<a href="https://biblicalmissiology.org/author/mstephan/" target="_self">Mark Stephan</a>

Mark Stephan

Mark has lived and worked in missions for all of his adult life, living and ministering in the Middle East for 7 years. Currently Mark lives and resides in the USA mobilizing for the field, and working hard to bring modern missions back to the heart of God, His glory. His goal is to build missional communities focused on Christ, that live out Christ incarnately, giving Him glory, and transporting those communities to the Middle East to continue glorifying Christ.

2 Comments

  1. Mark Stephan

    Hello Mitchell,

    Perhaps others might want to give some feedback on how much Islam borrowed their culture from Jewish culture, but I’d say probably very little if any. Borrowing stories (mostly incorrect) doesn’t mean borrowing culture.

    Certainly there is the praying during certain times of day, which the Jews did also, but I’m not certain that can be considered a significant cultural borrowing. Islam is an Arab religion that is distinctly arab.

    In fact, I look at that statement when quoted alone, and it doesn’t seem quite right to me. So let me give a little context. When I say, “Little culture remains that was before Islam. Islam is the culture.” what I mean to say that little culture remains that hasn’t been islamized. I think its obvious Islam is an arab religion, and by saying it is arab, one assumes there is an ‘Arabness’ to it, which is indeed culture. So perhaps I need to qualify what I said by saying all cultures Islam infiltrates, Islam takes over and absorbs what it finds useful, and annihilates what it doesn’t find useful.

    As for redeeming culture, that’s not a theology I attest to. I do not believe our job is to redeem culture, but rather to be redeemed by Christ, cleansed by His blood, and renewed by the Holy Spirit, being presented to the Father as adopted children.

    As redeemed believers, obviously we impact the culture around us, but our culture is the heavenly culture. We are now aliens to this world. The redemption of humanity’s culture isn’t God’s plan. The replacement of earthly culture with His own is His plan.

    So rather than trying to fix culture, we should be bold witnesses for the Kingdom culture, testifying to Christ, and glorifying God through the proclamation of the gospel. The side-effect of that is, yes, culture changes around us. But it isn’t the goal.

  2. mbrookland

    You wrote, “Little culture remains that was before Islam. Islam is the culture.”

    But didn’t Islam borrow significantly from Judaism? From your perspective, wouldn’t at least those cultural forms be redeemable and possibly even beneficial?

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  1. Mark Stephan | Idolatry in the Modern Missions Movement - [...] This article was originally written for Biblical Missiology: “Idolatry in the Modern Missions Movement“ [...]
  2. christianoutreachnow.com - Idolatry in the Modern Missions Movement | Biblical Missiology - [...] Excerpted Recommended CHRISTIAN OUTREACH Article FROM https://biblicalmissiology.org/2012/03/27/idolatry-in-the-modern-missions-movement/ [...]

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