The new St Francis Magazine

Well, the August 2011 SFM just came out. This is the one and only journal which explicitly deals with questions related to Christian witness in the Muslim (and especially Arab) world. While I enjoy other publications like IJFM and IBMR, I do think SFM is able to offer more for multiple reasons, but I won't go into that right now.

Anyway, have by now read most of the new issue. Here are my thoughts:

Basil Grafas, 'Year of the Lab Rat'. Well, Grafas doesn't pull any punches, his main point is that converts from Islam to Christianity are the most vocal opponents to what is often, incorrectly, called 'contextualization', ie, using Islamic forms and Islamic identity while proclaiming to be Christ-centered. My experience with Arab and Iranian MBB's totally backs this up, but then again, the insider movements I read about are mysterious and no details are given about them, so I have no way to evaluate them.

JS William, 'Inside/Outside: getting to the center of the Muslim contextualization debate'. Well, this is the main article of this SFM, imho. The writer (using another lame pseudonym...come on, William as a surname? Good grief...) has read most of the material about 'contextualization' in IJFM, SFM, and Evangelical Missions Quarterly (EMQ). But he has a huge chink in his armor. What is it? He doesn't know where the word contextualization comes from, and appears to be unaware that how his sources are using the word is incorrect. Ouch. Well, evangelicals have always been really good at not knowing history (hint: if you have not read Shoki Coe, don't even try to write about the topic). Still, the best article in this issue.

Duane Alexander Miller, 'Book Review: Charles Thorley Bridgeman, The Episcopal Church and the Middle East (New York: Morehouse-Gorham, 1958)'. A brief book review on an obscure book. But still, as an Anglican I am glad to see anything on the topic of the history of Anglicanism in the Middle East.

Download the whole issue here if you like.


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