*All workshops will be conducted during two sessions on Friday, June 15, from 11:00-12:30 and 3:30-5:00 p.m. *All plenary speakers will also teach workshops.
1) Engaging Islam: The basics of Islam and What Muslims Believe
Presenters: Georges Houssney and Horizons Team
Session 1 (11:00-12:30) Reactions to Islam and Islam 101: Beliefs & Practices
Session 2: (3:30-5:00) Current Status of Islam in the World and Engaging Muslims
It is no secret that reaching Muslims with the gospel of salvation through Jesus is one of the toughest challenges facing the church today. Engaging Islam helps you engage with confidence. You will learn biblical principles you can use as you meet Muslims. You will hear stories of how God has been drawing Muslims to himself from around the world and in American cities. Drawing from a over 50 combined years of ministry among Muslims, the father-son team, Georges and Andre Houssney will help us understand the mindset of Muslims and the steps of sharing the gospel with them. The sessions will call Christians to return to biblical values and the practices of Jesus and his apostles. The models of Jesus in particular demonstrates practically how Jesus crossed cultural barriers.
2) Exposing Truth’s Cost, Sharing Truth’s Worth
Presenter: Abdu Murray
It has been said, “We know what things cost, but we don’t know what they’re worth.” This seems especially true when it comes to our deepest convictions. When offering the truth of the Gospel to others, Christians often encounter emotional objections disguised as moral or intellectual objections. Drawing on his personal experience in coming to Christ as a former Muslim and sharing the Gospel with others, Abdu provides a powerful way for Christians to get those with whom they are sharing the Gospel to confront their emotional barriers and fears so that the credibility of the Gospel message can be sincerely and freely examined.
3) Learning from the "New" Maghrebi Christians
Session 1 only
Presenter: Rev. Bassam Madany
The term "Maghrebi" refers to North African Christians from a Muslim background. In this session we will learn from the testimonies of our Maghrebi brothers and sisters in our discussions of missions to Muslims in the 21st century. They are the ones who have made the journey from Islam to Christianity at a great cost, so it is reasonable to listen to the accounts of their conversion and the way they have expressed their new life in Christ, by joining or organizing national congregations of Masihiyyeen (Christians.) These are the findings from a study that was conducted of those who had come to the Christian faith in North Africa, to learn about the factors that led to their conversion, and how they arrived at a totally different paradigm of missions to Muslims than the one offered by the “Insider Movement.”
It is quite evident that the testimonies of these new Maghrebi Christians are extremely important. The Christian message came to them through various means, but it struck them as a word of a loving God in search for His lost sheep. They embraced the Messiah who died on the cross, and rose again for their justification. Notwithstanding all the difficulties they faced, they clung to the Biblical gospel that had brought them peace with God, and the gift of eternal life.
4) "Why Do our Young Adult Muslims Become Apostates?"
Session 2 only
Presenter: Rev. Bassam Madany
In today’s globalized world, with the Internet facilitating exchanges of ideas, it is inevitable that some Muslims will forsake their faith and become either apostates, or embrace another religious faith. And regardless of the motives for such radical events taking place within the Household of Islam, this new phenomenon will grow during this new century. The challenges facing Islam are so powerful and complex, that to continue repeating the worn-out mantra that Islam is the solution for mankind’s problems, has been proven utterly bankrupt. We should not be surprised if more defections will take place among the 'shabab' (young men) of the Arab world.
This is an analysis of an article by the title of this workshop. The writer is a female intellectual and a regular columnist for the Kuwaiti online Al-Jarida, an Arabic term for “Newspaper.” The topic is not usually discussed in the Arab media, as it happens to be a very sensitive one. Furthermore, it is overshadowed by the almost continuous reporting about the Islamists, or radical Muslims. Is it really possible that some Muslim young adults are turning against their faith, and adopting what amounts to be an atheistic worldview?
The author of the original article charges the Islamists with the crime of pushing some young adults into apostasy. One can understand the distress of the columnist in observing the rise of apostasy among young men throughout the Arab world, including her own country, Kuwait. But has she considered that some Arab young men reject Islam, and become “unbelievers” not so much on account of the words and actions of Islamists, but for other weighty reasons.
5) Examining the Insider Movement in Bangladesh: Interviews with Bengalis
Presenter: Bill Nikides
Half Devil Half Child
6) Why Muslims Must Know the Father and Son
Presenter: Dr. Dave Garner
This seminar will explore the Scripture’s teaching on Jesus Christ as Son of the living God. We will consider some key Scripture passages and their critical theological instruction about God’s Son, the Word incarnate. Is “Son of God” a metaphor? A title? A humanly-devised term? Is Christ’s sonship something He first attained when He became a man? We will see what Scripture says about the Son of God and then consider why it really matters.
7) How to Have Good Debates with Muslims
Presenter: Jay Smith
Jay Smith is an expert debater with Muslims. This workshop is for men and women interested in learning to have good debates with Muslims, either formally on a university campus, or informally (i.e. in someone's home, or on the street, or in a casual conversation). Although some Christians reject the art of debate as too confrontational, Jay believes that when working publicly with Muslims, it is almost inevitable, since Muslims all over the world love to debate; and usually initiate them, whether we like it or not. Therefore, for some of us, it is a valuable and necessary tool in ministry to Muslims. This session will be modeled after a similar training series that Jay runs in London: One person taking on the Muslim position, and the other that of Christianity. In London he and his pupils carry out 1-2 formal debates per month, and many more informal ones with Muslims in the UK, on a range of topics concerning both Islam and Christianity.
8) Incarnational Evangelism to Muslims
Presenters: Jeff and Debbie Smith
Relational evangelism done biblically is “incarnational”. Truth is more than just concepts and precepts. Truth is a Person that people need to know and follow. God’s Word takes on flesh and relates to man person-to-person. In his first coming, Christ took on flesh and interacted with people face-to-face. He will return in that same body at his second coming. Meanwhile, God is incarnating His Word through the Body of Christ, you and me. God wants His church to “put skin on” His word and take His Good News to the world. How do we, the Church, take the Good News to the world in-person, in particular to Muslims? What do we say and not say? How do we relate? How do we overcome fear and prejudices, ours and theirs? What biblical doctrines do we tell them? In what order? Do we avoid any?...postpone any? Come to this workshop and we will work through these questions together.
9) How I Came to Christ: One Woman's Journey
Presenter: Nicole Johnson
Nicole Johnson was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan as an orthodox Muslim. As a young adult, she began to question the validity of the Islamic faith, and went on a spiritual quest to find an anchor for her soul. This search led her to study New Thought teachings, and she later trusted Christ. In this workshop she will tell her story of how the Lord brought her to faith in Christ, and the many circumstances that led up to her conversion. After coming to Christ, Nicole earned a Master of Theological Studies degree from Moody Theological Seminary–MI and currently teaches Apologetics at the Detroit Bible Institute. She also frequently shares her conversion testimony with church and ministry groups, and teaches on the distinctions between Christian and Islamic doctrine.
*Cultural Experience and Evangelism Opportunities, Saturday, June 16