Duane A. Miller, a lecturer in Muslim-Christian relations at The Christian Institute of Islamic Studies and St Mary’s University in San Antonio, has written a book detailing the perspectives of Muslims who have converted to Christianity, Living among the Breakage: Contextual Theology-making and ex-Muslim Christians (Pickwick, 2016).
Miller has written a short guest post for this blog describing why he started to research this topic. I’ve not read the book, but it sounds like it is based on interesting data, as detailed on the publisher’s website:
Around the world people are leaving Islam for Christianity in unprecedented numbers. This book seeks to look into the world of some of these converts, trying to discern the shape of their newfound faith. Why do they convert? What challenges do they face? And ultimately, what do they in their own complex and sometimes difficult circumstances claim to have understood about God that, while in Islam, they had not? In other words, what is the content of their contextual theology? In seeking to answer these questions, Miller looks into the world of an unintentional church plant in the Arab world consisting of believers from a Muslim background, visits with groups of Iranian converts in the diaspora, and examines the written testimonies of still other converts. In a world where Muslim-Christian relations are increasingly important and sometimes tendentious, this book examines the lived faith and contextual theology of people who have chosen to leave Islam and embrace Christianity.
Guest Post by Duane Miller – What do Christian Converts from Islam think about God?
I was running errands in the large Arab city where I was studying Arabic, when I ran into a friend of mine. We had had several spiritual conversations by that time. So there on the sidewalk I asked him if he would like to pray with me. He said he didn’t have time to go to church with me, so I explained that we could pray right there, and he agreed.
It was a pretty standard extemporaneous prayer, “Almighty God, thank you for this day, bless us with wisdom and knowledge so that we might know and serve you better. Amen.” He looked at me and said, “Let me see if I have this right…” and he recited to me my prayer, verbatim.
This man was one of the first followers of Jesus I ever met from a Muslim background. I decided I would learn more about these believers in Christ from a Muslim background. I found scores of articles by (mostly Western) scholars and missionaries saying what it should look like when a Muslim comes to Christ. I thought, these believers already exist, why don’t I go and talk to them, listen to them preach, pray, sing and evangelize, chat over tea, and read their testimonies? What sort of God knowledge (theology) are they teaching and living?
The result of this project, which started in earnest with my doctoral work in 2008 at the Centre for the Study of World Christianity at the University of Edinburgh, is now available as Living among the Breakage: Contextual Theology-making and ex-Muslim Christians (Pickwick, 2016). For an abstract and endorsements, visit the publisher’s website.