TLCI-Cairo Meeting 2016


Cairo Meeting December 5-9, 2016

Core Question:

What must be done to prepare the church intellectually for its ministry among Muslims and in Muslim-Majority settings in the Majority World?

Project Objectives:

  1. Ascertain the current state of Islamic studies and contextualization of theological studies, for the church in the Majority World, based on the experience of 8-10 leading scholars.
  2. Identify key issues facing the church in each context and provide a sense for church priorities among them. Consider the extent to which the church and its theological leaders are prepared to address these priorities. Identify primary gaps in preparation.
  3. Identify key areas to explore, including curriculum and faculty development for contexts substantially influenced by Islam, collaboration among schools of theology, and ecumenical cooperation.
  4. Recommend a strategy to prepare the church intellectually to address the highest priority issues. Initiate exploratory discussions in the most promising areas.


Monday, December 5:

Arrivals: transportation provided from Cairo International (CAI) to ETSC. A few participants may stay the night near the airport due to visa concerns, or to very late arrivals.

Informal dinner at ETSC.

Tuesday, December 6:

morning: Welcome & Opening Prayer

morning: Introductions: a) personal: life & background; b) current reading & research; c) current activism & projects, including evangelism among Muslims; d) hopes for the project.

late morning & afternoon: Situation in the church and theological education in each participant’s context (advanced preparation required: no formal paper but written to circulate at the meeting):

a) How would you describe Islam as a movement in your context? Does Islam constructively challenge the church in your context? Does it threaten or constrain the church in your context? And if so, how?

b) How have church leaders responded to these challenges, threats and constraints?

c) With this in mind, what priorities exist for the church in relation to Islam? What preparation is needed for Christian leaders who intend to address these priorities? Are resources available to prepare Christian leaders?

d) What is the single most important missing element?

evening: Dinner at ETSC

Wednesday, December 7

morning: continue Situation discussion from Tuesday.

late morning & afternoon: Situation regarding the state of theological education in the context (advanced preparation required to prepare a written outline for meeting participants):

a) What is the state of local theology faculty? And what are their qualifications, specifically in the area of Islam? Have they completed advanced education in the field?

b) What is the state of curriculum related to Islam in Christian schools?

c) Is there evident cooperation between evangelical scholars and schools? Ecumenical cooperation?

Note: As the discussion progresses we will identify potential opportunities — and return to them on the final day.

evening: Dinner at ETSC

Thursday, December 8

morning & afternoon: tour of area monasteries; discussions continue in small groups; return to ETSC.

evening: dinner.

Friday, December 9

morning: return to ETSC

late-morning & afternoon: return to list of opportunities, classify and prioritize, set objectives for April meeting.

evening: dinner at outside venue.

Reading suggestions

Musk, Bill. The Unseen Face of Islam. E. Sussex, UK: MARC, 1989.

Woodberry, Dudley, ed. From Seed To Fruit: Global Trends, Fruitful Practices, and Emerging Issues among Muslims. 2nd edition. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 2010. (Cf. Ch. 21)

Kim, Caleb. Islam among the Swahili in East Africa. 2nd edition. Nairobi, Kenya: Acton Publishers, 2016.

El-Zein, Amira. Islam, Arabs, and the Intelligent World of the Jinn. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2009.

Drieskens, Barbara. Living with Djinns: Understanding and Dealing with the Invisible in Cairo. London: Saqi Books, 2008.

Kim, Caleb. “Considering ‘Ordinariness’ in Studying Muslims and in Discipleship” (see the paper for its information) — this will be a main theme of mine that I can share in the gathering as responding to Larry’s “Project Objectives.” Its major context is sub-Saharan, but I hope that it will make a useful contribution.

The Emergence of Islam: Classical Traditions in Contemporary Perspective by Gabriel Said Reynolds

No God but One: Allah or Jesus?: A Former Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam and Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi

Reisacher, Evelyne, et al, ed. Toward Respectful Understanding and Witness among Muslims, 2012. (Chapter 1: “Christian Attitudes toward Islam and Muslims: A Kerygmatic Approach” is my own. It represents the main framework of my own ministry as it relates to Muslims. There are also other helpful chapters in this compilation).

Bayat, Asef, ed. Post-Islamism: The Changing Faces of Political Islam, 2013. (I have found this to be one of the most insightful on current trends and directions of Islam in the world).

Reynolds, Gabriel S. The Emergence of Islam, 2012. (I find this to be the best introduction that applies the critical approaches to Islam from the 20th century).

Brown, Daniel. A New Introduction to Islam, second edition, 2009. (A great and lucid intro that introduces beginning notions of critical approaches to Islam).

Kärkkäinen, Veli-Matti. Christ and Reconciliation: A Constructive Christian Theology for the Pluralistic World, vols. 1-4 (2 “Trinity and Revelation”, 3 “Creation and Humanity”, 4 “Spirit and Salvation” have the same sub-title) – I think these reflect a new and very needed trend of theologising in the context of a pluralistic world. Each volume has sections specifically focused on Islam.

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