What I Read Online – 05/17/2012 (p.m.)

18 May
    • The Muslim students came away from the missionary’s Easter message excited. In small group discussion afterward, one missionary asked his group, “What did you like about that message?” He was not prepared for the answer. One of the Muslim participants said, “We are happy to hear that the teacher is so close to becoming a Muslim!” They were impressed that he had such knowledge, respect, and interest in the Qur’an. It seemed to boost their confidence in the power of their holy book and in their Muslim faith. This was not the message the missionaries hoped to communicate.
    • We now ask all of our missionary candidates seeking to reach Muslims for Christ to answer these questions and to offer their biblical rationale for their answers. We find that this allows the missionary candidates to think through the issues before accepting (uncritically) a packaged training on Muslim evangelism with claims of amazing results.
    • At the same time, we also recognize the potential for dangerous misunderstandings as a result of certain contextualization strategies. Therefore, we believe that it is of strategic importance for our missionaries to articulate the biblical values that guide their missiological practices, particularly as it relates to gospel contextualization among Muslims.
    • We believe that some level of contextualization is necessary for the gospel to be effectively proclaimed and understood across ethno-linguistic cultural barriers
    • How will you help a new believer express his identity in Christ within his community?
    • In your ministry context, what aspects of the local culture may be retained, and which aspects must be rejected?
    • As a minister of the gospel, how will you communicate your identity in Christ to those whom you seek to minister among?
    • How will you communicate the identity of Jesus in the language and culture of the context in which you minister?
    • The identity of Jesus is at the center of the gospel
    • The confession that Jesus is the Christ, Son of the living God, first ventured by Peter at Caesarea Philippi (Mt 16:16), is the heart of the Christian faith. This confession makes one a Christian, and all Christian theology is thinking in the light of this confession. The first major theological decision of the church resulting from such believing thought was the affirmation of the essential deity of Jesus as the Son of God. As such he was declared to be of one essence with the Father and the Spirit (the dogma of the Trinity promulgated at Nicaea, AD 325).
    • What will cross-bearing look like for new believers in your context? And in what ways are the new believers to be “salt and light” in their communities? Are new believers truly ready to suffer for Christ? How will you prepare them?
    • How will you present the gospel in such a way that Jesus is the stumbling block (not cultural practices, leadership style, dress, customs, habits)?
    • How will you proclaim the gospel with gentleness, respect, and with all boldness in your host context (especially in highly restricted areas)?
    • What role will the predominant holy books of the people (like the Qur’an) have in your ministry? How will you demonstrate the supreme and exclusive authority of the Bible among peoples whom revere other so-called sacred texts as the supreme authority?
    • How will you instruct the new believer in Christ regarding his/her involvement in former institutions of worship (like the mosque)?
    • One way or another, every church leader who support missions among Muslims needs to answer this question with regard to contextualization: how far is too far?
    • Piper also raises an important problem with the Insider Movement not always appreciated by its proponents: the staunch opposition of many Muslim-background believers who have sacrificed so much to follow Christ and reach their friends, family, and neighbors with the gospel.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Posted by on 18/05/2012 in Current Issues


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