5316 – Contextualization Issues Among Muslim Peoples
(3 graduate credits)
This course examines what it means for Christian ministry to be culturally sensitive within Islamic settings. The underlying assumptions, history, challenges, limitations, successes and failures of such activities are noted. Special attention is given to the almost universal presence of folk religion among Muslims, the nature of its expressions and the special challenges they present to culturally relevant ministry. Appropriate guidelines for effective service are explored.
Dr. Mark Harlan has a Master of Theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary and was the academic dean and professor of Bible exposition in an Arab theological seminary for eight of his 30 years in ministry to Muslims in the Arab world, Eurasia and N. America. He is an advocate of biblical or critical contextualization. His Ph.D. at Fuller Theological Seminary won the Islamic Studies award for developing a model for contextual theologizing for Muslims. He believes that the appropriate approach and degree of contextualization depends on the context and that God is using all kinds of approaches to bring people to faith in and discipleship to Christ, including “insider movements.” He is currently editing a textbook on understanding these movements (which he hopes to use as one of the course texts). He is active in the “Bridging the Divide” consultations aimed at resolving the controversy and conflicts in the mission community over these issues.