What should we focus on in this magazine when God’s people are facing challenges that seem to threaten their very survival in the Middle East? We remind ourselves that the truths of scripture do not change in the face of evil unleashed, ‘I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’. As we publish this month, so too we invite all of our readers to read the scriptures with an ear to God showing us how to pray and work in the region at this point in its history.

God is at work. He is building his church. That is why we will be running a series over the next few months on discipleship, written by a Believer from a Muslim Background. In this first article he outlines for us some of the fundamentals of disciplining a BMB with a call to teach the whole counsel of scripture. We would welcome your stories and learning on discipleship as we seek to grow our understanding of how to apply scripture to the context and worldview of those from the Muslim faith who are choosing to follow Jesus.

We are given another lens for looking at the Arab Spring in an article that applies the thinking Kuyper, a Dutch reformed minister, to review what the outworking of the Arab Spring. Asking the question, what is an appropriate Christian response, Taylor Graham Smythe, and Prisca Smythe lay out an alternative approach for Christians toward the Middle East. This seems a timely article in the light of present events.

These articles provide a call to live well, to keep future focused with God at the center and an over-arching belief that he is who he says he is and will do all that he says he will do. They remind us not to grow weary in doing good. God is Lord of the nations.

Two further articles provide alternative approaches to practices in reaching out to our Muslim friends. They reflect on readings of scripture and ask us to consider whether there is a reductionism in our approach to contextualizing the word. Salaam Corniche looks at the ‘man of peace’ motif, while D.W. McKeon has some questions about recent revisions to the Perspective course.

That God is building his Church in the Middle East today is undisputed. That the Church in the Middle East is under enormous pressure today is undisputed. That we his people are called to look for what God is doing and join with him in his mission is the journey we are all called to. We offer you this selection of articles to help you in that journey at this time.

Melani McNeil

Editor of  St. Francis Magazine

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