Reflection by Andrew Walker
And so Lesslie has slipped away, leaving a wealth of personal memories and achievements almost too many to mention. His tireless work as a missionary in India, and particularly his role in the establishment of the Church of South India, seems set to stand the test of time. Lesslie will long be remembered by his friends in the Student Christian Movement, among Christian Socialists, the World Council of Churches, Pentecostal and Evangelical movements, and in recent years, The Gospel and Our Culture.
We could say much of the intellectual formation of Lesslie of his influence by Barth and Polanyi, for example or of his achievements of recent years in teaching us to become missionaries to our own culture. But for many of us, as we search for the right words to express the essential Lesslie Newbigin, what remains freshest in our minds was Lesslie's goodness. And yet behind that old-world English courtesy lay something even deeper than mere decency or even goodness: the only appropriate word seems to be holiness.
Dr Andrew Walker is Senior Lecturer in Theology and Education at King's College, London, and former Director of Gospel and Culture.
Andrew Walker | Iwan Russell-Jones
© Ship of Fools 1998