<a href="https://biblicalmissiology.org/author/jspan/" target="_self">John Span</a>

John Span

John Span has worked with his family in West Africa among an unreached 'Fulani' people group for the last ten years. His mentors have challenged him to think theologically, especially in the area of missions to Muslims and he desires to inspire others to do the same. In the last year he has been a frequent contributor to the St. Francis Magazine.

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    Thank you for pointing to this thought provoking study! I have not given this consideration previously.

    Of course, one has to define “religious” affiliation, which is exceedingly difficult today, especially given the number of “Christians” in the world who are not regenerate believers of Christ (i.e. have not been ‘converted’). That the NT believers universally identified as “Christians” or desired to be is far from clear. We therefore need to be humble and tentative in our application of “religion” to Biblical conversion. (Disclaimer: I am not an IM proponent.)

    The deeper issue is that Biblical conversion is not individualistic (it IS personal), but the communal aspects of conversion mean that we are to be part of the community of Jesus (“outsider conversion” as France puts it). And that takes various forms in various contexts. Sole allegiance to Christ and then affiliation with his body (Biblically defined ekklesia) is where the Gospel aims, and then social identity and labels flow from that, but not vice versa.

    This post might be of interest:
    http://muslimministry.blogspot.com/2013/10/conversion-in-layers-of-identity-part-5.html

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