Latourette Library’s Contribution to Practical Mission Research
I am currently an overseas student pursuing a Masters in International Development from William Carey International University. I have been studying in South Asia for the last 9 months and just started on my first research paper while in this new culture. Part of my research was to conduct some local interviews with Muslims to get their perspective on monotheism and their perspective on Christianity. Specifically I asked the question, “Do Muslims consider Christianity to be monotheistic like Islam?”
In one such interview a Muslim friend explained to me that I didn’t have to become Muslim, I could remain Christian and be a person of faith. However, he told me that I could not believe in Jesus’ death on the cross. I was deeply surprised. I thought the only major theological issue between Muslims and Christianity was Christianity’s supposed deviation into bi or tri-theism. However, I discovered that the second major issue is the end of Jesus’ earthly life.
As a result of this discovery I asked for a follow up meeting and my friend agreed. In preparation for this meeting I got online and began to search the web looking for Muslim scholarship on the topic of the end of Jesus’ earthly life. Various articles were mentioned in many of my readings, but over and over I discovered that most of these articles were only available through websites that charged pretty high rates.
Before I lost heart and gave up the search, I tried one more idea. I emailed Latourette Library, on WCIU’s campus, and asked if by chance they had the hard copies of the journals in question. Within 12 hours I had a reply and within 24 hours I had the first of the articles sent to me by email. Amazingly, it was the article most needed for my follow-up interview.
As a result, of our follow-up talk, I am now meeting on a more regular basis and developing a friendship. It is a huge help to have these resources available because they are not just helpful in forming my thinking and writing, but in extending truth and hope to others. I’m very thankful to Latourette Library for their help, efficiency, and the much needed library services available for their students.