Edinburgh 2010 receives support from a wide spectrum of churches and organisations. Here is what global leaders and mission experts are saying about Edinburgh 2010.
Prof. Dr. Dana L. Robert
Boston University School of Theology
"As we celebrate the centennial of the World Missionary Conference at Edinburgh, 1910, we seek to deepen and strengthen its prophetic vision of worldwide, multi-cultural Christian unity - a unity marked by shared passion to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. The memory of Edinburgh 1910 reminds us that we are ambassadors of hope, confident in the power of God's love despite our limitations in a world of pain and injustice."
Prof. John. S. Pobee
Professor Emeritus at the University of Ghana
Former President of the International Association for Mission Studies
"Edinburgh 2010 revisits the mission and ecumenical imperatives of the Gospel in changed times - the South as the new heartlands of Christianity, vibrant and growing African Initiatives in Christianity, the Pentecostal Movement, the unprecedented communications revolution, and serious threats to well-being and peace. In this new global context Edinburgh 2010 represents a renewed search for vital, vibrant and viable mission and ecumenism - with the motto of authentic spirituality."
Rev. Prof. Kyo Seong Ahn
Presbyterian College and Theological Seminary, South Korea
"As for non-Westerner Christians, the 1910 World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh signalled the rise of national churches, although the number of their delegates was negligible and its significance was not fully appreciated at the time. The ecclesiastical change over the last 100 years can be epitomized as 'the shift of the gravity of Christianity' and 'the emergence of Southern Christianity.' It is hoped that reflecting faithfully this new reality, the centennial meeting grows into a genuine cross-reference meeting between West and non-West."
Sister Mary Motte FMM
Mission consultant and former President of the American Society of Missiology
"The centenary of Edinburgh 1910 emphasizes a new path for ecumenism and mission now including Orthodox and Roman Catholic voices along with those of various Protestant traditions. Insights of persons from different cultures, varied styles of worship, shared respect for God's Word and a search to understand how God is acting in our times have increased our common ground. Our friendships have unfolded deeper levels of spirituality and energized our search for unity in face of differences. We can no longer speak adequately of mission and discipleship from only one tradition. And the journey continues as we celebrate Edinburgh 2010!"
Prof. Jesse N. K. Mugambi
University of Nairobi
"This Centenary of the WMC at Edinburgh in June 2010 reminds me that the capital cities of the sovereign nations of Tropical Africa are the headquarters of numerous Christian denominations, most of which were introduced into Africa through the modern missionary enterprise especially after the first WMC in 1910. This missionary legacy still lingers on. African Christianity is vibrant at home, but not yet outgoing in missionary outreach. The factors inhibiting missionary expansion from Africa are various, including tutelage, self-awareness, policy, personnel, resources and immigration restrictions. Ironically, this continent with large numbers of Christian adherents has the least involvement in missionary outreach. Europe and North America, with the lowest active per capita church membership, are the source of the largest missionary outreach into Tropical Africa and other regions. This anomaly is attributable to the availability of surplus capital in the North Atlantic and its unavailability in tropical Africa. Without surplus capital missionary outreach is impossible. Missionary outreach from Africa will grow before the second Centenary of WMC, as the economy of this continent expands."
Prof. Andrew F. Walls
Liverpool Hope University
The Edinburgh Conference of 1910 was the high water mark of the missionary movement from the West. Now we are in a new phase of Christian history, with Africa, Asia and Latin America at the centre. The Conference of 1910 fostered Christian co-operation across confessional and national boundaries; brought a renaissance of mission studies (Statistical Atlas, International Review of Mission, Muslim World, etc), saw a compelling vision of God's Kingdom, and let to crucial initiatives , even (e.g. in Latin America) where the conference itself was silent. All these we need now; may the events of June lead us to them once more.
Prof. Samuel Escobar
Baptist Seminary Madrid, Spain
"Edinburgh 2010 is an evidence of the vitality of the Christian missionary movement. During the century since the great event of 1910 the Christian Church has become a truly global community. The Spirit of God has been in action. Not everything happened the way those present in 1910 dreamed and planned but this has been a century of advance. The process of reflection that has been taking place for a couple of years, as a preparation for the 2010 meeting, shows that there is a commitment to reflect on experience. I hope and pray that the meeting will be a time for thanksgiving and dreaming."
Rev. Prof. Dr. Viorel Ionita
Director of Churches in Dialogue Commission
Conference of European Churches
"The centenary of the 1910 World Mission Conference means first of all for me an exercise to look back at the origins of the Ecumenical Movement. Nevertheless, this centenary should not be a simply anniversary, not simply a looking back exercise, but also a moment for a new vision. In order to be able to develop a new vision for the Ecumenical Movement in the 21st century one cannot avoid learning from what happened during the last hundred years. How to best combine these two aspects of the centenary is one of the most significant aspect of the event next June in Edinburgh."
Dr. Jonathan Bonk
Executive Director, Overseas Ministries Study Centre
"For Western Protestant missions, Edinburgh 1910 was rightly deemed to be an epochal event, pointing to things to come. But most of those things never came - at least not in ways that convention and history had taught them to expect. What actually happened could not possibly have been forecast. In the one hundred years since, the growth of Christianity has been exciting, exponential, and bewildering - a far cry from the checkered outcomes of human missiologies. Who could have predicted that Africa would become Christianity's new demographic heartland; that Korean churches, among the 'least of these' one hundred years ago, would emerge as today's most dynamically enterprising and spiritually vital missionary force; that Christianity across the continents, irrespective of ecclesiological pedigree, would be infused and revitalized by charismatic movements; that the faith’s venerable European heartlands would cede to secularism? And so on it goes. The Edinburgh 1910 centenary events this year provide a splendid opportunity for all of us - whatever our vantage point - to take stock of where we are, and to give humble thanks that no human agency can take the credit for what the Holy Spirit has done and continues to do throughout the world."
Dr. Risto Ahonen
Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission
"The 1910 Edinburgh World Missionary Conference, in spite of its failings, left a valuable legacy to succeeding generations: the vision of Christianity as a global faith, with the spread of the Gospel among all nations and the contribution of each of those nations to a more profound understanding of Christian faith.
It may be asked whether this vision or any part of it has been fulfilled. In my view, much has indeed been fulfilled. Admittedly, with the forces of evil raging in the very heartlands of Christian faith during the two world wars, the vision seemed to be failing completely. We had to comprehend the superficiality of human-centred religion before we could find the one sure foundation for mission, God’s mission.
The Edinburgh 1910 vision of global Christianity has begun to be achieved ever more practically in geographical, cultural, theological and also ecumenical terms. At Edinburgh 2010 we will be, even more than in 1910, on the brink of a new era. The astonishing new rise of Christianity and the shift of its demographic centre of gravity to the South have brought with them significant changes, which no one anticipated. As yet unanswered questions have arisen concerning the nature of the global church and global theology, the new division of labour between North and South, the power of the whole Gospel to bring about transformation in society and the content of the witness of faith.
Edinburgh 2010 has become in world mission symbolic of the interpretation of historical turning-points and the shaping of the vision of the future in the same way as its predecessor 100 years ago. The status of Edinburgh 2010 is reinforced by the fact that many of the best interpreters of this process, in particular Andrew F. Walls, are found in Scottish mission."