Seeking Superior Systems: Why Muslims Come to the West
2022 Vol. 6: Nov/Dec
Just as the Law attracted many sojourners to the Israelite community during Old Testament times because of its superiority, many today are drawn to nations whose systems stand on its shoulders. The Law of Moses speaks to humankind’s desire for security, shalom, and selfhood. As people come to the West from all over the world, they are drawn to systems indebted to an ethic born of the Holy Scripture.
Understanding the Process of Muslim Conversion
2022 Vol. 5: Sept/Oct
In the traditional way of evangelism, it is often perceived that we preach a gospel message, give an altar call, and ask people to express their desire to follow Jesus by an uplifted hand. We then ask them to repeat the sinner’s prayer. If they have prayed after us, we presume that they have become Christians. This traditional approach does not work with Muslims.
Five Key Factors That Influence Muslims to Follow Jesus
2022 Vol. 4: Jul/Aug
One of the great blessings of our ministry at Global Initiative is the opportunity to regularly interface with Christians from a Muslim background. It is amazing to note the variety of factors that influenced them to follow Jesus.
Reaching Muslims through Media
2022 Vol. 3: May/June
We must be willing to employ a full-court press and use every media tool available in order to deliver the Good News of Jesus to every Muslim. This article will highlight the roles of traditional and social media being employed by missionaries in fulfilling the Great Commission to preach the gospel to the world’s 1.9 billion Muslims.
Institute for Islamic Studies Celebrates 25 Years
2022 Vol. 2: Mar/Apr
April 2022 marks the 25th year for an intensive training program that began in Asia and has equipped over 1,000 students and impacted more than 50 nations. The Institute for Islamic Studies (IIS) was the first of a growing number of intensive training programs that reach around the world. This article will highlight its strategic beginnings and global impact.
Afghan Women under the Taliban: Past and Present
2022 Vol. 1: Jan/Feb
Afghan women reacted swiftly after the Taliban suddenly took control of Kabul on August 15, 2021. In a flurry of interviews and news articles, journalists wanted to hear their stories. Prominent Afghan women, teachers, students, and rights activists expressed their fears that Afghanistan would revert back to the time when the Taliban controlled the country from 1996-2001.
Ministering to Afghan Refugees
2021 Vol. 6: Nov/Dec
Afghanistan is a diverse country consisting of more than 70 different ethnic groups and a total population of 38 million. Many of the ethnic groups come from the surrounding countries, like Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The three largest ethnic groups are the Pashtuns, the Tajiks, and the Hazaras; the Pashtuns are by far the largest (42%).
Muhammad’s Attempt to Supersede Jesus
2021 Vol. 5: Sept/Oct
Muhammad holds the most honored place of all humans in Islam. The Islamic confession of faith states: “There is no deity except Allah, and Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah.” This statement boldly names Muhammad in the same breath with Allah. Upon entering a mosque, a worshipper will usually see the names of Allah and Muhammad written together on the left and right walls in beautiful Arabic calligraphy, emphasizing the importance of both names to all Muslims.
The Mystery of Islam
2021 Vol. 4: July/August
Many people like a good mystery, but when it involves matters of faith and destiny, the level of interest increases even further. This is certainly the case concerning mysterious aspects of Islam that have come to light in the last few years. For example, several YouTube sites with tens of thousands of subscribers are now airing weekly episodes revealing new findings about the foundations of Islam.
The Storytelling Approach to Reaching Muslims
2021 Vol. 3: May/June
Everyone loves a good story. Children learn to love stories listening to their parents or teachers. John, the Gospel writer, believed that his was the greatest story, when he said, “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30).
Addressing our Missiological Comorbidities
2021 Vol. 2: Mar/Apr
Comorbidity. In this season of the corona virus pandemic, we have been continually confronted with this term “comorbidity.” These “comorbidities” are pre-existing conditions that compromise the ability of the body’s immune system to fight off the virus. Comorbidities, such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and old age, make it more likely that the patient will get seriously sick or die after contracting COVID-19.
COVID-19 and the Muslim Ummah
2021 Vol. 1: Jan/Feb
Our nano-scale experience with Muslim friends here in our own country opens our eyes to the bigger picture of COVID’s impact on the lives of Muslims globally. How our personal laments figure into God’s unchanged love for them and us during this crisis will somewhat depend upon how well we understand their challenges in this season.
2020 Vol. 6: Nov/Dec
The expression “Abrahamic Religions” has become widely accepted in academic and popular conversations as a cover term for a genetically connected “family” of three religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In Religious Studies departments on campuses across the Western world,
the term has become the standard way to refer to the three monotheistic religions, in contrast, for example, to Indian religions or East Asian religions.
A Miracle Church in New York City
2020 Vol. 5: Sept/Oct
Since the 1980s, one of the demographic shifts in America has been the influx of West African immigrants. Over the last fifteen years, legal immigrants from Africa have been entering the United States at a rate of about 50,000 per year. This significant influx has raised the percentage of foreign-born African people in America to approximately 4 percent.
2020 Vol. 4: Jul/Aug
One phenomenon produced by globalization, international travel, immigration, and online dating sites is a rise in cross-cultural, interfaith interactions. When two people fall in love and decide to marry, both partners bring their own worldviews, family backgrounds, and expectations into the relationship. The absence or presence of faith adds another dimension to any relationship. This article examines key spiritual differences by comparing and contrasting Christian and Islamic views on dating, marriage, family relationships, divorce, and children.
Lands that God will Not Forget: The Former Soviet Union Countries of Central Asia
2020 Vol. 3: May/Jun
The persecution of Christians in former Soviet Union countries in Central Asia is, of course, bad news. But,
ironically, it is also good news because it is evidence that people there are embracing the Good News of Jesus Christ in growing numbers and faithfully following Him.
Reflecting on Ramadan's Jewish Roots
2020 Vol. 2: Mar/Apr
“Forgiveness of sins? I love that thought,” said Ahmed as we sat enjoying our meal at a Midwestern diner. We had been talking about Ramadan, a month set aside for fasting in commemoration of Muhammad’s first revelations from Allah.
During Ramadan, the ninth month in the Muslim calendar, adherents of Islam fast from dawn until dusk.
The Dual Transformation of Prayer
2020 Vol. 1: Jan/Feb
As we intercede for Muslims, we often are acutely aware of the barriers they face in accepting Christ. Muslims must navigate through many layers of religion, culture, and familial relationship, which often seem like an impenetrable wall. Yet, as followers of Christ, we can be reticent to examine our own hearts or, better yet, allow the Spirit to inspect our hearts to identify any barriers resident within us toward Muslims.
Origins of African American Islam
2019 Vol. 6: Nov/Dec
After the Emancipation Proclamation, African Americans found themselves in a very difficult situation: their essence had been stripped away through generations of slavery and they were trying to regain a sense of belonging and an identity that separated them from White oppression. Some, like Marcus Garvey of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), advocated a return to the African motherland. Others, having been influenced by Garvey’s desire to uplift African Americans, took a different approach. Two such movements arose in the early decades of the twentieth century, each with a desire to achieve equality, a focus on cultural history, and a need for land as a sign of power.
It's All About Jesus!
2019 Vol. 5: Sept/Oct
Regarding Jesus, the typical Muslim will say, “Our holy book affirms his virgin birth, his prophethood, his power to work miracles, and his soon return.” This statement sounds like something every Christian could easily affirm. However, the reality is that in most Islamic contexts the best thing a Muslim could do—embrace Jesus as Savior—is seen by the Islamic community as the worst thing he or she could ever do. The topic of Jesus is one of the most theologically charged conversations you will have with Muslims, and yet it is the most important one.
"Same God Question": Why Muslims Are Not Moving Toward Christians
2019 Vol. 4: July/Aug
Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Increasing numbers of Christians and Christian missiologists are now responding in the affirmative, especially as they seek amicable relations with Muslims. This article looks at this age-old question from the Islamic point of view, noting that Muslim scholars have not mirrored their Christian counterparts in moving toward theological reconciliation. Indeed, the foundational teachings and example of Muhammad restrict them from doing so, thus creating a dynamic of “one hand clapping” in interfaith discourse.
Muslim Conversion: The Role of Honor and Shame
2019 Vol. 3: May/Jun
The fact is that more and more Muslims are embracing Christ. Their families and friends are observing this process and seeing their loved ones have not gone crazy. Due to these new converts’ willingness to sacrifice their own honor and social desirability, they are lessening the shame of embracing Christ. More and more Muslims are starting to think and feel that embracing Jesus Christ might be a good idea!
No god but God, and ...?
2019 Vol. 2: Mar/Apr
Our hearts yearn for Muslims to come to know Jesus as Savior and Lord. We must strive to make scriptural truth available in the most culturally sensitive manner possible. However, a clear reading of Scripture emphatically rejects he syncretistic practice that recognizes elements of Muhammad’s prophethood as valid or merely innocuous. Nor does the Scripture provide affirmation for new believers from Muslim backgrounds to continue reciting the Islamic shahada. The Holy Scriptures require abandonment of both ideas. May the good news ring out louder and clearer than ever that Jesus Christ alone is worthy of our loyalty and allegiance.
Islam's Errant Versions of the Holy Spirit
2019 Vol. 1: Jan/Feb
This article will explore ways Islam diverges from biblical truth about the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Understanding these divergences enables Christ-followers to respond compassionately to errant Islamic characterizations of the Holy Spirit, especially the accusation of tri-theism—the Islamic claim that Christians worship three gods.
The Jonah in All of Us
2018 Vol. 6: Nov/Dec
A few years ago a pastor in the Middle East was imprisoned by the dictator of his country. Upon Pastor *Majid’s release, members of his extended clan, who had fled to the safety of the West, urged him and his wife and children to join them. Bombs randomly exploded near his front door, pressure from Islamic extremists mounted, and the future was bleak. Members of his congregation regularly fled the country in hopes of finding a better life.
Is the Scandal for Muslims the How or the Who?
2018 Vol. 5: Sept/Oct
As a Christian of Muslim background, I appreciate the many challenges the church has faced over the past 14 centuries in presenting the gospel to Muslims. It is not surprising there is much debate in Christian circles on how best to accomplish this commission. The fault line in this debate seems to have settled over translation issues related to the divine, familial terms, “Father” and “Son of God.” Since Bible translations rest upon certain theological and missiological foundations, any miscalculations in laying these foundations will tip the whole “House of Translation” out of plumb.
Ministering to Muslims Refugees in the United States
2018 Vol. 3: May/June
He will be “a stern faced king, a master of intrigue, who will consider himself superior, and by causing deceit to prosper, will succeed in whatever he does, causing astounding devastation to the saints. He will become very strong but not by his own power and will destroy many when they feel secure” (Daniel 8:9-12, 23-25). Daniel prophesies that this king will be overcome, “but not by human power.”
The History and Beliefs of Islam: Emerging Views
2018 Vol. 2: Mar/Apr
Intense international focus on Islam, especially in the wake of current events, has generated renewed interest in better understanding its claims. Unlike the story usually told by Muslims, relatively recent historical research is uncovering new facts with important implications that can help us make sense of it all.
Promoting Freedom of Speech Among Christians and Muslims
2018 Vol. 1: Jan/Feb
Storm clouds are gathering on the horizon and a chill wind blows. While Muslim countries limit free speech, it is troubling to see these trends coming to historically Christian nations. Limiting free speech may be detrimental to Christians and also to the spiritual well-being of Muslims. Also, these new trends come at a time when more Muslims than ever are interested in examining the biblical faith.