Last year my book Living among the Breakage: Contextual Theology-making and ex-Muslim Christians was published by Pickwick.
I sat down with Dr. Marthe Curry, director of the Department of World Mission based out of San Antonio, Texas, to talk about it. That interview has now been published in Global Missiology (15:1). Here is an excerpt:
MC: Why do MBBs [Muslim-background believers] seem to be more comfortable in evangelical settings? Or is the correct question Are evangelicals more evangelistic than liturgical/traditional denominations?
DAM: One might think that since the ancient churches of the Muslim world are mostly Eastern or Oriental Orthodox, that people would be converting to those forms of Christianity. But that rarely happens. First, those ancient churches are still suffering from the trauma of centuries of living as dhimmis under the sharia. It was a belittling and dehumanizing way to live wherein Christians (and Jews) were routinely publicly humiliated by Muslim rulers. Christians could always convert to Islam, but were not allowed to evangelize Muslims or even learn about Islam. This has led in many places to quietism and seeing Islam as invincible. One pastor has likened how these Christians see Muslims to how a prostitute views her pimp as someone who really loves her, even though no one else sees it that way. Second, evangelicalism—as broad as that term is—places a great deal of importance on conversion. The strength of evangelicalism is that each and every Christian is seen as an evangelist. In other churches people tend to assume the priest or bishop is in charge of evangelism—if they even know what the word means. I will say that theologically there is nothing in Anglicanism, Catholicism or Orthodoxy that preclude vigorous evangelism by the laity. The barrier really is pastoral.
Read it all online HERE or read the PDF through academia.edu.
As director of publications of Nazareth Seminary, I am pleased to share with everyone our seminary’s newest Mary’s Well Occasional Paper: ‘An Introduction to the Convention of Evangelical Churches in Israel’ (Volume 3:3, October 2014).
This latest paper is by the Rev. Azar Ajaj, president of Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary, and Dr. Philip Sumpter, adjunct professor of Old Testament at the European School of Culture and Theology.
The CECI is an attempt, so far unsuccessful, of indigenous (Arab) Israelis who are evangelicals to obtain official recognition from the State of Israel as a recognized religious community. The article provides an account of the CECI’s genesis and its current projects and challenges.
Download the latest Mary’s Well Occasional Paper HERE.
An article of mine was recently published in St Francis Magazine, Vol 10:1, April 2014. The title of the article is “Religious Freedom in Israel-Palestine: may Muslims become Christians, and do Christians have the freedom to welcome such converts?”
Here is the abstract:
This research represents a continuation and elaboration on Miller’s research for the Christianity and Freedom project, presented in Rome in December of 2013. This article seeks to understand the challenges and context of Christians who are also ex-Muslims in the Holy Land. Attention is paid to the difference between the contexts in the West Bank and Israel, and how the established Christian Churches sometimes safeguard their own precarious sense of security by turning away Muslims who seek to know more about the Christian faith and converts from Islam.
Download it at my Academia.edu page or from St Francis Magazine.
Some time ago I was put in touch Allen Hertzke who is helping to coordinate the Christianity & Freedom project, which is part of the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University. Phil Sumpter and I agreed to do the research for contemporary Israel-Palestine and composed as essay titled ‘Between the Hammer and the Anvil: Palestinian Christians in the Holy Land‘, which you are welcome to read.
I am taking part in the panel discussion on Friday, December 13th at 4pm (Roman time), titled Religious Freedom in the Lion’s Den? Interested persons can view the video of the panel discussion HERE.