Joyful Witness in the Muslim World
Sharing the Gospel in Everyday Encounters
series: Mission in Global Community
Joyful Witness in the Muslim World features global perspectives on current Christian engagement with Islam. It equips readers for mission among Muslims, exploring how to move from fear to joy in sharing the gospel.
After emphasizing the importance of joy in the biblical narrative on mission and in human relationship building, Evelyne Reisacher surveys areas where Muslims and Christians encounter one another in the twenty-first century, highlighting innovative models of Christian witness in everyday life. Drawing on insights from global Christianity, this survey takes account of diverse conceptions of Muslim-Christian relations. It may surprise those who believe mission among Muslims is nearly impossible.
Reisacher, who has decades of experience in engagement with Muslims, has noticed a certain dehumanization of Muslims by Christians. Muslims are seen as targets of mission instead of being accepted as human beings with whom we interact in everyday life. Walls have been erected between Muslims and Christians by social and political conflicts, and theological debates give the impression that Christians always meet with Muslims in extraordinary contexts. However, in today's global village, Muslims and Christians are likely to meet each other anywhere and everywhere. Reisacher demonstrates that suffering and joy in mission are not in contradiction. Joy can be a catalyst to relationship and witness in a world threatened by conflicts involving Christians and Muslims.
This volume will help enhance global and local mission among Muslims. It will be of use to professors and students in mission courses, to mission training institutions and organizations, and to mission-minded pastors and mission committees in local churches.
About the Series
This is the first book in the Mission in Global Community series, which reframes missiological themes and studies for students around the common theme of mission as partnership with others. Series authors draw upon their own global experiences and those of their global colleagues to illumine present realities and chart a course into the future. Series editors are Scott W. Sunquist, dean of the School of Intercultural Studies and professor of world Christianity at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Amos Yong, director of the Center for Missiological Research and professor of theology and mission at Fuller Theological Seminary.
1. Toward Joyful Witness
2. Muslim-Christian Attachment
3. Connecting with iMuslims
4. Joyful Witness through Art
5. Thinking Green in Sharing the Gospel
6. Caring for the Needy
7. Meeting Muslim Urbanites
8. Theological Conversations
"This book is a joyous surprise! In an era when Islamophobia characterizes so much of Muslim-Christian relations, Evelyne Reisacher describes with gentle passion her joy-touched journey among Muslims. For all who seek to know Muslims, I enthusiastically commend this book. Evelyne anchors her theology of Joyful Witness in the Muslim World in the Trinity, wherein God is joyously celebrating the generous hospitality of his people and of all creation. For Evelyne 'witness' is welcoming all who will come to the bountiful table God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit provides. This book is intended to facilitate worldwide conversations. All who yearn to celebrate the joy of surprisingly open doors for witness among Muslims will want to read this book!"
David W. Shenk, global consultant, EMM (Eastern Mennonite Missions)
"Evelyne Reisacher writes as a scholar-practitioner whose passion is to reach Muslims with the gospel. She thoroughly examines the important venues that the church has readily available to share the gospel with Muslims next door and around the world. What is most compelling is the theological, psychological, and sociological foundation she discusses in the chapter, 'Toward Joyful Witness.' After reading this book, I was filled with joy and anticipation to continue to share the good news with Muslims with whom I am in regular contact. I gladly recommend this book for people in the church desiring to witness to Muslims and those in university and seminary classrooms preparing themselves for missional engagement."
Mark A. Hausfeld, president, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary; director, Center for Islamic Studies, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary
"Missions work among Muslims represents the greatest challenge of evangelical missions. With that in mind, missiologists and missions practitioners owe a debt of gratitude to Evelyne Reisacher for Joyful Witness in the Muslim World, which presents fresh ways to engage and evangelize Muslims. Reisacher reminds us that 'ordinary' Muslims do not necessarily reflect what is written in books on world religions and that befriending and loving Muslims is the most fruitful practice. I highly recommend this book to those who are searching for new ways to bring Muslims to Christ."
J. Mark Terry, professor of missions, Mid-America Baptist Seminary
Christianity Today 2017 Book Award Winner
ASM (American Society of Missiology) Book of the Year Award, 2016
Named one of Ten Outstanding Books of 2016 for Mission Studies, International Bulletin of Mission Research
"Perhaps understandably, much of our attention to the Muslim world--on the news, and in the church--revolves around war, terrorism, and other pervasive challenges. But Reisacher shows us the story we're missing. From a lifetime of missionary service, she reflects on how God's image is beautifully reflected in the Muslim men and women she's befriended. And she calls us to share our faith not out of fear or anger, but out of joy rooted in the hope of Christ."
"[Reisacher's] aim, though hard to define, is noble: Let's live shoulder to shoulder with Muslims and watch what God does. . . . [She] relates examples of making 'beginner's errors' in her relationships with Muslims, and how she matured into new perspectives. She has spent time and diligent study among Muslims for 40 years. For those seeking to live and work among Muslims, her work is instructional. And it conveys an important point: we must grow from convert-makers into disciple-makers. Christians who connect with Muslims on a personal level will relax, feel less pressured to force unnatural conversations, truly understand their new Muslim friends, and be a more effective incarnation of Christ. If you take up Reisacher's work, I encourage you to read in that light--not discouraged by immaturity, but rather challenged to press on to maturity. . . . Joyful Witness in the Muslim World is a needed contribution to the conversation about the church's engagement with Muslims."
The Gospel Coalition
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