Palestinian Muslims Converting to Christianity

Palestinian Muslims converting to Christianity: effective evangelistic methods in the West Bank

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This document is my PhD dissertation, which is ©2014 University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.

It should be cited:
Dunning, CA 2014, “Palestinian Muslims converting to Christianity: effective evangelistic methods in the West Bank”, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria.

Interviews about the contents of this document can be obtained by contacting Prof Craig Dunning at (817) 461-8741, ext. 143.

ABSTRACT
This thesis provides the findings of an explanatory case study that utilized elements of ethnographic research to discover effective evangelistic methods being practiced among Palestinian Muslims in the West Bank. With the assistance of gatekeepers, twenty-four former Muslims were asked to explain how they were evangelized, with a particular focus on evangelistic methodology, the barriers to faith the respondents encountered, solutions to those barriers, and motivations to consider conversion.

This qualitative study follows the research model of Thom Rainer (2001) by asking those who have actually converted to describe the things that were helpful in the process of their coming to faith. For a theoretical framework it utilizes a nuance of McKnight’s (2002) theory of conversion with an emphasis on crisis providing an intersection of the natural and supernatural for the purpose of conversion.

This thesis investigates examples of effective evangelism within the context of the West Bank, giving thorough consideration to Palestinian Nationalism and Islam as overarching cultural influences. It considers fruitful practices being practiced globally among Muslims, comparing those with what was found being practiced in the West Bank. The advocates represented in this report were primarily Palestinians born and raised in the West Bank, with the exception of three messianic Jewish Israelis and an American missionary. Additionally, they were evangelicals who generally utilized a contextually sensitive, traditional mission approach rather than an Insider model.

The end result is a knowledge base that can be helpful for future evangelism of Muslims in the West Bank or other similar contexts.

Looking for Privacy?

If you are looking for privacy; you know, a kind of private prayer closet, the Western Wall probably isn’t the most logical choice.

A Refreshing Testimony

Recently, I heard a refreshing testimony at a men’s prayer breakfast. Appropriate for the season, the speaker was the head coach of the local university’s NCAA D2 womens basketball program.

A few things that made this testimony refreshing:
1. It’s always refreshing to hear a man stand and tell how he came to know Jesus.

2. Although the coach was named conference coach of the year and his team won their conference, he didn’t mention those things. In fact, he deferred such accolades to the men’s coach from his university who shared the same awards: conference champs and coach of the year. Humility is refreshing.

3. The reason he mentioned the men’s coach was that the men’s coach was one of the men who had pursued him for the gospel. His testimony was focused on how God used others to bring him to an understanding of the gospel, which was a gentle reminder to the men in attendance that they have a responsibility to talk to others about the gospel.

4. The man giving his testimony had coached at the highest levels of men’s NCAA D1 basketball and for some reason is now coaching women’s D2. He didn’t seem to use the D1 reference as a way of drawing attention to himself, but rather as an illustration of how “dropping” to D2 women’s basketball was part of God’s plan for him to come to faith. He mentioned hind-sight as being helpful to understand the work of God in our lives. It also struck me how he demonstrated contentment by not seeking the men’s job at his university when it came open. 

5. He also gave credit to his best collegiate player who as a player gave the coach at least three Bibles with various verses highlighted and took the coach’s son to church regularly. And the coach gave this credit to the player who presumably is or was in the NBA without dropping any names. That’s really unusual in our day and age of marketing and building “street-cred” by dropping names of famous or powerful people . . . as if Jesus isn’t famous or powerful enough.

Thanks, Coach. You honored the Lord in the way you gave your testimony.

Holiday Prayer II

Here’s another photo from the Feast of Tabernacle celebration:

Holiday Prayer


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