<a href="https://biblicalmissiology.org/author/ghoussney/" target="_self">Georges Houssney</a>

Georges Houssney

Georges Houssney was raised in the predominantly Muslim city of Tripoli, Lebanon. He came to faith in Jesus Christ as a teenager. Soon God grew a deep love for Muslims in his heart, and he began to sense God's call for full-time service among them. Well-known for his work supervising the translation and publication of the Bible into clear modern Arabic, Georges and his family moved from the Middle East to the United States in 1982 to minister to international students. Georges is passionate about reaching internationals here and abroad with the great news of salvation. He writes and lectures internationally about ministry to Muslims, and he strives to awaken a new generation who will proclaim the gospel boldly. Georges is founder and director of Horizons International and does Muslim evangelism training through his training Engaging Islam.

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    “There was much fellowship as well as laughter. Perhaps the best times were when we all entered the throne of God together seeking the Lord’s face.”

    In this assessment, Houssney acknowledges that the consultants could not agree on whether or not Muhammed is God’s messenger, whether the Qur’an is divine or Satanic, whether the shahada is acceptable or anathema, etc. Again, in the face of the precious and crucial Sonship of Jesus Christ being eviscerated from Bibles in Muslim lands all over the world, this consultation produces an ecumenically vague and utterly impotent statement about “Practicing fidelity in Scripture translation…” which is precisely what the Son-removing folks have been claiming they have been doing all along.

    Now, Georges Houssney is one of the more prominent evangelical voices out there critiquing the “Insider Movement”. Yet despite these “differences” in “position” noted above, Houssney sees nothing that would be a barrier to “fellowship”, and rejoices in being able to gather around the “throne of God” together. So my question is: is Georges Houssney not unwittingly an Insider himself? What I hear Houssney saying is that folks can disagree over, or play extremely loosely with, crucial truths central to the heart of God, but as long as we all come together with an attitude that we are “seeking the Lord’s face” as each thinks he knows best, then we can be united in worship. Is that not precisely the Insider position? Perhaps this consultation produced a convert to the other side after all!

    This type of discussion frustrated me to no end. It seemed to be a game of words and semantics.

    Well, Georges, I’d say you’ve got a decision to make. Either for the sake of “unity” you continue to allow double-speak and word play to gloss over huge, essential differences in substance, or you don’t. Getting frustrated and complaining about it isn’t going to change things one way or another.

    As for me, my stance is clear. If anyone is wishy-washy about something so essential as the fact that Jesus is the Son/Ibn/Anak of God, then I love them… as an outsider to the faith that I hold dear. Love is for all, unity is reserved for the brethren. I have no qualms with being “divisive” if that means separating from those who act as enemies of the gospel (compare 2 Cor 6). I’ll continue to love those who have been deceived by the Insider Movement—my love will primarily take the form of continuing to pray for their salvation and share the true Gospel with them when I have opportunity. But they are outsiders, not insiders, to the faith that I follow. Love is for all. Unity is reserved for legitimate brethren.

  2. Georges Houssney

    Dear Salaam,
    Have you been following me around everywhere for the last 40 years? What you described is EXACTLY how some people respond to me. You must have had the same experience. The good news is: this blog is bringing together a large number of like minded, Bible honoring men and women of all walks of life. We have missiologists, theologians, missionaries, Bible scholars who are communicating with me and each other and the momentum is building. There was a time where the only audible voice was that of the Contextualists and Insider Movement proponents. Thanks to the internet, this has changed and many of us are finding each other and a lot of good and productive networking is taking place. Finally the church is beginning to wake up. The PCA general assembly in June made a huge decision on the Bible Translation issue. Other churches and denominations are finally waking up too. You will soon see many of those promoting the Insider movement distancing themselves and calling their ministries something else. Amazingly some are returning to what Contextualists in the seventies rejected: Indigenous Movements. Recently someone began to call this movement Jesus Movement as though all the other movements are not Jesus Movements.

    Thank you for spelling out the response of people who are intent on not learning anything while accusing us of not being teachable. Strange turning of the tide.

    Anyway, Muslims are coming to Christ without our methodologies. The Holy Spirit is moving and he is unstoppable. We do well if we would just hop on God’s band wagon and rejoice.

  3. Avatar

    Greetings Georges:
    I found your article to be a text-book example of group dynamics. It also caused me to think of a number of group situations that I have found myself in over time, as issues of a substantive nature were discussed or debated. Since I did not attend the consultation I wonder if you would resonate with any of the following dynamics?

    Have you ever?
    a. Debated a topic with someone and they give you a kind and patronizing smile, which could be interpreted variously, but at the end of the day seems to say, “I have a superior wisdom to your slightly antiquated view of things. Maybe you just need to get with the times.”
    b. Walked away from a discussion where you have used scripture, it would seem faithfully, and your respondent says, “Well it is all how you look at it” which is another way of saying, there is really no absolute truth or standard, each observer is his/her own ultimate referee.
    c. Sat with a group of people who all have made up their mind about a certain issue, and who derive a certain group solidarity from it? When you present a good Biblical resource with solid facts that might challenge their thinking, some kind of shutters seem to go over their eyes as they look at one another for affirmation of their group-think, and politely you are told “Thank you for such an opinion. It is interesting,” but, not directly of course as that would cause one to appear less than tolerant or having largesse to other opinions the body language says…”Thank you for your presentation of facts, but I will dismiss them as opinion. I have my opinion and have made a large emotional commitment to it, as has our group, thus please don’t bother me with the facts, my mind is made up.”
    d. Had someone play the Pharisee card on you? In effect you are told that you are a doctrinal purist that has no love for the lost. The card is like a 5th Ace that one has up their sleeve. At first glance it looks authentic, but it is really a cheat card that is used to slap a label on those who stand in the way of false teaching, compromising change and a watered-down gospel. Jesus never chided the Pharisees for doctrinal purity. He chided them for being false teachers. Who is labeling who?
    e. Stumbled across a book like that of Jim Bakker with a title that read, “I was Wrong” or a collection of recantations by Augustine that in effect say the same thing? These are the stuff of Divine intervention, especially when no alligator tears are evident in days and months to come.

    Blessings on your life and work as you live as a disciple who passionately loves Jesus and as a result doctrinal purity

    Salaam

  4. Adam

    Thank you for an honest report, and for especially addressing the apparent deceitfulness of Brown in “agreeing” to retain familial language yet having no intentions of stopping what he and his colleagues are currently doing, nor trying to undo the damage that has already been inflicted.

    Unless and until concrete steps of repentance are taken, their words cannot and must not be trusted. This is strong language but I am not writing in anger but matter-of-factly. As of now, they are still being given the benefit of the doubt whether in the name of courtesy/love/kindness or “wisdom.”

    I am privy to several official responses of WBT-SIL in which they continually justify these mistranslations for Muslims. The fact of their internet article by Susan Van Wynen (http://www.wycliffe.net/Missiology/BibleTranslationandMission/tabid/94/Default.aspx?id=2213) is proof enough that the leadership defends this perversion of Scripture.

    Barring genuine repentance or a drastic change of leadership within WBT-SIL, I think that the process of engaging them will prove disappointing, frustrating, and perhaps angering. These mistranslations have been going on full-speed for over a decade. The time for “niceties” and protocol has expired. It is past time to shine light on this darkness if for nothing else than for the church here to realize what is happening. Even in these days of “Post-modernism” and the “Emergent Church” God still has His “7000” who have not bowed to the baals of our age and will no longer be unknowingly complicit in prayer and financial support for these things.

    May God help us to be people of conviction and at least bring an end to all the secrecy.

    Adam

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