A new thing we’re doing at biblicalmissiology.org are reviews of books & trainings, and interviews with missiologists, trainers and individuals dealing with the biblical use of missiology, or people we have concerns with as to whether or not their missiology is biblical.
Here is our first of hopefully many interviews.
Kevin Greeson is a church planter, coach and trainer who has lived and ministered in South Asia. Kevin is the author of “The Camel: How Muslims are coming to faith in Christ!” We were happy to be part of and learn more about him, his ministry, and the Camel Method at a recent training session he gave in Austin, Texas on April 20th, 2010.
In all disclosure, some writers for biblicalmissiology.org have had some concerns with the biblical groundedness of the Camel Method. In some of our articles our writers have mentioned the Camel Method with the likes of the Insider Movement. Our goal is to bring clarity on this situation and allow Kevin Greeson a platform to verbally answer our concerns. We are so happy that Kevin was open to discuss these issues, answer some questions, and to help us understand his perspective.
We know each of our desires are for the glory of God, so our goal is to sharpen one another, create dialogue, ask the questions that are being asked, and hash these theological and missiological issues out for the Glory of the One.
Below are the questions we asked, and a link to the Mp3 of the questions/answers. We encourage you to think about what he said, and comment on this posting.
Islamic-Christian view of Allah Question:
1 ) A concern of the Biblical Missiology missiologists is the perceived attempt in the CAMEL Method to view the Islamic god as the same god of the Bible, thus creating confusion on the character and theological attributes of god for individuals from a Muslim background. How does the CAMEL Method view the god of the Koran, and the Jewish-Christian god? Are they the same? Different? How so? How are these differences be discussed with the Camel Method? (NOTE: This is not a question about the use of ‘Allah’ in the Bible for translation purposes. This is a theological/missiological question about the characteristics and theology of god.)
Identity Messianic/”Pakka”True Muslim Question:
2 ) A concern of the Biblical Missiology missiologists is the concept in the CAMEL Method about “Pakka” Muslims, or True Muslims. Do you believe it is possible that a believer (Believes in Jesus the Messiah, Son of God, Lord & Savior) able to remain within the Islamic Umma, be part of and practice in an Islamic Religious community, pray towards Mecca in the presence of the Muslim confession of faith Shahada, etc.. to remain true to the Holy Spirit, grow in knowledge and power of Christ, and be part of the biblical universal Church, that is the body of Christ and the fellowship of the saints? Or do you believe that a real believer in Christ will ultimately be called out and transformed by Christ and the Holy Spirit to reject Islamic religious rituals and traditions, even if they are embedded in their culture?
Mp3 Part 1:Question 2 and Answer Part 1
Mp3 Part 2:Question 2 and Answer Part 2
3 ) A concern of the BiblicalMissiology missiologists is the trend of giving weight and authority, even divine origin to the Quran. Do you or the CAMEL Method believe or teach that the Quran, and/or Muhammad is in some way inspired by God?
Mp3: Question 3 & Answer
4 ) Do you have concerns that the Quran can be taken out of context hermeneutically and meaning be placed into it that wasn’t meant?
Mp3: Question 4 & Answer
5 ) How does reliance on using the Quran to testify of Jesus prepare Muslims for a life of discipleship under the Bible?
Mp3: Question 5 & Answer
6 ) What do local, national, visible Christians think of using the Quran in this way? In other words, what impact have you seen the Camel Method have on unity and catholicity in the believing community?
Mp3: Question 6 & Answer
Salvation / Community Questions:
7 ) What constitutes saving belief, what constitutes conversion? In other words, what does a person from a Muslim background need to believe in order to be saved? What do they need not believe to be saved (i.e. True prophethood of Muhammad? Authority/Divine nature of Quran, etc.. can they always believe in these things throughout their walk forever? Or will evidence of the spirit ultimately lead to rejection of these?) How does this reflect on other ‘christian’ cults that proclaim Jesus, but follow a different gospel, like Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses, etc..?
Mp3: Question 7 & Answer
8 ) When individuals from a Muslim background believe through the CAMEL Method, are they still believers 5 years later? 10 years? What is the retention and second generation believer growth through their children? Is this being documented, if so, how is it being documented?
Mp3: Question 8 & Answer
9) Do believers who come to faith through the CAMEL Method create & form together Christian communities (the Church) or Muslim communities (the Umma)? 5 yrs.? 10 yrs.?
Mp3: Question 9 & Answer
10) How do you define church?
Mp3: Question 10 & Answer
11 ) There has been some question on the accuracy of results number-wise of the CAMEL Method. Can you talk about how many documentable and measurable results have come through this method, how is this documented, and what is the spiritual condition of these individuals 5yrs later? What is attrition rate, have they formed Church communities, growing spiritually deeper and more knowledgeable in the Bible?
Mp3: Question 11 & Answer
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else you would like to say, comment on?
Mp3: Final Comments
@Shawn, are you aware of Greeson correcting or apologizing for the “Ruhullah” tract?
Although it is a separate work than his Camel Method book or training manual, it was promoted on the Camel Method site as a resource to be used in ministry.
If Greeson has not retracted/corrected/apologized for the Ruhullah tract, which is clearly deceptive and presents a gospel message that is at best defective, how can his other materials be neatly exempted from association with it?
Greeson is one person who wrote the Camel Method for a Christian audience, and “Ruhullah” for a Muslim audience. If they are not in harmony with one another, then he either needs to stand with one or the other. Otherwise he is deceiving both audiences by giving them conflicting messages.
Thank you for providing the link to your paper. I read through it in one sitting to get an overall impression and then examined the details.
Globally I think you have presented the same perspective as Greeson and others have done, namely that former missions to Muslims was awful, a new solution is needed, God is doing a new thing, and voila, we are on to it.
The very argument is full of holes, however. I would encourage you to more closely examine each of those points:
a. On what basis were former missions awful? If one applies North American rules of superficial success which we have used since the time of Charles Finney, then yes, you may be right. But in terms of faithful, prayer-filled endeavor, I would challenge you to look again.
b. A new solution is needed. Again perspective is very important here. Finney said the same thing. His attrition rate among his so called numerous converts was as high as 90% after 6 months. So much for glowing stats. Speaking of stats, Greeson is very enamoured with them. Many new studies, eg. the movie Half-Devil, Half Child out soon demonstrate that the IMB was totally duped in Bangladesh. I have a study which shows the same in Indonesia. Actually what is not needed is a new solution, but people who will boldly apply the crucified message in crucified ways–as always.
c. God is doing a new thing. This is so old. Any aberation can be justified by this mantra. Please do not use it. He has clearly revealed his methods in His Word. Speaking of the word, please look at the Saint Francis Magazine for an article on the Areopagus, and then make pronouncements about what Paul was doing via contextualization. He had much less rose colored glasses for other religions than Greeson–and I would venture—that you have.
d. We are on to it. Hello. The hubris is deafening.
I have much more to say via detailed comments, but might I suggest that you begin with a viewing of Half-Devil Half Child, and then do as much reading as you can on a Biblical–not sociologial, nor pragmatic view of other religions.
@Roger, I’ve revised my paper based on your comments. I was not aware that the training manual was published before the book… thank you! :)
@Pierre, I did not include a detailed evaluation of the Ruhullah Tract because of Greeson’s remarks about that the tract was a separate project not to be confused with the Camel Method. Quoting from this podcast, I write: “Nowhere in the Camel Method, whether in the training or in the book, is there a mention of pakka Muslims or true Muslims” (p. 24). I found this to be true. Therefore, in evaluating the Camel Method I thought it to be fair to limit my scope to just the book itself. I try to make it clear that my conclusion that I do not find anything unbiblical in the method is based on the book itself, and not the Ruhullah Tract.
In my conclusion I state that I believe the Ruhullah Tract on the author’s website greatly contributes to much of the confusion. Please see page 25-27 for details.
Shawn – as part of your research did you evaluate the “Ruhullah” tract by Camel Method?
Sorry I can’t comment much on Shawn’s research paper as I don’t have an up to date copy of the Camel. However, I can say that his statement on p. 8- “In 2007, he published this methodology in a book entitled, The Camel: How Muslims Are Coming to Faith in Christ! , and the Camel Method was officially born.” is itself out of date.
The Camel Training Manual came out in 2004 and argument about it has continued since. However, Greeson has revised it and changed the original book in considerable ways.
I just completed a research paper on the Camel Method for Veritas Theological Seminary. My conclusion is that the Camel Method itself is not unbiblical but a valuable tool for reaching Muslims. Thank you to Biblical Missiology for providing this podcast! You can find the complete research paper here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/110628830/Camel-Method-Helpful-or-Heresy
all of the stories of so called converted Muslims are false in Camel Method. This method never able to convert any one in Bangladesh or anywhere else. He is telling that he is doing under world ministry is very very false just to get your money. I know them very much and who are working with them, even their mission field where all are Muslims and there worker called them Muslims there. Kevin can meet with me anytime anywhere to prove himself. I am Isaac Baroi from Bangladesh.We should stop him and those who are like him. they are just robbing Church. be careful of this wolf who act like a lamb.
I have heard of the camel method and I would love to have it.I am a new convert to chretianity from islam.How can I have the audio of these questions/answers with Kevin Greeson and how can I get the book itself.Thank you so much and God bless you!
Currently our servers limit file sizes to about 5mb.
Thanks for this. It would be great to have all the audio in one file and/or as an itunes podcast.