TC ERT Oct 2013 Vol 37 No 4


Now available
Paternoster Periodicals, c/- AlphaGraphics, 6 Angel Row, Nottingham NG1 6HL, UK

Theme: Insider Movements - Bridging the Divide


  • Editorial: Bridging the Divide in the Controversies about Insider Movements
  • Insider Movements: Current Issues in Discussion by L. D. Waterman
  • Does the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15 Support Insider Movement Practices? by Jeffery Morton and Harley Talman
  • The Ethics of Qur'an Interpretation in Muslim Evangelism and Insider Movements by Sasan Tavasolli and Kevin Higgins
  • Translating the Bible for a Muslim Audience:
    1. Muslim Idiom Translations in Bangladesh by George King and Tom McCormick
    2. The Philosophy behind the 2008 Arabic translation The True Meaning of the Gospel of the Messiah by Ekram Henawie and Emad Azmi Mikhail
  • Beyond the C-Spectrum? A Search for new Models by Tim Green
  • Annaul Index

Editorial: Insider Movements - Bridging the Divide

Last summer I had the privilege of attending the second Bridging the Divide Conference (BtD), an event dedicated to discussing the issues surrounding 'Insider Movements' (IM) BtD is made up of a committed group of missiologists, theologians and church leaders from those who promote Insider Movements and also from those who are critical of them. Discussions with WEA TC Chairman Dr Thomas Schirrmacher suggested it would be a good idea to present some of the thoughts and dynamics of this group for a wider audience, and so was born the plan for this edition. I turned to Don Little of Houghton College for his expertise both as a missiologist and BtD organizer, and together we present you with these articles.

In the first article D. L. Waterman (pen name) introduces the main areas of discussion and disagreement concerning IMs. The current situation arises from an increased interest in contextualizing the gospel for Muslims, where response to the Good News has increased significantly in recent decades. The core questions wrestle with how much of Muslim religion and culture can be retained in scripture translation, evangelism, discipleship and church planting.

Then we move, appropriately, into dialogues between BtD participants; these are representative but do not come directly from the conference itself. Jeff Morton and Harley Talman (pen name) talk about the relevance of the 'Jerusalem council' in Acts 15: does the decision narrated in this passage provide a biblical precursor for IM practices? Harley thinks it does because of the social and cultural implications of the event, but Jeff sees it as a theological decision only. In the next article Kevin Higgins and Sasan Tavasolli consider the often discussed question as to whether some IM uses of the Qur'an might be unethical. Is it really legitimate, asks Sasan, to get Christian doctrine from Muslim Scriptures? Kevin argues that at least in some cases it is legitimate.

Then we come to two articles that discuss some of the challenges in translating the Scriptures for Muslim audiences. George King argues for the importance of Muslim Idiom Translations that pay special attention to both cultural and religious issues. Tom McCormick responds with important questions about how this type of project affects the transfer of biblical meaning. Then two Egyptian theologians, Drs Henawie and Mikhail, discuss the merits and dangers of accommodating to Muslim perspectives when translating the Scriptures into the language of the Qur'an-Arabic.

In our final article, Tim Green brings expertise from the social sciences to suggest a more nuanced understanding of identity and conversion in Muslim contexts.

We invite you to join these conversations and to pray along with us for continued understanding and wisdom in this very important area of today's global mission.

Rob Haskell, Guest Editor, with Don Little

Thomas Schirrmacher, General Editor
David Parker, Executive Editor