In many circles today, Christian missionary activity is regarded with suspicion, or even outright hostility. There have been numerous academic attempts to portray missionaries as cultural imperialists who possessed no appreciation of the people to whom they were supposed to be ministering. This book offers a more sympathetic appraisal of what actually took place by going back to the primary missionary sources. If there has been an uncritical hagiography in some missionary circles, it is equally true that there has been an overly critical secular misrepresentation of the missionary achievement. There are ambiguities in real life, and so the story is one of grace and heroism as well as tragedy and misdirection.
Peter Barnes is a Presbyterian pastor who lectured at the Presbyterian Bible College on Tangoa in Vanuatu in 1980-1983, and who now lectures in Church History at the Presbyterian Theological Centre in Sydney while ministering at Revesby. He has written many books, two of the most recent being John Calvin: Man of God’s Word and Lamp unto my Feet.