It is common for apostates from Islam, and especially for converts to Christianity, to be construed as betraying their people. This reality comes across quite clearly in the many autobiographical books written by CMBs, that there was a genuine struggle for them in formulating and explaining that while they had left Islam, they were still loyal citizens of their nation. The intention of the two pastors in selecting Church history was, I suspect, to provide the CMBs with the historical resources whereby an intelligent and informed answer could be given to the question, “Why have you betrayed your people by leaving Islam.”
A few weeks ago I was asked to write on whether Anglicans value mission as much as evangelical Christians. That article was published today. Here is an excerpt:
Matter matters. Anglicanism is firm—in all its traditions—on this point. God made stuff, and it was good. God in his sovereign election has elected certain primordial pan-cultural things to operate as portals of his own saving presence and activity.
These things are humble: wine, bread, water, hands, man-and-woman, oil. All of this flows from and to the proclamation of the resurrection of all flesh. We don’t become angels. After our death our souls long to be reunited with our bodies in the new creation.
Anglican mission is not ashamed of this. Indeed, it is a great strength because the fundamental sacramental principal—that matter matters—is deeply ingrained in every human. Though yes, some of us in the West have somehow managed to deceive ourselves and believe the contrary.
The sacrament is the symbol that effectuates what it means; God binds himself to the sacraments, though he is not bound by them.
It’s always interesting to read reviews of books one helped write. In his 2018 review of Arab Evangelicals in Israel, co-authored with Azar Ajaj and Phil Sumpter, Daniel Hummel concludes with these words:
Undoubtedly, one accomplishment of Arab Evangelicals in Israel is bringing to the fore a community that most Americans and Europeans—including many scholars—are unacquainted with. Their small numbers and marginal social posi- tion notwithstanding, Arab evangelicals sit at the intersection of numerous fault lines in Middle Eastern and Israeli-Palestinian history. Arab Evangelicals in Isra- el offers a sympathetic introduction to this community that awaits more sustained and thorough treatment.
This review was published in the journal Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations (13:1). Read the PDF right here.
Jeff Morton has recently reviewed my book Two Stories of Everything (Credo House, 2018) for the Journal of Global Christianity.
Here is one section:
Miller’s presentation of Islam’s story is spot on. He oﬀers us a conservative, orthodox, Sunni version of Islam; since this would include the majority of Muslims, it is a wise choice. The heartbeat of each of the two metanarratives, as he sees it, is anthropology. I think this will surprise most readers. Why? One might suppose the doctrine of God is the essential and deﬁning doctrine of any religion. Yet Miller takes an approach that is anthropocentric. It is each religion’s view of human beings that directs the story, he claims. God may have initiated the story, but the object of divine action is humankind – essentially true for both Christianity and Islam. Let the reader not be surprised; I am conﬁdent Miller will win you over in the end…
Some time ago I wasn’t contacted by the leadership of Voice of the Martyrs based here in Seoul, Korea. This morning I presented the graduation address (or commencement speech, as they call it in the USA) to a group of North Korean Christians and guests. Three of them had completed the six-month discipleship program, two of them were being commissioned as missionaries, and two had completed the full three-year program called Underground University.
The bible text is Ephesians 3:1–6. It is presented in English with ongoing translation to Korean. The graphs I reference are found here.
Here is the audio, and as always your questions or comments are welcome.