1. billions4x

    As a veteran missionary (although to a “free” country), I applaud this website and article. If we are so sure that our methodologies and philosophies of ministry are biblical, we should welcome our critics and the chance to answer them… from the Bible. Could the shouts of “unfair” reveal the unstable foundation for the emphases of the Insider Movement and C5 contextualization? Something to consider.

    Meanwhile, if you’re sure you’re being biblical in your content and methodology, I would think you could weather any storm of controversy. If not, return to the Source – the Word of God! Repent of having bought into the liberal, anthropological, anthropocentric philosophies coming out of liberal, pseudo-evangelical seminaries like Fuller! I’m with Paul Washer when he says that mission fields need theologians, not missiologists! Sorry if I’ve offended any missiologist friends out there, but good theology has to always trump questionable missiology.

  2. JS

    I believe the Apostle Paul would be grieved by the tenor of this article which is in stark contrast to what he himself wrote (Phil. 1:18) that, whatever the motives, “Christ is proclaimed and in this I rejoice.” While I have my own misgivings about some aspects of this methodology, rejoicing in the exposure of men whom you do not know, whose methods you have “discovered” through a national media that is about as reliable as the National Enquirer is at best, irresponsible and at worst, ungodly. Many of their fellow workers in this land have connections to these men, though we may not agree on methodology, but you had absolutely no concern for the risk you may have put us in in your haste to prove yourself right. Shame on you.

    One side note: I own a few of the music CD’s produced by one of the men you named, and it is a fantastic collection of worship songs in a traditional style which no other foreigner has been able to master to that level. I hope that he will be able to continue blessing the Turkish church with his music after this debacle.

  3. Editor

    We have taken this under advisement and have removed full names, instead replacing them with initials. However, if anyone wants to do their research and find out their names, it is easily searchable.

  4. Musa

    Rather one agrees or not on the use of the C5 approach it is a shame you decided to use these dear brothers name rather it is know by the Turkish authorities or not. Please at least delete their names! You are still are putting them at risk and to use the article from such a source to help your ideals is a shame.

  5. Mark Stephan (@mstephan)

    I became aware of this issue last week and it broke my heart. I weep for Turkey.

    In 2007 three Christian men, 1 German, 2 Turks, were slaughtered for proclaiming a bold and powerful gospel. These were brave men, full of the spirit. What we learned from this is that A) Satan is against the Church in Turkey. B) Boldness produces persecution. C) Dying for Christ is a testimony to the nation.

    Indeed, Satan is cunning and against the church in Turkey. He corrupts even from within. What we see here is an ultra-contextualized gospel. A product of men and their post-modern, emergent, human wisdom. While I do not know these particular men and cannot comment on them, I do know the theology of the Insider Movement. These ideas focus on redefining terms, and clouding the water. It says, stay in your family, religion, culture and follow “Jesus”. Who is this Jesus that allows you to remain in the world and be of it? Brethren, this is not the gospel. Jesus calls us to a new identity fully in him, to put him above all other things, even our old family, religion and culture. Yet, this undoubtedly will produce persecution, but based on deception and mistrust, not because of the gospel. People will probably be hurt, even die. What is the price of a false gospel?

    Yes! Amen! All Turks do need the Gospel! Muslims need the gospel. Yet, the gospel is so unattractive by design. It is the smell of death to the perishing. how do we dare change that? If you are trying to make death smell good, then you’re in the wrong job. Be a mortician, making dead bodies smell better. This is the result of the Insider Movement. Muslim followers of Jesus, who smell better because they added Jesus to their corpse, yet without a gospel with the power to save, they are rotting. Did we forget Paul’s letter to the Galatians? (Galatians 1:6-10) The gospel declares, we are sinful, broken, unworthy of God’s forgiveness. The gospel screams we are unclean, filthy, and full of nothing but sinfulness. We are open graves. The gospel demands an encounter with the real Jesus that will change everything about you. No facsimile of Jesus will do. No half man-beast corrupted by other religions. The Jesus of the Bible, the real Lord of Heaven and Earth stands in judgement over the false Isa of the Quran. Culture cannot stand before this Jesus. False religion falls before him and shatters. This Jesus demands our everything, because through Him, He has given us, who are called in His name, all the treasures of the universe. Simply because He is good. He has done all the work. He is our righteousness. In His name, we embrace the slur, ‘Christian’.

    I stand with the Turkish Church in calling this behavior out. It is “wrong and extremely adverse.” Whether it is a corrupted Bible translation produced by Frontiers, or a corrupted gospel presentation.

    To anyone who says, you can keep your life and culture and religion and follow Jesus, you are a deceiver. To anyone who believes that, you are deceived. May that never come from my mouth. Lord, help me give it all up, follow you, give up myself, all that I have, my thoughts, my family, my life for your glory to be shown to the nations. Jesus + Nothing = Everything This, by definition, is the opposite of the Insider Movement. Jesus + (Family, Culture, Ritual, Practice) = Condemnation. Lord, open all of our eyes to see how your beauty is more precious than these things.

  6. Salaam Corniche

    Greetings all:
    I am sure Mr. Editor that you will receive some hand-wringing, heart-wrenching cries of “unfair” you are sensationalizing things and exposing the secure cover of some people.
    Before you published this note, I did a bit of investigative journalism. The person referred to by the Turkish press is called B. P.. I was curious as to who he was. [It seems that the Turkish press might have spelled his name wrong.]
    Here are some facts that would have been available to the Turkish authorities:
    1. On a website on Turkish Bible translations he states:
    B. P. taught religious studies and ethnology at Ahmet Yesevi University in Kazakhstan and now lives in Turkey. He is the author of Muslim Turkistan: Kazak Religion and Collective Memory
    (Curzon Press [Routledge], 2001) and has degrees from Asbury Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and the University of Tennessee (Ph.D.). He was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Tübingen and studıed
    at Harvard Divinity School.


    For the current PDF of the history see:

    In the PDF document he seems to show appreciation for an Islamized translation and a very un-academic sounding “”In the early months of 2012 the Matthew paraphrase was attacked in an internet petition campaign on the (English-language) website of Biblical Missiology, an American entity.” (p. 98) . Conveniently the vocal, and well documented opposition of the Turkish national church to this same Matthew paraphrase was omitted. Could the Turkish authorities have noticed this disconnect?

    2. He signed a document which expresses a great deal of willingness for Muslim-Christian cooperation called “A Common Word Between Us”. He signed it as ”
    B.P., Elder, Holston Conference, United Methodist Church

    3. The Methodist Church in their 2011-2012 directory for Knoxville lists him under “Other valid ministries”
    with the name Frontiers and what seems to be the sending church as well. Earlier a seminar at Ashbury billed him as “Frontiers Kazakhstan”

    What is all of this saying?
    The cries of Biblical Missiology doing some kind of whistle blowing are fallacious.
    The cries of security are also fallacious as Dr. P’s connections, whether he is happy about that or not, have been well publicized.

    The issue at hand is to ask a rhetorical question: What is the greater danger? To have a wolf in sheep’s clothing in the sheep pen and pretend all is well and assume a pseudo-secure situation, or to actually reveal the identity of the wolf. It seems that the Turkish national church has tried to announce what it seems to be something wolf-like, but it fell on deaf ears to the organization who likes to “Be the First”–according to its motto.
    It took the Turkish authorities to smell something wolf-like and to publicize it. Shame.


  7. R&P

    About 2 years ago an eastern Turkish believer woman approached to some foreigners in a shopping mall in Diyarbakir and started a conversation. After a while she asked them if they were Christians. Their answer was “no, we are not Christians, but Muslims who believe and worship Jesus.” The local believer said. “Well, I am a Christian who believe in Jesus.” And left with lots of questions marks in her head. Very confusing isn’t it?

    Is there in the Bible any example of such method?
    I do not know if this ‘secret way of contextualization’ even worked in closed countries or not, even though, it is clear that it is not necessary in a country like Turkey.

  8. pablo

    Very interesting and importAnt for those who live un turkey

  9. Adam S.

    You bring up a sobering fact – real believers who have and continue to follow Jesus at great cost to themselves will most likely suffer for others’ recklessness. God’s Word is very clear about the example that we should follow – honesty:

    2 Corinthians 4:1-2
    1 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

    When we give into deceptive ways, we follow the ways of the Father of Lies (John 8:44), and not that of the Heavenly Father. May God strengthen and help the real believers in Turkey.

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