Fred Farrokh reviews ‘Living among the Breakage’ in IJFM

Fred Farrokh recently reviewed Living among the Breakage: Contextual Theology-making and ex-Muslim Christians for the International Journal of Frontier Missiology (33:3, Fall of 2016).

I am happy to see such positive and insightful comments. Here is a brief section:

Duane Miller has entered the world of ex-Muslim Christians. It is not a simple world, but a complex one of trauma and breakage, trial and triumph. Through his research, Miller must be commended for not only identifying the key issues facing CMBs, but probing the very pain and open shame that sets the backdrop against which CMB life is painted. Indeed, Miller has painted a picture of CMBs who share with Jesus both the fellowship of His sufferings and the irrepressible power of His resurrection. (p. 141)

Read an entire PDF of the review at the IJFM website.

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Al Fadi interviews Duane Miller, Pt 1

I had the pleasure to be interviewed by Al Fadi, founder and president of The Center for Islamic Research & Awareness (CIRA International).

In this interview Al Fadi, host of the “Let us Reason” podcast, asks me about my new book Living among the Breakage: Contextual Theology-making and ex-Muslim Christians (or here for the Kindle version).

The interview begins with Al Fadi asking me about my own conversion to Christianity, and then about what motivated me to learn about Islam and then research religious conversion from Islam to Christianity. Here the great story about a church of MBBs that was planted accidentally! (At 14 minutes or so.) Near the end he asks about the main factor that attracts some Muslims to the Christian faith.

The podcast was published on December 31st of 2016. You can find the original at iTunes, or just listen to it right here:

Bp Bill Musk on ‘Living among the Breakage’

Here is what the Rt. Rev. Dr. Bill Musk wrote about Living among the Breakage, my new book on contextual theology-making and ex-Muslim Christians:

“How do you discern theology-in-the-making, especially among Christian believers from a Muslim background? Miller suggests that the activity together of such a Christian group may yield some insight. He looks at a specific instance of church planting, but sadly concludes that the theology-making there is going nowhere because of a static state of patronage that is being perpetuated among the leadership. Elsewhere Miller looks at conversion and persecution narratives deriving from Christian believers from a Muslim background, discerning within them what he calls ‘liberation’ and ‘wisdom’ theologies. Such narratives are widespread. Within a specific, Iranian-originated fellowship, Miller finds an intentional emphasis on ‘Persian-ness’ with a corresponding hostility to what is perceived as Arabo-Islamic contaminations. Out of his research Miller finds some common theological themes: dissatisfaction with the theory of penal substitution (maybe deriving from an Islamic perspective on the responsibility/accountability of the individual to God); messiness around matters of ‘church’ (including the importance of baptism, the lack of welcome/family feel in immature churches, and the paucity of strong leadership); and the re-formation of identity in experiences of rapid cultural change, minority status as ‘Christian,’ persecution, etc.). Overall, Miller iterates a suggestion that theology-making among Christian believers from a Muslim background needs to find focus in an understanding/emphasis on God’s power (the essential face of a ‘Monad’ god) as finding envelopment within and best expression through God’s love (the essence of ‘Trinity’). Miller’s search is for precious expressions of Christian hope among the breakage of often poor, struggling communities of believers. It is amazing what he does find there!”
–Right Reverend Dr. Bill Musk

Living among the Breakage: Contextual Theology-making and ex-Muslim Christians

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to share with you all that my book Living among the Breakage: Contextual Theology-making and ex-Muslim Christians is now available for purchase. PICKWICK_Template

Here is the ‘about’ summary from the publisher page:

Around the world people are leaving Islam for Christianity in unprecedented numbers. This book seeks to look into the world of some of these converts, trying to discern the shape of their newfound faith. Why do they convert? What challenges do they face? And ultimately, what do they in their own complex and sometimes difficult circumstances claim to have understood about God that, while in Islam, they had not? In other words, what is the content of their contextual theology? In seeking to answer these questions, Miller looks into the world of an unintentional church plant in the Arab world consisting of believers from a Muslim background, visits with groups of Iranian converts in the diaspora, and examines the written testimonies of still other converts. In a world where Muslim-Christian relations are increasingly important and sometimes tendentious, this book examines the lived faith and contextual theology of people who have chosen to leave Islam and embrace Christianity.

Buy the book or read reviews at the publisher page HERE or get the Kindle version HERE.

Defending my thesis/dissertation

Today I defended my doctoral thesis/dissertation at Edinburgh University. My external examiner was Dr. Philip Lewis from the University of Bradford, and my internal examiner was Professor Jolyon Mitchell.

I will of course share the final version when that is done. Having received my corrections I plan on submitting the corrected version before the year end. This is good news.

UPDATE: the corrected version has been submitted to the university, and you can download it HERE or HERE.

Contextual Theology-making and ex-Muslim Christians: abstract and PDF

This is the abstract to my doctoral thesis, Living among the Breakage: Contextual Theology-making and ex-Muslim Christians (University of Edinburgh, unpublished doctoral thesis, 2014):

Abstract

Since the 1960’s there has been a marked increase in the number of known conversions from Islam to Christianity. This thesis asks whether certain of these ex-Muslim Christians engage in the process of theology-making and, if so, it asks what these theologies claim to know about God and humans’ relation to God.

Utilizing the dialectic of contextuality-contextualization of Shoki Coe, and the sociology of theological knowledge of Robert Schreiter, the thesis seeks to answer these questions by the use of two case studies and an examination of some of the texts written by ex-Muslim Christians. Lewis Rambo’s theory of religious conversion and Steven Lukes’ theory of power will be used to clarify the changing dynamics of power which have helped to foster modern contexts wherein an unprecedented number of Muslims are both exposed to the Christian message and, if they choose to do so, able to appropriate it through religious conversion.

The two case studies are of a Christian community which founded a Muslim-background church in the Arabophone world and some Iranian Christian congregations in the USA and UK Diaspora.

Aspects of the contexts of these believers are investigated in some detail, including motives for religious conversion, numbers and locations of the converts, how apostates may be treated by Muslims, changes in migration and communications, and the Christian concept of religious conversion.  The concept of inculturation which helps to describe the meeting of a specific community with the Christian message will aid in analyzing the communities and individuals being studied.

The final chapter brings together the various threads which have been raised throughout the thesis and argues that ex-Muslim Christians are engaged in theology-making, that areas of interest to them include theology of the church, salvation and baptism, and that the dominant metaphor in these theologies is a conceptualization of love and power that sees the two divine traits as inseparable from each other; they represent a knowledge about who God is and what he is like, which, in their understanding, is irreconcilable with their former religion, Islam.

(End)

The thesis is now available in print and be purchased from the publisher or at Amazon.

Also note that the bibliography can be found at my Academia page.