n Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies - Christian witness to Muslims : rationale, approaches and strategies




Christian witness to Muslims has been variously discredited among Christians as: imperialistic; destructive of inter-religious relations; a waste of time and resources ('because 'Muslims are too difficult to evangelise'). From the Islamic side it is also rejected. In the face of this critique, there are two main reasons for witness to Muslims: (1) it is a biblical imperative; (2) Muslims have a right to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to have the freedom of access to the Gospel and the freedom to leave Islam if they so desire. 'Strategies' and 'approaches' in Christian witness should be guided by the conviction that God is the one who convicts and converts people, not missionaries or preachers. Christians need to overcome stumbling blocks such as fear of Islam and Muslims, their own prejudices, and their lack of faith that Muslims can come to faith in Christ. Christians also need to develop a friendly Christian presence (visible and public) in Muslim neighbourhoods; to discover their roles as witnesses, not judges; to focus on the person of Jesus instead of dogma. Despite the volume of anti-Christian polemic, the figure of Jesus continues to attract Muslims, fascinate them, speak to them and convict them.


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