We are glad to welcome some new writers for St Francis Magazine (SFM). It is great to see the interest in our magazine grow! We know that many missionaries in the Arab World and beyond use our articles for educating themselves and others. This is why we began our work 4 years ago, and all of us involved in this publication are happy to serve you!
In March we will publish the second book in our Grassroots series. The first issue is still available; have a look here , and order you copy if you did not do so! The second issue, focusing on matters of reconciliation, can also be ordered at that website.
Our next four issues of SFM will be on Discipleship, the Quran, Insider Movements, and Recruitment issues. If you think you want to contribute an article for any of those issues, contact us!
Rev. Dr. John Stringer
Christian Mission and Ecumenism
In this article, Rev. Dr. John Stringer presents his view that Christian mission without ecumenism is unbiblical. He argues that the Christian view of the unity of the Church is a diaconal answer to the problems that Arab societies face, namely the unresolved tension between the desire for uniformity and the reality of pluriformity.
A Sufi Approach to Issues of Gender and Reconciliation
Sophia Kim, a Korean missionary in the Arab World, shows how there has been a great diversity in the views on the meaning of gender in Islam. In Sufism in particular women have been able to play a leading role in developing spirituality than in the shariah-based ‘orthodox’ Islam.
Raymond Lull: Medieval Theologian, Philosopher, and Missionary to Muslims
J. Scott Bridger is a lecturer and researcher in cross-cultural studies in the Arab World. He has written this fine article on Raymond Lull, who should be our hero; he was the first European missionary to the world of Arab Islam, and he was a pioneer in developing a true missiology for doing this.
The Certainty Trap or the Arrogance Trap; A Response to Bill Musk
Bill Musk’s most recent book, The Certainty Trap, is reviewed in this article by the Rev. Joey Shaw, where you can find many interesting facts on the Muslim religion. Shaw challenges Musk’s view that much interfaith tension is related to the certainty of specific Christian and Muslim hermeneutics; certainty is not the issue, but arrogance, argues Shaw.
This article argues that by mobilizing the members of expatriate churches in the Muslim world, mission in those countries can make a step forward. The four authors from different nationalities and all working in the Arabian Peninsula, present a way in which members in those churches can be motivated and trained to play a role in cross-cultural mission.
Missionary Activities and Human Rights
In 2008, a project group in the Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief proposed this code of conduct for missionary activities. This is a valuable proposal for any missionary working in the Arab World. Mission agencies should engage with this proposal and discuss where they may be using methods that could be considered unethical.
Let me know about new issues