Communicating the Gospel to the Muslims in Fouad Ellias Accad : a reformed perspective
Swanepoel, Jacobus Stephanus
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The aim of this study was to ascertain whether Accad's method of using the Qur'an as a bridge to the Bible is answerable to a Biblical theology of missions and therefore acceptable within the Reformed tradition. In Chapter Two a historical overview was given of the relationship between Christianity and Islam with special attention to the rise and development of Islam, its scriptures, practices and doctrines, under the leadership of Muhammad. From the historical overview it is clear that Church disunity (on dogmatical grounds), and its role in state policies; the specific cultural heritage of the Arab peoples; the ummah (Islamic brotherhood); and the unique role of Muhammad and the Qur'an need to be taken into account when communicating the Gospel to Muslims. In Chapter Three an overview was given of Accad's method as set out in his book "Building Bridges: Christianity and Islam." Accad's method may be described as a culturally sensitive way of presenting the Gospel to Muslims. It poses a valid vehicle to effectively address the Muslim worldview, in order to present the Gospel of salvation in Christ alone. In Chapter Four the Biblical and Reformed principles for mission1 evangelism was set out in order to critique Accad's method. Using the Qur'an as a bridge to the Bible is acceptable, as Biblical precedence exists. Paul's use of Greek poetry and rhetoric in his Mars Hill address is an excellent example hereof (Acts 17). Caution should be taken to ensure that the missionary never gives the impression that the Qur'an is the Word of God. As precautionary measure the Qur'an should only be used when explaining the Seven Principles. Any other references concerning everyday or religious matters should be made from the Bible (Jer. 23:28-29). It is clear that Accad's use of the Qur'an as a bridge to the Bible should not be seen in isolation, but as part of a broader outreach to Muslims. The Gospel should be adequately contextualised for the individual in Muslim culture. This means the Gospel should be presented in the language and idiom known to the Muslim. In this Accad's method succeeds. Chapter five sets out the findings and contribution. Accad's method is for all purposes valid. It leads people to the Bible without degrading the Biblical message of salvation in Christ alone.
- Theology