Plausibility Structures and Reaching Muslims

Doug Coleman Cross Cultural Ministry, Islam 3 Comments

plausibilityWithin a short time of our first meeting, Abraham offered me an invitation. “If you’re a Christian, go ahead and convince me that Christianity is true.” I accepted, and we began to spend significant time together, discussing various topics related to the Bible, the gospel, and Christianity.

One day Abraham stated rather matter-of-factly, “I’ve never said the Bible has been changed…but I’ve also never said it hasn’t been changed.”

“That’s good,” I replied. “At least you’re open to considering the evidence.”

Weeks went by and I found myself sitting in the parking lot of a shopping center chatting with Abraham as we were waiting for others.

“What do you think about divorce?” he asked.

I responded, “Well, in one sense it doesn’t really matter what I think. What matters is what the Bible says.”

After briefly commenting from Genesis 1 and 2 about the intent of marriage, I read Jesus’ words from Matthew 5:31-32: It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Abraham was incredulous. “It says THAT? Let me see.” He looked himself and continued, “Well, if that’s what it says, it’s DEFINITELY been changed!”Continue Reading

Doug ColemanPlausibility Structures and Reaching Muslims

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus

Doug Coleman Book Reviews, Islam 7 Comments

Seeking Allah Finding JesusIn Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, Nabeel Qureshi tells the story of his conversion to Jesus after several years of deep intellectual and emotional struggle. Qureshi was born in the United States to parents who had emigrated from Pakistan. Although Nabeel’s father served in the U.S. Navy, Nabeel was raised as a devout Muslim and came of age in post-9/11 America.

In the early chapters of the book, Qureshi portrays his family as sincere, tender and loving Muslims with parents who cared for their children and actively sought to teach them about Islam, the Qur’an, the hadith, and the life of Muhammad. In fact, among Qureshi’s immediate ancestors are multiple generations of Muslim missionaries. In this part of the book, Qureshi aims to “tear down walls by giving non-Muslim readers an insider’s perspective into a Muslim’s heart and mind” (p. 15). Some readers may find this section uncomfortably positive, but this is by design. Qureshi confesses that while his descriptions may even seem “pro-Islamic” at times, they serve to convey his past love for his former faith (p. 16).

Qureshi’s faith struggle begins when he enters university and meets David Wood, a devout Christian who not only practices his faith but is also willing to challenge Nabeel’s beliefs, sometimes even forcefully. Rather than driving Nabeel away, David’s sincerity and passion gain Nabeel’s respect, although Nabeel is solidly convinced his own arguments will win the day. Continue Reading

Doug ColemanSeeking Allah, Finding Jesus

Is there only one way?

Doug Coleman Cross Cultural Ministry, Religions Leave a Comment

The question of the exclusivity of the Christian gospel arises at various times and in various ways. For some it is an emotional issue, for some an intellectual one. In the video below, David Platt doesn’t address all the relevant issues, but he does offer a powerful response to certain forms of the question. A helpful resource that answers many aspects of the question from a biblical, theological, and pastoral perspective, see Faith Comes by Hearing, edited by Christopher Morgan and Robert Peterson.

Doug ColemanIs there only one way?

Central Asia is a Place…

Doug Coleman Central Asia Leave a Comment

Central Asia is often not well known, but is a place rich in history, amazing in diversity, and possesses an austere beauty. For more videos on Central Asia, see the IMB Central Asian Peoples channel here on Vimeo.

Doug ColemanCentral Asia is a Place…

Learning from the Social Sciences

Doug Coleman Anthropology, Cross Cultural Ministry Leave a Comment

Honor KillingMissiology has a love/hate relationship with the social sciences. It’s an important relationship, but when and how missiology should draw on the social sciences is debated. Years ago, Paul Hiebert likened the relationship between anthropologists and missionaries to “that of half-siblings—drawing on one another and frequently quarreling.”

I am presently doing some further academic study in anthropology through a large state university (non-U.S.). A reading assignment for my current course rehearses some of the basic concepts of anthropology. One of those concepts is cultural relativism, which the course book defines as “the evaluation of aspects of culture in terms of the standards and values of the society that practice them, rather than in terms of the standards and values of the researcher.”

At first glance this likely raises some red flags for evangelical Christians who take the Bible seriously, and understandably so. However, there is something helpful for us to learn here. Continue Reading

Doug ColemanLearning from the Social Sciences