‘Cracks in the Foundation of Islam?’ by Duane Alexander Miller

Miller, Duane Alexander. 2009. ‘Cracks in the Foundation of Islam?’ in St Francis Magazine, Vol 5:3, pp 110-117.

Read it all at St Francis Magazine or at Scribd.

I am specifically reacting to (and disagreeing with) a portion of the ‘Camel Training Manual‘ in this article.

Here I challenge the idea that more missionaries is, in and of itself, better:

Increasing Missionary Force: I agree with the author that many more people are considering missionary work in the Muslim World than ever before.  But there are still some very real concerns: missionaries are like other professionals, meaning that today there is a real possibility of changing careers after a few years.  Is it really better to have five missionaries who are learning Arabic and getting familiar with the local culture and who will leave after five years than to have one missionary who has mastered the language and spent many years in the region?  It is an error to assume that more is better; indeed sometimes more is not better, as inexperienced short-term missionaries can at times create more trouble than benefit.  I would also point out that the now-popular short-term missions are a very resource-intensive (i.e., expensive) form of ministry that is generally speaking not a good fit for the Muslim world.  It is one thing to send folks to build a church in Mexico, it is another to send them to Morocco or Jordan or Pakistan.



Author: duanemiller

I was born in Montana and grew up in Colorado and Puebla (in Mexico). I completed a BA in philosophy at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and then an MA in theology at St Mary's University (also in San Antonio). Later life took me to Jordan where my wife and I studied Arabic, to Israel where I helped found a seminary, and to Scotland for doctoral work, among other places. I live in Madrid now where I teach and minister. I'm highly interested in the interactions of Islam, Christianity and secularism in modern contexts. My main areas of research for my PhD in divinity were religious conversion from Islam to Christianity, contextual theology, and the shari'a's treatment of apostates. I've also published research on global Anglicanism and the history of Anglican mission in the Ottoman Empire. I've had the pleasure of teaching in many places over the years: from Costa Rica to Turkey, and Kenya to Tunisia. I am at-large lecturer and researcher in Muslim-Christian relations at The Christian Institute of Islamic Studies (www.tciis.org), and deacon at the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer in Madrid, Spain. Visit my blog (duanemiller.wordpress.com) or academia.edu page for more information or to have me speak at your church, university or seminary.

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