Today I was sent a link to an excellent overview on the current state of affairs regarding contextualization by Christians in their outreach to Muslims. It is by Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo and is entitled, "Recent Changes in Christian Approaches to Islam." it's a pretty good writeup of the history of the issue. It is critical of the extreme contextualization going on today by some missionaries.
Because much of my blog is about the mission agency realm, I will share one quote from you among many that could be quoted in this writeup. Sookhdeo writes:
"It should also be noted that many mission agencies are keeping secret their support for the Insider Movement, for fear that donors will stop giving to them in protest."
As I have traveled globally and met with missionaries who are not IM practitioners, they ask me, "Do churches and donors in the US know what these IM missionaries are doing?" While I cannot substantiate Dr. Sookhdeo's claim (he notes an anonymous source in the footnotes), missionaries that I speak with feel that there is a lack of transparency regarding IM practices. For example, some IM practitioners suggest that saying the Shahada (the Muslim statement of conversion) is acceptable behavior for missionaries. I don't believe that many of their supporting constituents in the US would agree with this and continue to back these ministries if they were aware of just how "far inside" this movement is attempting to go.
You can read the whole article by clicking here. It is a long read, but it's worth getting a sense of the history leading to the current state of affairs.
I invite any of you to respond to this topic and I particularly invite any IM'ers that feel that this post (or the accompanying article) is not fair or misrepresents the issue. Muslims should also feel welcome to weigh in on this topic – I moderate comments so I will make sure you get fair treatment.