Project Documents

Date of Award

1983

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Walter B. T. Douglas

Second Advisor

Nancy J. Vyhmeister

Third Advisor

Arnold A. Kurtz

Abstract

Problem. Although programs for evangelizing Muslims have been studied and proposed at all levels of church organization, until now few if any of these studies or proposals have led to successful evangelization of Muslims in the Middle East countries. It was the purpose of this present study to develop biblically sound attitudes and approaches to Muslim evangelization for the use of administrators, teachers, pastors, and other church members in the Middle East.

Method. Writings of the New Testament and of selected past and present authors have been investigated in order to identify principles and attitudes of evangelism as they might relate to or affect the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Middle East. The project was organized into four main areas of study: Cl) a brief historical overview of the Gospel to the Muslims of the Middle East, (2) a study into current problems and obstacles hindering the evangelization of Muslims, (3) an analysis of New Testament evangelism in the book of Acts, and (4) the identification of positive workable concepts and attitudes toward Muslim evangelism in the Middle East.

Results. Statistics show a marked decline in Seventh-day Adventist mission thrust to the Middle East. Major causes of this decline were found to be apathy, lack of evangelistic thrust, and other varied causes. Obstacles hindering the evangelism of Muslims include (1) lack of coordinated administrative planning for evangelism, C2). a weak spiritual commitment of some witnesses, (3) the rise and spread of nationalism, (4) prejudice between Christians and Muslims, (5) revolution and war, and (6) fear of religious persecution.

Conclusions. Three basic concepts need to be fostered among Seventh-day Adventist pastors in the Middle East: (1) The pastor must be a role model for evangelism, (2) evangelism is not an option, and (3) the success of evangelism is not measured by the number of persons converted. A study of the New Testament church in Acts revealed five characteristics of evangelism recommended to the present day church in the Middle East: (1) The sharing of the message in all places by all Christians, (2) the use of effective methods, (3) the divine power which impelled early Christians, (4) the ingenious manner in which they evangelized under every kind of hindrance, and (5) the organization of lay evangelism. In order for Seventh-day Adventist laity to successfully communicate the Gospel to their neighboring Muslims they must: (1) become acquainted with Muslims, (2) demonstrate love to the people of Islam, (3) teach the Bible to inquirers, (4) emphasize what is unique in the Gospel, (5) make clear what it means to be an Adventist Christian, (6) introduce converts to a church which welcomes them, and (7) avoid controversy and debate with Muslims whenever possible. There are important reasons why Muslims should be evangelized today: (1) Christ's commission to make disciples of all nations, (.2) God's love brings reconciliation to all who receive Christ, (3) Islam's fa ilu re to meet all of man's moral and spiritual needs, (4) the value of each soul worthy of evangelization, (5) the beneficial influences that attend the Gospel, and (6) the need to facilitate the realization of God's promises.

Subject Area

Missions to Muslims

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