Understanding Insider Movements:
778 pages
English

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778 pages
English

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Description

For the first time in history, large numbers of people from the world’s major non-Christian religions are following Jesus as Lord. Surprisingly for many Western Christians, they are choosing to do so within the religious communities of their birth and outside of institutional Christianity. How does this work, and how should we respond to these movements? This long-awaited anthology brings together some of the best writings on the topic of insider movements. Diverse voices explore this phenomenon from the perspectives of Scripture, history, theology, missiology, and the experience and identity of insider believers. Those who are unfamiliar with the subject will find this book a crucial guide to a complex conversation. Students and instructors of mission will find it useful as a reader and reference volume. Field workers and agencies will discover in these chapters welcome starting points for dialogue and clearer communication. The first book to provide a comprehensive survey of the topic of insider movements, Understanding Insider Movements is an indispensable companion for those who want to glimpse the creative, unexpected, boundary-crossing ways God is at work among the peoples of the world in their diverse religious communities.

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Publié par
Date de parution 01 septembre 2015
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780878089932
Langue English

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UNDERSTANDING
INSIDER MOVEMENTS

Following Jesus is not a matter of one culture or nomenclature. This enlightening book presents a range of approaches and perspectives concerning indigenous Jesus movements around the world. Ultimately this crucial work encourages us to critically embrace what God is doing beyond our historic boundaries, just as God helped his people to do in Acts.
—Craig S. Keener
professor of New Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary; author of The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament
The Cape Town Commitment has this to say about the phenomenon known as insider movements:
This is a complex phenomenon and there is much disagreement over how to respond to it. Some commend such movements. Others warn of the danger of syncretism. Syncretism, however, is a danger found among Christians everywhere as we express our faith within our own cultures. We should avoid the tendency, when we see God at work in unexpected or unfamiliar ways, either (i) hastily to classify it and promote it as a new mission strategy, or (ii) hastily to condemn it without sensitive contextual listening.
In the spirit of Barnabas who, on arrival in Antioch, “saw the evidence of the grace of God” and “was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord,” we would appeal to all those who are concerned with this issue to: (1) Take as their primary guiding principle the apostolic decision and practice: “We should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.” (2) Exercise humility, patience and graciousness in recognizing the diversity of viewpoints, and conduct conversations without stridency and mutual condemnation. (IIC.4)
This amazing and unprecedented anthology reflects that opening statement about complexity, and allows us to hear multiple voices, from those who commend and those who warn. It is a treasure chest of biblical and theological reflection and critique, along with diverse lived experience from many cultural and religious backgrounds. We hear facts through objective description and subjective testimony, and both are immensely valuable.
But what encourages me most about this volume is that its editors and contributors embody the spirit of Barnabas referred to in the second paragraph from that Cape Town Commitment section. The book as a whole and in its parts is a magnificent model of the “humility, patience and graciousness” that does its work “without stridency and mutual condemnation.” For that reason, and because it fills a major gap in missiological reflection, it is to be warmly welcomed and commended.
—Christopher J. H. Wright
international ministries director for the Langham Partnership; author of The Mission of God and The Mission of God’s People
Today hundreds of thousands of Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim people claim that they have been born again through faith in Jesus and follow the Bible as authoritative. Yet they still consider themselves members of their original religious communities. While their beliefs and spiritual experiences have changed radically, they remain loyal to their ancestral heritages. These identities are cultural more than religious, they feel. Certainly, as the Holy Spirit works in ways that we would not imagine, and human beings from all kinds of backgrounds are drawn to Jesus, their journeys transcend our categories. This volume explores that movement.
—Miriam Adeney
associate professor of world Christian studies, Seattle Pacific University; author of Kingdom without Borders and Daughters of Islam
God is doing a new thing in our days, as he did in the “insider movement” in the early gatherings of believers (church) within the synagogues and Jewish society at large. Given the present widespread understanding of “church planting” and reproducing stereotypical “churches,” this compilation of articles makes the reader rethink our methodology for effective ways of influencing communities from within. I am very pleased that these articles have been written by friends who have actually experienced and worked with insider movements for years and who do not just rely on theories. I have known a few of them personally for many years, becoming familiar with their work, and interacted with many of them at different times over the years.
These bold experiments and results are a breath of fresh air in the midst of replanting denominational churches. Mission leaders tend to reproduce the forms and practices of the churches they have come from, such as priestly cassocks, styles, songs, hymns, and liturgies, which make no sense to many peoples of the countries where they earnestly labor.
I am grateful for the authors from across the world who are talking about the theme of insider movements. These writings should be treated as a manual and taught in the circles of new movements of missionaries from ethne to ethne in our globalized world. These principles must be put into practice, for the sake of both local peoples and the growing diasporas of professionals, refugees, students, and family migrants. The world is at our doorstep, and we need to recognize and initiate insider movements in every region of the world. I highly recommend this book as a rethinking of how we must take the good news of Christ to the ends of the earth.
—K. Rajendran
World Evangelical Alliance Mission Commission, Bangalore, India
Regardless of one’s position on insider movements, this volume represents an important contribution to missiological understanding.
—David Garrison
missionary and author of A Wind in the House of Islam
Understanding Insider Movements takes the traditional Christian on an illuminating journey through the eye of the needle and into grassroots, Jesus-following, but not Christian, religious movements. This is essential reading for American Christian leaders to comprehend how God is transforming people within their religious culture. Christians should not be watching these developments on the sidelines, but rather actively engaging these Jesus followers to learn from them and share in discipleship. The authors are honest in addressing the controversy and opportunity within insider movements, which are on the growth edge of the global body of Christ. Readers will be delighted with the comprehensive scope of this book.
—Tim Morgan
senior editor of global journalism, Christianity Today
This book is like a swath of light slicing through the many murky issues surrounding Jesus movements in Muslim countries. It also holds up before us the difficulties posed by our historical moment: a reprise of the Jew-Gentile social crisis of the first century.
In the same way that early Jewish followers were faced with new and strange wineskins emerging from Greek customs and habits of thought, today’s “Christian West” is now being made nervous by a gospel making its way within religious traditions that rival Christianity in social and philosophical depth. The book squarely puts before us the challenge of contextualization within Muslim cultures, framing it within the larger work of God in discipling the “nations.” It goads us to once for all step out of the shadows of the old wineskins of “Christendom” and discern the fresh outbreak of the Spirit within the structures of other human cultures, which at bottom are all religiously based at any rate.
I heartily recommend this book to all who wish to catch the fresh wind of the Spirit that is now at work among their own peoples.
—Melba Padilla Maggay
president of the Institute for Studies in Asian Church and Culture
Imagine having about fifty authors from more than ten nations, with cross-cultural experience from every corner of the globe, sharing a conversation about what it takes to be a follower of Christ among various living faiths. Furthermore, allow for a diversity of opinions all the way from strong support to ambivalence to friendly critique, all of them supported by a careful and hospitable biblical-theological and practical argumentation. What kind of book would you have? This is exactly what you are holding in hand right now! And the topic is one of the most burning ones in Christian mission, often titled “insider movements.” Take up and read!
—Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen
professor of systematic theology, Fuller Theological Seminary; docent of ecumenics on the Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki
Harley Talman and John Jay Travis’s massive collection of essays on insider movements has been for me a true revelation. It provides a powerful way of understanding the real essence of New Testament faith as the following of Jesus of Nazareth, as well as an equally powerful way of understanding what contextualizing our faith might really mean. Most of all, reading the essays in this collection gave me a glimpse into how the Jerusalem community in Acts 15 might have viewed the Gentile Christian community in Antioch, and how radical was the community’s decision in the same chapter as they and the Holy Spirit decided to impose “no further burden” but the essentials.
—Stephen B. Bevans
Louis J. Luzbetak, SVD, Professor Emeritus of Mission and Culture, Catholic Theological Union; author of Models of Contextual Theology
God is obviously doing something among people within the major religions that we have not seen before, as thousands are submitting to Jesus Christ. It often gets messy as his new followers pick their way out of the old dominions and into his kingdom of light. The route is so uncharted and perilous that many of us who are watching are skeptical that it can even be done. Consequently, controversy rules at a time when we should, instead, be praising God and interceding for these new family members.
This anthology, Understanding Insider Movements, is an essential read for anyone who is seriously interested in the growth of the gospel in our world. You probably won’t agree with everything you read; some of it might even set you off. But this is a serious work, done by over fifty authors, mos

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