Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Not insider, not outsider, but dualsider.

I.e. someone who is both an insider and outsider, or someone who is neither inside nor outside, but dualside.

Predicting the next missiological buzzword. Remember, you heard it here first. ;-)

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Haram Halal Fallacy

There are certain paradigms of witness to Muslims that treat Islam as an evil, monolithic entity that corrupts everything it touches. Therefore, in this view, when talking about evangelism/discipleship, we should have nothing to do with “Islam.”

The tendency to binary thinking is related to a modern worldview and a naïve realism epistemology. This black and white paradigm also understands theology of religions to mean that Christianity is against Islam and will eventually triumph. There can be no mixing between the Christianity and anything else.

This is fallacious and lazy thinking. See this post by Daniels: Black and White - - or not?. We could easily expose this fallacy by discussing the incarnation and the nature of biblical revelation, but I want to make one quick point… Ironically, this model of missiology also mirrors conservative Islamic law, where everything is either haram or halal. It has a lot to do with with how mainstream Muslims view the world today!


See also The Essentialist Fallacy.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Introducing “The Complexity of Insiderness” (IJFM 2015)

IJFM<br />                          32_2An exciting new issue of IJFM was just released themed “Debating Insiderness” and with it the article “The Complexity of Insiderness.”

I want to point out a couple of features of the article:

  • It is a response to Farrokh and Abu Jazz’s articles in the issue (but also to missiology in general). Both have different understandings of the nature of insiderness. While I think Abu Jazz has a more sensible/realistic/healthy approach, both are still treating the issue in way that I feel is too basic. Thus, I’m advocating to at least recognize the complexity of insiderness. Yet it is actually more complex than I have described!
  • I also wrote the article as an introduction to the phenomenon of insiderness, so that someone with a basic understanding of the issues could quickly see what is happening in the world of mission today.
  • One could think of the model as an I-Scale (Insiderness) à la the C-Scale, but I would prefer that not be the case.
  • I also don’t intend for anyone to say, “This is as far as we contextualize…” and then to refer to one of the expressions listed in this model as a kind of limit, because that would be betray the idea I tried to explain in the conclusion: “Since every context is different, we cannot assess all insiders with broad strokes nor evaluate all insiderness with the same criteria. What we say in hermeneutics also applies in missiology: “context is king.”
  • I tried to be as descriptive and neutral as possible, and then to put the “meat” in the footnotes. I think there are some good ideas in the footnotes. But still, I have been too brief and much more can be said. I’m looking forward to your feedback.

Read the whole thing: The Complexity of Insiderness (2015 IJFM 32:2)