Friday, October 18, 2013

The Beauty of the Written and Resurrected Word (Part 8 in the “How are Muslims coming to Christ?” Series)

Previous posts in this series: How are Muslims coming to Christ? Introduction, Part 1: Conversion is a Contextual Process, Part 2: The Prominence of the Affective Dimension, Part 3: The Silent Witness of Love and Integrity, Part 4: A Patron – Client View of the Gospel, Part 5: Conversion in Layers of Identity, Part 6: The Congruence of Cultural Values, Part 7: The Differing Female Experience.

Circumpolar is about making sure the glorious Messiah is continually visible before Muslims.  What should our mantra be? Point Muslims to Jesus and the Bible. Point Muslims to Jesus and the Bible. Point Muslims to Jesus and the Bible. This is our final theme of factors that influence Muslims to embrace Biblical faith (from this article):

8. The Beauty of the Written and Resurrected Word

imageThe hearing or study of the gospel in the Bible and a desire for an intimate relationship with God in Christ is central in MBB conversions. MBBs are fascinated by the beauty of Jesus’ personality and the cross. Once I watched the Jesus Film with a Muslim seeker. Afterward, when I asked for his thoughts, he replied, “Well, Jesus is everything.”

Anthony Greenham’s study of Palestinian MBBs found that although conversion is influenced through various means, “the person of Jesus is always central” (2004, 227). Commenting on the centrality of Christ in conversion, Abraham Durán also speaks of attraction to the “beauty of Jesus” as a key evangelistic factor (2006, 274). In John Marie Gaudeul’s study of MBB testimonies, the most prominent factor was attraction to Jesus (1999).

David Maranz studied dozens of conversion experiences of Muslims born in 33 countries and concluded that all but two included references to the importance of the Bible. He concludes, “In most, the role of the Bible or some passages of Scripture were central to conversion. How could it be otherwise?” (2006, 61). Fruitful Practices research similarly notes that “Fruitful teams use a variety of creative means to communicate Scripture… It is their primary means of sharing the gospel” (Adams, Allen, and Fish 2009, 79). James Bultema’s research in Turkey was similar: “The written Word of God surpasses other causes of conversion to Christ” (2010, 28).


The Beauty of the Written and Resurrected Word – Above all else, effective mission among Muslims means pointing them to Jesus and the Bible.

I don’t mean to be overly simplistic, but I do feel the main thrust of mission is sometimes lost among much pontificating (I’m as guilty as anyone). However, we can rejoice that missiological research says we can all rally around this – point Muslims to Jesus and the Bible.

Next: The Conclusion.

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