This is an article from the March-April 2004 issue: Real Fools for God?



Letters to the Editor

God Bless Al Hammond; I think he speaks the words of Jesus. Hurray to you for printing it. I have been appalled at hearing some of these young earth creation scientists publicly tear down a brother by name (Dr. Hugh Ross) over the airwaves… I have been reading the Bible over and over again for the last 10 years and have come to the conclusion that God doesn’t do very much instantaneously, other than healings and salvation. Why wasn’t Jesus born to Eve? Why did it take 4000 more years for him to come on the scene? Why hasn’t the Rapture already taken place? Isn’t it the cults who always put God in a box?

Don Loomis Fullerton, CA

You guys get a whopping 100% on the last edition of Mission Frontiers! I’ve heard so many people speak about staying on the cutting edge but I’ve never heard of anybody that is able to say what the “edge” is. That all changed when I read Paul McKaughan’s quote on page 9 in the latest edition. Brilliant! I have a question (or two) for you guys. I read all about the big “missionary guys” meetings and all the conferences. In the long run, what is the fruit of those conferences? Where the “rubber hits the road” at the edge, where biblical faith encounters the belief system of those who do not acknowledge Christ as Lord... what difference does it make?

Albert Pote South Africa

Ralph D. Winter replies: Some conferences are very worth while, some not so. Your question is something like, “What is the value of conversation?” Some is helpful, some is not. In general, when the topic is the cutting edge, a huge amount of light is dispersed across the world in one of the fastest ways!

I understand the need for incarnational ministry among those different than us. I wonder, though, how far it needs to go, especially to “not offend.” Mr. Massey uses Paul and Jesus as examples. Interestingly enough, both of them were not all that concerned about offending others, unless it was children. Both, in fact, offended others quite often. In fact, Jesus died for it, and Paul was put in prison. And Paul in 1 Corinthians 1 indicates that the preaching of the Gospel is foolishness and a stumbling block, depending on to whom it is preached. Let’s not get so bound by the messenger that we forget the Gospel is “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes”.

Doug Swank Glendale, AZ

I was somewhat troubled by Joshua Massey’s article in the latest issue of Mission Frontiers, “Living Like Jesus, a Torah- Observant Jew.” While I have not been involved in ministry to trained to understand and appreciate differences in culture, and to be culturally relevant and sensitive to the target community. This, however, did not prevent me from having some very strong reservations about this article. I see the policy advocated by Massey as a step backward in the effort to reach Muslims for Christ rather than an advancement. It amounts to undermining, by practice, the great truths declared by Paul in his letters to the Romans and the Galatians. What Muslims need to see is not someone like themselves, but someone who, without hypocritical observance of rituals, is able to live above and beyond the religious rituals they embrace. Even the title of the article tends to be offensive, as though living like a Torah observant Jew is to live like Jesus.

Roy Mayfield Carnation, WA

Joshua Massey replies: Thank you so much for your feedback. You make many excellent points that deserve a proper response. Some of the difficulty is likely rooted in that fact that my article is mostly written for people who are pro-C4 and pro-C5 in their philosophy of ministry. Without such an orientation, much of what I say will indeed seem questionable. Therefore, I believe many of your questions will be answered in the IJFM issue on Muslim Contextualization, available online.

Please especially read these articles:

  • God’s Amazing Diversity in Drawing Muslims to Christ
  • Should Muslims Become “Christians”?
  • Jesus in Samaria: A Paradigm for Church Planting Among Muslims
  • First-Century Jews and Twentieth-Century Muslims
  • Messianic Muslim Followers of Isa


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