He is remembered today as a man of distinguished importance for his work in India and his vision for missions. Though his life has been the subject of more than fifty biographies and case studies, it is difficult to view him under one common denominator. He has been called the 'founder and father of modern missions' (Smith 1885:437) and 'a great statesman, a skilled botanist and a real friend of Bengal and the rest of India' (Davis 1963:73). In all aspects he was a pioneer. Distinguishing him from others, we see that his mission work is deeply rooted in a variety of secular disciplines. His work indicates a turning point (Neill 1982:261) in 19th-century mission work. The religious crisis in the Western churches has led to a loss of conviction that belief in Christ Jesus is vital, and that without faith in Him people are lost. We ask the question, 'Why does Carey still feature in the world of missions today?' We wrong ourselves when we do not listen to his voice, because it has been said that 'in the whole history of the church no nobler man has ever given himself so fully to the service of the Redeemer' (Neill et al. 1971:83). He had a vision1 for missions, but also a concrete plan for the realisation of this vision. For the 21st century Carey with his mission principles is a modern mission strategist.

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