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.
[…] 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.
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.
My colleague Spencer Reece and I recently had this brief article published in the magazine Anglican World. It is about some of the ministry going on here in Spain among Arabic-speaking migrants here.
Click Anglican World Article to read the PDF.
I’m glad to share a new article just published at the blog of The Living Church. I am basically asking why Anglicans have a concrete approach to music, theology, and architecture, but don’t seem to have anything like this when it comes to global mission. Here is the lead:
Like most Christians, we Anglicans tend to love our traditions and cherish our identity, from the prayer book and particular holy days, or to the very idea of being a via media, Reformed and Catholic at the same time. We are excited when a new church plant or satellite campus opens, and in some Anglican circles there has been a veritable revival in church planting in North America and the United Kingdom. We usually appreciate our diversity — that one can be catholic or evangelical or liberal, though the last decade has tested some important boundaries. We like to send our ordinands off to seminaries within our tradition, we read books by our tradition’s authors (though not exclusively, of course), and we even have our styles of architecture and hymnody.
But then something funny happens on the way to world evangelism. When it comes to cross-cultural missionary work, we quickly forget about our Anglican distinctives. This doesn’t happen in other areas, so why does it happen with cross-cultural and global mission?
Check it all out here.
Stephen J. Bedard has an excellent blog, Hope’s Reason, and solid presence on Twitter (@sjbedard).
I’m happy to share with you his recent review of my book Two Stories of Everything: The Competing Metanarratives of Islam and Christianity. Here’s one section:
There are a number of things that I appreciated about Miller’s book. One is that it is both a good introduction to Islam and also a nice summary of the Christian metanarrative. I also liked Miller’s honest and humble perspective. In his conclusion, Miller says, “I hope that I am as critical of Christianity as I am of Islam, and I see the umma doing a number of things correctly that I don’t see the Church, by and large, doing correctly” (p. 134). Two Stories of Everything is not a polemic against Islam, even though Miller is transparent about his own Christian faith. In addition, each chapter includes reflection questions and there is a handy glossary at the end of the book.
Go to his blog to read the whole review.
Fred Farrokh has recently published an article titled “Contextualization and ‘Encroachment’ in Muslim Evangelism”. Farrokh is introducing a new, specialised meaning of the word encroachment:
This essay introduces the concept of encroachment as another important fine-line tension which has emerged in ministry to Muslims. Encroachment occurs when Christian messengers enlist and redefine sacred Islamic texts, persons, and identifiers in a way that usurps from the indigenous communities those texts, persons, and identifiers.
Farrokh goes on to explore some popular missiologists’ encroachments—Kevin Higgins and Kevin Greeson being key among them. He also does a fine job showing that re-envisioning the ‘prophethood’ of Muhammad and filling the word ‘Muslim’ with a new meaning are also encroachments. He also mentions how the sword cuts both ways and notes some Muslim encroachments on Christian terms and vocabulary.
The fine insight behind the introduction of this new technical definition—something that has been stirring in my mind for some time—is that communities are the arbiters of their own boundaries. It is for Muslims to decide the meaning of the word Muslim. It is for Muslims to decide the significance of Muhammad being the “seal of the prophets”. It is not for Christian thinkers or missionaries, regardless of their intentions.
One can hope for thoughtful responses to Farrokh’s irenic and well-researched paper.