Author: Ida Glaser.
Here are a few things that I think people need to be reading/thinking/writing about:
1. Interesting that you say you [Encounters] have had foci on Europe and Asia, but not on Africa. From the Christian-Muslim relations perspective, I think sub-Saharan Africa is of crucial importance. Africans are often into evangelism, but there’s a lot of VERY bad feeling about. How do Christians learn to LOVE Muslims, and actually to understand them, given the history of violence, the tensions over shari’ah etc? How do such tensions affect mission, and how do they affect the way that converts are treated?
2. Particularly relevant here are how issues of power and, in particular, of land, affect our thinking. This is not only true in Africa, but everywhere else, and is important in relating to Muslims because of the different Islamic views of land. It is territorial issues as much as anything else that affect, for example, whether one can sensibly build a church in a particular place.
3. We need to look at mission being done by Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists etc. as well as at mission being done by Christians!
4. Biblical interpretation is going to be increasingly important. My hobby horse is reading the Bible faithfully in the context of other faiths and of Islam in particular. There are also interesting questions about not only developing local interpretations but also teaching the Bible in different contexts.
5. And, of course, those different contexts raise the issue of how non-Christians read and respond to the Bible. So often we think of mission in terms of what Christians do – the Islamic context alerts us (or should do) to the importance of understanding what non-Christians are likely to be thinking about Christianity, about Christ and about the Bible before we ever meet them.
6. I’m also increasingly aware of the effects of history on how we relate to different peoples – not only colonial history, but the longer term stuff. I think this will be increasingly important as mission becomes more and more ‘from everywhere to everywhere’, and we have to try and deal with the dynamics of relationships between people from different backgrounds.
7. Have you looked at how money affects mission?
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