Evertt W. Huffard


(1) Will it be the trends in Islam or in our own world that make Muslim evangelism such a challenge?

I am convinced that the greatest obstacles are the trends in our own world: trends that render churches impotent; that view the aliens in the country as a threat more than an opportunity; and loss of sheer evangelistic and mission zeal. Christian stereotypes of Muslims can only damage relations and discourage evangelism. Muslims were "camel jockeys" in the 1960's; "oil sheiks" in the 1970's and "terrorists" in the 1980's.

(2) Globalization of Islam is through migration. Christians are stationary. Poverty in Islamic nations has helped them become global, while Christian wealth hinders the globalization of western churches.

The current trends in the Muslim world will be addressed in three broad areas, borrowing from Kenneth Craggs categories: Islam and the State; Islam and Contemporary Society, and Inward Crisis of Faith.1


Iran has been the worlds only self-claimed theocracy, but according to the Houston Chronicle (Dec. 1994), President Hashemi Rafsanjani was in trouble for failing to deliver a utopia; the clergy had been given vast powers but failed to build a stronger state.

In 1991, the Lilly Endowment funded "The Pluralism Project" to examine religious diversity; cities like Houston had 60,000 Muslims; 40,000 to 50,000 Hindus.




Two schools of thought developed in the British church by the 19th Century around Charles Foster (1787-1871) and William Muir (1819-1905). The former viewed Islam as preparation for the Christian message and sought bridges of thought, history, and relationships. The latter viewed Islam as opposed to the gospel and sought to build walls and oppress it. Neither were very successful. However, since our call from God is to be ministers of reconciliation, I am convinced the former will be more faithful to the nature of an honorable God who works in the lives of people today.

1Kenneth Cragg, "Contemporary Trends," Muslims and Christians on the Emmaus Road, p. 21-43.

2Daniel Ho, "Issues in the Muslim World," World Evangelization, Jan. 1995.

3Dr. P. Sookhdeo, "The Law of Apostasy in Islam and its Relation to Human Rights and Religious Liberty," November, 1992, p. 8; on BBC Radio 4 "Sunday Programme" talk show.

4Sookhdeo, p. 15.

5Daniel Ho.

6Dr. P Sookhdeo, "The Service of the Church in the Presence of Islam in Europe."

7Michael J. Nazir-Ali, "Islam in Today's World," Eerdmans Handbook of World Religions, 1994.

8Josiah Fearson, "Islamic Fundamentalism in Africa," World Evangelization, Jan. 1995, p. 16-17.

Harding University Graduate School of Religion 2/97

This article orginally was presented at:
The Teachers of Missions Workshop, Bedford, Texas, February 1997.

Bible Resources Home Page
Return to OVU Missions Home Page   Return to Missions Articles Page   Return to Bible Resources Home Page
Last updated on January 28, 2013
Page maintained by