Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Discipleship and believers of a Muslim background: St Francis Magazine Vol 10:1

As a contributing editor for St Francis Magazine I am proud to share with everyone our first issue for 2014. The focus of this issue is discipleship for believers who have come from a Muslim background.

I believe this is one of the most strategic topics that the Church must address in relation to our mission to Islam. Let me explain: over the last few decades hundreds of thousands of Muslims and ex-Muslims have made a confession of faith in Jesus Christ. That is the good news. The bad news is that a good number of these people have a faith that peters out, gets tired, becomes silent and defeated, or even revert to Islam.

"Well," someone might say, "That means they never had a true faith at all." That might indeed be the case, but that is not our call to make. I am certain that in many cases the problem was the lack of a firm foundation of discipleship and training.

The April 2014 issue of St Francis Magazine takes up this important issue. Here is one sample (and more to come):

"Discipleship and Leadership among BMB's" by Daniel Edwards. Here is a sample:

As missions, we must begin to think seriously of how to shift our focus to include evangelism and discipleship, and then to progress from discipleship to leadership preparation.The time has come to identify and to build up future leaders for the church among BMBs.The emerging church is in great need for many Timothys to carry on the heavy responsibility of leadership. A friend of mine interviewed Mr. A. Khidri, the director of the Bible society in Algeria. One of the questions asked was: “What is the church’s greatest need in your homeland today?” Mr. Khidri responded to this vital question by saying: “Our greatest need is to develop servant leaders with Biblical qualifications and deep theological understanding.”

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Bernard of Clairveaux on the Unity of the Trinity and Love

From On Loving God, Ch. XII:

For what preserves the glorious and ineffable Unity of the blessed Trinity, except love? Charity, the law of the Lord, joins the Three Persons into the unity of the Godhead and unites the holy Trinity in the bond of peace. Do not suppose me to imply that charity exists as an accidental quality of Deity; for whatever could be conceived of as wanting in the divine Nature is not God. No, it is the very substance of the Godhead; and my assertion is neither novel nor extraordinary, since St. John says, 'God is love' (I John 4.8). One may therefore say with truth that love is at once God and the gift of God, essential love imparting the quality of love.

This quote caught my attention because it points to the relation between God's being love, and the Holy Trinity. This is an important topic in our witness to Muslims, of course.