Friday, June 11, 2010

Grace and Truth: Toward Christlike Relationships with Muslims

From Rick Love in IJFM:

The idea for Grace and Truth: Toward Christlike Relationships with Muslims: An Exposition was spawned during a global gathering of some 50 evangelical leaders concerned about the increasing alienation between the church (especially in the West) and Muslims. To counter this trend, we set out to create a statement on how followers of Jesus should relate to Muslims. Thus, this document focuses primarily on discipleship (how to live out our faith), rather than methodology (how to share our faith).

Producing Grace and Truth was no simple task. Our editorial team went through more than 20 revisions, drawing on input from over seventy leaders worldwide. We then asked leaders from across the globe to support this effort by signing the Grace and Truth Affirmation (available for download at ijfm.org), an abbreviated summary of the Grace and Truth Exposition that follows.

The Grace and Truth Affirmation discusses nine points of agreement on how we should relate to Muslims:

1. Be Faithful to God’s Truth— the Whole Truth
2. Be Jesus-Centered in our Interaction
3. Be Truthful and Gracious in our Words and Witness
4. Be Wise in our Words and Witness
5. Be Respectful and Bold in our Witness
6. Be Prudent in our Google-ized World
7. Be Persistent in our Call for Religious Freedom
8. Be Peaceable and Uncompromising in our Dialogue
9. Be Loving toward our Neighbors and our Enemies

From the conclusion:

We have been entrusted with the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18, 19). The commission to “make disciples of all nations” has not been rescinded. Neither have the commands to demonstrate sacrificial love and to work toward peace. There is no separate gospel for wartime and peacetime. The message of God’s love in Christ is for all times, places and peoples. We affirm the nine biblical guidelines presented here for all followers of Christ, that we may remain faithful to him and become more fruitful in our relationships with Muslims.