BtD Vision. Followers of Jesus from a variety of backgrounds unified in purpose to effectively share with Muslims the good news of salvation in Christ, resulting in obedient disciples and multiplying communities of believers (ekklēsia).
- To encourage fruitful discussion of important yet contentious issues in the reaching of Muslims.
- To provide a relationally safe forum for conversation and interaction, honestly wrestling with strong differences in convictions and concerns.
- To diminish misunderstandings, attacks against “straw men” and false reports.
- To encourage and sharpen each other in choosing and applying biblically appropriate strategies for ministry to Muslims.
- To increase appropriate trust by increasing accurate understandings and relational investment.
- To guard the integrity of the gospel and all those committed to sharing the gospel.
- To identify and discourage practices detrimental to the reputation of Christ and the proclamation of the true Gospel.
- To encourage the fruit of the Spirit and filial love toward fellow-believers in Christ, even when discussing important disagreements.
What is the “Divide”? For many years there has been significant disagreement among those seeking to reach Muslims with the Good News, about what approaches are biblically appropriate and effective in accomplishing God’s saving purposes among Muslims. With numerous articles, discussions, (and in more recent years) seminars and books promoting on position or another, many have gotten the impression that the dispute is between two camps locked in combat. The interactions of the BtD Network since 2011 have made it clear that rather than two distinct “camps” a better description would be a spectrum of ideas, attitudes and practices, with various individuals landing at various point along the spectrum. Yet there remains a divide between individuals and groups holding to these diverse positions.
How are We “Bridging” the Divide? We are bringing together voices representing a wide range of opinions – to meet and come to know one another as fellow-servants of God, to better understand one another (with our diverse backgrounds, presuppositions, theological positions and strategic approaches), to learn from one another and to adjust our ideas and attitudes when we find God’s Spirit speaking to us perspectives and truths that call us to change. Our “bridging” is not trying to bring together two land masses into one, but to provide points of connection and relationship so that effective communication, understanding and growth can occur. The “bridge” is not primarily for convincing people to come over to one’s predetermined “side,” but more for traffic to go back and forth, to be sharpened by God’s Spirit as we listen to each other and receive from each other. For that to happen, we all need our personal portion of the “bridge” to be open, gracious, humble, listening, and speaking as clearly as we can.
A BtD Parable. “As I was walking in the desert, I saw a lion in the distance, but I decided to keep walking. As I got closer, I saw it was a man, so I kept walking toward him. As I got still closer, I saw it was my brother.”