Celebrating 25 years of ministry for Anglican Frontier Missions: *Shadows from Light Unapproachable*

Shadows from Light Unapproachable:

AFM’s Silver Anniversary Book

Tad de Bordenave, ed.

We are familiar with shadows and signs of God’s work in many places in the world.  The focus of this book, however, is on shadows overlooked or not recognized. These shadows come from the Gospel spreading to each and every ethnic group. Shadows of Light Unapproachabledraws the mind’s eye to behold the beauty of the searching love deep in the heart of “Light Unapproachable.”

The book traces the origins, the people, and the continuing foundations of Anglican Frontier Missions at its 25th year. I open my chapter with this brief profile of AFM: “The passion of AFM is the humbled and amazed awe before the slender glance we have of the love of God. The direction of our path is to those who do not yet know of this love.”

CoverThe ensuing chapters describe the way this missionary society has served God’s vision. They cover the basic questions of who,where, and how.

For the who, three chapters give transparent stories of ordinary people called into this ministry. One traces a couple’s very surprising call to Nepal. Another describes the strategic efforts by a creative husband and wife to plant the first church in a remote population. A third gives the adventures of a couple carrying out pastoral care for the missionaries in very far-flung areas.

The where takes us to about a dozen countries and ethnic groups within them. The dominant religions in these are Buddhist, Communist, traditional religions, Hindu, and Islam. Missionaries recount their challenges, their persevering efforts, and the support of God directly and through his church.

The how comes in two ways. First, we are given deep insights into the major religious forces of today. One who interacts with Muslims and teaches Islamics gives a clear analysis of Islam and Muslim goals. Two workers in India tell of their strategies among ethnic groups in highly resistant areas of that great country. We read of the remarkable missionary expansion of the Diocese of Singapore, initiated about the same time as AFM.

The other section on howcomes from three essays that uncover what are called “the treasures of Anglicanism in the world of frontier mission.” These chapters show the application of the plain essences of our tradition and the enormous advantages they bring to the world of church planting in frontier settings. These chapters will increase our appreciation for what may be familiar in our tradition but will become more valued in this new light.

Chris Royer begins his Introduction with Yogi Berra’s wisdom that if you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up somewhere else. In fact, as Chris goes on to say, AFM follows a vision that is not our own. He states this clearly in his final chapter, titled “Pressing Onward,” where he concludes with the hope and the future of AFM:

And so, AFM’s vision remains unchanged from our founding days: to mobilize the church to pray for and send missionaries to the largest and least-evangelized people groups and geographical regions, that churches might be established among all the 16,833 ethnolinguistic nations on our planet. Before this became our vision, it was Christ’s vision. And human history is marching forward toward the fulfillment of this vision: ‘With your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.  You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth’ (Revelation 5:9-10, New International Version).

Hallelujah!  Amen.

Shadows from Light Unapproachable (Northumberland Historical Press, 2018) is available through Amazon.com. Read the Table of Contents here. Download the press release here.

The above press release is by the Rev. Tad de Bordenave. I was privileged to contribute a chapter titled “The World of Islam”. Download the PDF here: Duane Miller The World of Islam.

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In Belgium at the Continental Theological Seminary

What a joy to be in the Belgian countryside a little way outside of Brussels at the Continental Theological Seminary. The seminary’s research center invited me to present an intensive one-week course on Islam and Muslim refugees.

The place has really impressed me. The tuition is affordable and most students live on campus. Indeed, many of them contribute to the upkeep of the buildings, the grounds, and the dining hall. All of that with accredited degrees at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

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Stephen Bedard interviews me on Islam & Christianity

Some time ago Stephen J. Bedard, blogger at Hope’s Reason, reviewed my book Two Stories of Everything. Stephen is a pastor, teacher, blogger, author, disability advocate and a promoter of discipleship.

As a follow up of that interview, he interviewed me recently for his podcast. Listen to the whole interview here and check out the other resources at his blog. I really enjoyed talking with Stephen and I think you’ll enjoy the podcast.

Launching an Arabic-language Fellowship in Madrid

[…] A dear friend and colleague who is a minister with the Assemblies of God was returning to Spain after an extended stay back in the States — fundraising, you know. He got a flat in the neighborhood next to ours, which is […] one of the main centers of Islamic presence in the city. We started weekly prayer walks. He joined a church in that neighborhood, and the pastor was excited about the idea of reaching Muslims with the gospel. Redeemer is in a great neighborhood for reaching young secular Spaniards, but not Muslims.

Sharon and I are both proficient in Arabic. I can teach and play guitar, she sings well. Why not give this a try? I asked. Dan had connections with local leaders as well as a ministry in the city center reaching Muslims, and my wife and I had the language skills. We prayed. Doors opened.

Read the rest over at Covenant, the blog of The Living Church.

Don Warrington reviews *Two Stories of Everything* for Global Missiology

On of my favorite online journals is Global Missiology. I have published reviews and articles for the publication over the years, both in English and Spanish.

I am glad to share that Dr. Don Warrington of the University of Tennessee has recently reviewed the book for that journal.

Here is part of the review:

Miller’s narrative is crisp, clear, informative, sweeping, thoughtful, and to the point. He is able to include many details on the specific beliefs and practices both of Christianity and of Islam without getting bogged down in their internal variations (which are considerable.) It is hard to envision a better summary of the two faiths juxtaposed than this one. It is a valuable addition to the literature on the subject, and one hopes that it gets the dissemination that it well deserves.

Read it all HERE.

Willa Cather’s *Death Comes for the Archbishop*

Death Comes for the ArchbishopDeath Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Enchanting, profound, elegiac, epic, beautiful. As a man with a PhD in Divinity and professor at a seminary I will tell you that the missiology and anthropology of religion in this book is penetrating and deep. As a priest and pastor I found it incredibly moving, sometimes to the point of tears.

Anyone interested in the history of the West of the USA or missiology should read this book or listen to the audio version.

View all my reviews

Forming a firm identity: The pastoral challenge for ex-Muslim Christians

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Photo by AMISOM Public Information – Flickr, CC0, Link  Mogadishu, Somalia

I recently attended a consultation in East Africa. Our goal was to formulate a strategy for evangelizing the unreached of East Africa and the Horn Africa, almost all Muslims. This talk was my own contribution to the consultation and was well received. It is an expansion of an earlier talk I gave in November of 2017.

I begin by arguing that persecution is not the main pastoral challenge for converts, rather is the formation of a firm, new Christian identity. I found this in my own research presented in Living among the Breakage (2016), and earlier research by Kathryn Kraft (2013) and Seppo Syrjänen (1984) contain similar findings.

Here I present ten points that can be used for people counseling and providing guidance for Christ’s converts from Islam:

A Firm Identity in Christ: The Pastoral Challenge for ex-Muslim Christians