Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
Jon L. Dybdahl
Islam is spreading speedily in Kenya from the coast and the north towards inland areas, converting great number of persons and communities. The Islamic influence is evident in almost all spheres of life in the country, including social, political, economical, and spiritual. Muslims are particularly hard to reach with the gospel. However, this does not mean the task of reaching them is unsurmountable. The task of this project, therefore, was to provide a biblical, theological, and missiological strategy for presenting the gospel to Muslims in Kenya with the view of winning them over to Christianity (Adventism).
The research was primarily bibliographic, using books, journals, and electronic databases of the James White Library at Andrews University and Notre Dame University. The initial stage researched the historical origins and development of Islam. A brief review about the origin of Seventh-day Adventists in Kenya was considered too. Factors contributing to the spread of Islam in Kenya were examined. A comparative study between Islam, African traditional practices, and Seventh-day Adventists was undertaken. Information relating to the relationship between Islam and Seventh-day Adventists in Kenya was gathered through a questionnaire survey. The data collected through this questionnaire are incorporated into the study. This study endeavored to determine the reasons or factors that contribute to the success of Islamic evangelism and how we could make use of the same strategy to evangelize them. An analysis of the impact of Islam on Kenyan people and subsequently the indigenous effects on Islam was studied. Mission strategies for evangelizing Muslims were developed.
Islamization in Kenya was essentially carried out by Africans themselves, who shared the same life, spoke the same language, and lived in the same cultural locality entirely. The advent and spread of Islam and Adventism precipitated a different kind of religious situation in contemporary Kenya. A vast majority of the population have abandoned the religions of their ancestors to convert to one or another of the missionary faiths now available in the country. In spite of the many problems and difficulties confronting the converts, it is undeniable that both Islam and Adventists have sunk deep roots in Kenya. The faith of the vast majority of the population now lies mainly with Islam and Christianity.
I came up with only six strategies that act as a guide pointing out the sensitivity of the Islamic people and elements that Adventists ought to be aware of. The emphasis is on finding agreements at least on the reality of God, revelation, Scripture, angels, and judgment. Disagreement areas about Christ’s identity, death, and resurrection, and the authority of the Bible can be dealt with carefully and passionately after laying the common ground and winning respect. Therefore Adventists have a unique opportunity to advance the truth to the Muslims, if only they are handled with respect and love. This, again, is the friendship model that I have emphasized throughout this project. The creation of the Kenyan Community Center of Isa is the ultimate solution for preserving Adventists in a Muslim setting. The Adventist evangelist must know what the Kenyan Muslim believes, and must try to state the full Adventist message in a way least offensive to them. Evidently, the survey results in chapter 3 indicate that Adventists in Kenya do not understand who the Muslims are, and that the majority of them have a stereotyped mind-set that Muslims are enemies, commonly known in Adventist circles as the “beast” or “babylon.”
Seventh-day Adventists--Kenya; Evangelistic work--Seventh-day Adventists--Kenya; Muslims--Kenya; Missions to Muslims
Kilonzo, Joseph, "Islam, Indigenous Traditions, and Adventism in Kenya: A Comparative Study To Determine Effective Approaches To Evangelize Kenyan Muslims" (2001). Project Documents. 562.
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