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High Stakes: Insider Movement Hermeneutics and the Gospel

Volume 37 Issue 2
Jul 2012

1. Messianic Muslims and Muslim Evangelicals

1.1. What Is IM?

In June 2011, the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) passed an overture entitled, “A Call to Faithful Witness.”1 This overture, while sounding alarms on biblical translations that render the familial terms for God (Son, Father) with less offensive terms in the target language, also brought ecclesiastical attention to increasingly popular approaches to missions described as Insider Movements (IM).2 Called now Jesus Movements by some,3 these controversial methods have gained traction in regions where the Christian gospel has historically encountered harsh opposition. Motivated by the perceived scarcity of measurable fruit in places like Bangladesh and other predominately Muslim, Buddhist, or Hindu countries,4 evangelical missionaries have employed IM techniques since the 1980s. In the 1990’s, IM popularity expanded around the globe as many missionary practitioners became enamored with its tactics.5 Since these two formative decades, various forms of IM practice have entered the mainstream, crossed organizational and denominational boundaries, and now shape much of evangelical missions.

Read the rest of the article here.

Author: David B. Garner
David Garner is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and Pastor of Teaching at Proclamation Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.