<a href="https://biblicalmissiology.org/author/jmorton/" target="_self">Jeff Morton</a>

Jeff Morton

Jeff Morton / Bunyan Towery (M.Div. and D.Miss., Biola) is pastor of discipleship, Hillside Baptist Church, Dickinson, ND. He is author of " Two Messiahs," "Insider Movements: Biblically Incredible or Incredibly Brilliant?" and co-editor of "Chrislam: How Missionaries are Promoting an Islamized Gospel."

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Jeff,

    A very well written review indeed. However, as an Indian Christian born and raised in India, and having lived the last eight years in the US, my perspective is slightly different than yours, especially with regard to the cultural aspect of Hinduism. Although Hinduism is designated as a religion, unlike Islam and western Christianity, it is a way of life more than a religion.

    The gospel confrontation needs to take place at the spiritual level (Jesus always wins!), which is often personal and eventual, and not at the cultural level (a common mistake of typical western missionaries). Stanley Jones got that right. I understand your IM concerns but the comparison to IM movements in Islam is a bit uninformed.

    Secondly, the biggest influx of Christian influence in India arrived on the wings of colonialism, so it is almost impossible for an Indian to see Christianity apart from its western influence. So, I believe there has to be an intentional movement to get away from anything western in Indian Christianity for it to truly incarnate in the previous western colony.

    Your macro and micro concept is rather irrelevant to Hinduism in India and I would consider it an error of generalization. But I would not expect you as a western scholar to have the same experience as Stanley Jones who lived among the Indians, perhaps more like Jesus who incarnated among a particular people group.

    Rufus

  2. Adam S.

    Jeff,

    Great review. FYI, in Paul-Gordon Chandler’s book on Mazhar Mallouhi, a Frontiers missionary from Syria, Pilgrims of Christ on the Muslim Road: Exploring a New Path Between Two Faiths, much is made out of E. Stanley Jones as if his errors are justification for Mallouhi referring to himself as a “Sufi Muslim follower of Christ.”

    I am so glad to see someone other than myself giving Eugene A. Nida his long-overdue acknowledgement for being responsible for the mistranslation of Scriptures for Muslims, euphemistically and illogically termed, “Muslim-idiom translations” (MIT) AND for the emphasis on cultural anthroplogy at the expense of what the Bible teaches about the nature of God and the nature of man, that has resulted in what we now call “Insider Movements” (IM). While Nida’s influence in the latter was especially helped by his protege Kraft and the Fuller Seminary Missions Department, it is often overlooked that Nida was very much involved in “cultural anthropology” such as his role in helping start the journal, Practical Anthropology,” which was renamed, “Missiology” in 1973, and two of his many books, Customs and Cultures and Message and Mission (the latter was used as a text by Charles Kraft when he taught at Fuller – it was not only reprinted in the 1970s but then reprinted and revised in 1990, all with Nida’s permission and help) that influenced many, many missionaries and lay people.

    Samuel Zwemer, in The Cross and the Crescent, p. 259, wrote of certain Christians who pleaded “for an entire change of missionary method and program…of ‘Christianizing Hinduism’ and of evangelizing Islam.'” It was rare for Zwemer to openly criticize other professing Christians but it is hard to not see him taking aim at some of Jones’ ideas with this statement.

    Your “Micro Muffles the Macro” section was very insightful and is a needed reminder to not allow human emotion to blunt the uncomfortable demands of truth. May God help us all to live like Jesus. Thank you for reminding us that to be like Jesus must include confrontation when the situation requires it.

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