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zeal, wisdom, and John Allen Chau

November 26th, 2018 | 4 min read

By Matthew Loftus

Last week, an American missionary named John Allen Chau was killed as he tried to approach the inhabitants of North Sentinel Island. Both his own words and those of the mission organization that sent him confirm that he intended to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with this uncontacted tribe. Many people have already mentioned the risk of spreading diseases that this tribe (and the few others like it remaining in the world) have no immunity against, which in and of itself is a big ethical conundrum for missionaries. (I was unable to find any reflections on this in any Christian missions journals or websites and would love to read one if anyone has read one!)

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Matthew Loftus

Matthew Loftus teaches and practices Family Medicine in Baltimore and East Africa. His work has been featured in Christianity Today, Comment, & First Things and he is a regular contributor for Christ and Pop Culture. You can learn more about his work and writing at