We as a network do not endorse all the material presented or linked on this page. By the nature of our diverse network, some members would agree with any particular item and some members would likely disagree at some points. This material is part of our ongoing discussion.
2011 Pre-Reading and Presentations.
Articles and Presentations
- Early Gentile Christianity, Conversion, and Culture-Shift in the New Testament – Terence Paige
Many of the discussions in the current debate about insider movements in Islam (or “C-5” or “new identity” followers of Christ) make reference to the example of the conversion of Gentiles in the New Testament (NT). The decision by the Jerusalem council (Acts 15), and Paul’s teaching that Gentiles are not under the Mosaic Law, are interpreted as cultural decisions, forming Gentile “insider movements.” Since Muslim culture is infused with Islamic law and Islamic conceptions, it is the position of some in the modern missions movement that the Muslim analogue of the NT Gentile conversions can be a person who retains their Muslim identity, including religious facets which are inextricable from the wider culture.
- Written Response to “Early Gentile Christianity” by Paige – Jeff Hayes
Much of Dr. Paige’s paper provides informative and useful background of the history of the Jewish and Gentile cultures around the time of the book of Acts. We are grateful to Dr. Paige for this information. Possibly for lack of background about the term, Paige shows that he and “insider” proponents are defining the term “insider” in different ways.
- Written Response to “Early Gentile Christianity” by Paige – Georges Houssney
We are here at this consultation to deal with the controversy surrounding the theories and practices of what is called, by some, the Insider Movement and its various expressions. Both promoters and opponents of the Insider Movement rely on the scriptures to support their approaches. The problem is that our reading of the Scriptures and our interpretation of certain passages can be colored by our preconceived ideas or by our experiences on the field.
- Oral Response to “Early Gentile Christianity” by Paige – Jeff Hayes
Last Friday, I was invited to give thanks before dinner including a group of Somalis. I ended by praying in the name of Jesus the only intercessor. Immediately one imam objected to my praying in Jesus’ name, since they don’t pray in Muhammad’s name. I showed them from the Qur’an that Jesus is indeed the only mediator/intercessor, and their only response to my Qur’anic proof was to quote from their traditions. By their traditions they made void the Qur’an.
- Position Paper on the Insider Movement – Georges Houssney
The last four decades have witnessed a major shift in missionary thought and practice. The Lausanne Movement, launched in 1974 at the world congress in Switzerland, sparked a worldwide revolution of innovative approaches to missions. Driven by a strong desire to see the Great Commission fulfilled in our lifetime, myriad mission agencies implemented major changes in their mission statement and strategies. This gave rise to an ocean of new methods and approaches.
- Concerns about the Insider Movement and Those Involved With It- Don McCurry
Listed below are issues of concern regarding the Insider Movement that may have a harmful effect on those organizations and individuals involved in it or promoting it. Please note that not everyone in the IM does all the things listed below. This is a composite of impressions.
- Seeing Inside Insider Missiology: Exploring our Theological Lenses and Presuppositions – Leonard Bartlotti
At the first BtD Consultation in 2011, participants discussed how their own views or presuppositions on each of the nine issues described in this article affected their view, positive or negative, of insider movements. The presentation drew an enthusiastic response, and more importantly, facilitated robust interaction. This article is a BtD classic.
- Beyond Christianity-Insider Movements: The Place of the Bible and the Body of Christ in New Movements to Jesus – Kevin Higgins (For a two-page summary, click here.)
The title I have been given makes reference to “Beyond Christianity” and to “insider movements.” The conference organizers have thereby drawn our attention to what God is doing to draw people to Himself at or beyond the edges of what most of us would associate with Christianity. More specifically, some mission thinkers and practitioners, including myself, have experienced and advocated for what we see God to be doing to bring men and women within non-Christian religious traditions to saving faith in Christ outside of the forms and expressions of discipleship that are typical of what we would call “church.”
- A Muslim Tribal Chief is Bringing Jesus to His People – Mir Ibn Mohammad
Like most people in my tribe, when I was a young boy I went to the madrasah (Islamic school) for training in the Quran and preparation for jihad (holy war). As I read the Quran, I noticed that it talks about Jesus in ways that are different from other prophets; I was curious and confused. I left the madrasah and went to another city. There a friend of mine introduced me to a committed follower of Jesus who taught from the Bible. I liked his stories about Jesus and saw that he prayed to God in Jesus’ name, but I didn’t really think that it was for me. I didn’t see how Jesus could be for Muslims.
- Possible Pitfalls of Jesus Movements – Rebecca Lewis
The Jesus movements that are springing up these days in non-Christian religious contexts seem radically different from anything we have seen before. The questions many are asking are, Will these movements result in syncretistic or heretical faiths? Will they connect people to God through Christ, or will they keep people from eternal life? One way to foresee possible pitfalls in these movements is to look at similar movements in history.
- When God’s Kingdom Grows Like Yeast: Frequently-Asked Questions About Jesus Movements Within Muslim Communities – John J. Travis & J. Dudley Woodberry
In Matthew 13:33 and Luke 13:20 Jesus likens the Kingdom of God to yeast, a substance that transforms from the inside out. In the days surrounding His death and resurrection, Jesus instructed His followers to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom to all peoples of the world. Today numbers of Muslims have accepted this good news, allowing the yeast of the Kingdom to transform their lives and their families, while remaining a part of their own Muslim communities. Since there is a variety of perspectives on this phenomenon, even among the Islamic Studies faculty where we teach, we here seek to address some frequently-asked questions about it.
- Sharing the Truth with Courtesy and Respect: Contextualization without Syncretism – Rick Brown (The BtD reading was an edited version with much the same material as “Contextualization, Indigenization and Syncretism”)
We use the term ‘worldview’ to refer to a person’s framework of core beliefs and values. It has been common in the past to treat worldview as one aspect of culture, but this is unhelpful for our purposes. Different individuals in a community can share a common culture yet hold to different worldviews…One of the chief functions of the Bible is to transform the worldviews that people have and bring them into alignment with a single, revealed worldview, which the biblical authors call “the truth” and “the faith.” This biblical worldview is theocentric rather than anthropocentric; in other words, it is based on God’s purposes, plans and values rather than those of individual people.
- The Main Question Is Identity – John Azumah
C5 believers are defined as Muslims who follow Jesus as Lord and Savior. From Cumming’s paper and more recent writings of proponents of the Insider Movement, the point is made that C5 is a divine initiative of God reaching Muslims. The Muslim-background believers (MBBs) so reached then independently and of their own free choice decide to remain within the Muslim community and to be identified officially as Muslim. The testimony of Ibrahim in Cumming’s piece makes this point clear.
- Insider Movements and the Historical Approach – Jeff Morton, with responses from Kevin Higgins
Every missionary effort is comprised of at least two essential areas for consideration: the praxis of mission and the theology that undergirds and informs it. My own assumptions are pretty obvious in that statement: theology informs and shapes practice (or proper thinking about God and his mission leads to appropriate doing of his mission). There is a growing debate within our community: the Insider Movements…I want to make clear what I believe the real debate is about while simultaneously offering several observations about the nature of either side’s biases.
- Evaluating “Insider Movements”: C5 (Messianic Muslims) – Bill Nikides
C5 describes the closest accommodation to Islam that is possible and still encourages the Lordship of Christ. C5 describes a community of Messianic Muslims who have accepted Jesus as Lord and savior. They remain legally and socially within the ummah.
- The “Insider Movement”: A Brief Overview and Analysis – Khalil Ullah
An astounding phenomenon, though not exclusive to ministry to Muslims, is overtaking much missionary work among Muslims. A growing number of professing Christians involved in witness to Muslims are a part of what is called, “Insider Movements,” or the “Insider Movement.” This controversial approach to ministry has resulted in many of its proponents to affirm that Muhammad was a prophet from God, the Quran is at least partially-inspired Scripture, and it is possible for Muslims to retain their Muslim identity as “Muslim followers of Christ.” Such beliefs have resulted in radical practices such as professing Christians and former Muslims legally converting to Islam and the production of “Muslim-idiom translations” of the Bible that do not literally translate such words and phrases as “Son of God,” “Son of Man,” and “Son,” in reference to Jesus and “Father” in reference to God.