Great Missionaries to the Muslim World: Temple Gairdner

Temple Gairdner (1873-1928) was an Anglican priest, born in Scotland and educated in Oxford. He was a real trail blazer during his ministry in Cairo, which was then the center of culture and life in the entire Arab world. He produced plays about Biblical figures (like Joseph) and invited Muslims to watch, he also wrote the first grammar of colloquial Egyptian Arabic (that is, not Classical Arabic but the actual language spoken in daily life on the streets of Cairo). The teaching of colloquial dialects would later go on to influence figures like George Kelsey who worked in Jordan. Gairdner was also quite explicit in his focus on evangelizing Muslims rather than simply assimilating Othodox Christians into the fledgling Anglican churches of his time.

A good quote on his approach to ministry:

He was one who saw the need to fuse the evangelistic zeal for the people of the earth with loyalty to the historical catholic heritage. Resisting the shibboleths of the ultra-evangelical and Anglo-Catholic sectors of the church, Gairdner sought to reconcil [sic] and relate his energizing experience to the full life within the church.

Christian Mission to Muslims
Lyle L. Vander Werff, p. 189
William Carey Library 1977


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