The following is a lecture delivered on 8 October 2005 as part of the Theta Phi Lecture Series at Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky. The author suggests that the mission task can be helpfully seen as comprising four moments: the moments of (1) difference, (2) identity, (3) relationship, and (4) witness. Although Christian witnesses have performed admirably well on moments one, two, and four, the reason the Muslim world remains Muslim can be traced to our failures in regard to the third, the Moment of Relationship. Using two sermons by John Wesley, Sermon 63, "The General Spread of the Gospel" and Sermon 92, "On Zeal," the essay suggests some reasons for the Christian failures with the Muslim world. The weaknesses Wesley detected in the Christian mission effort in the 18th century, have remarkable resonances with the weaknesses of the Christian mission effort to Muslims today. Recognizing this weakness seems especially important today when seen in the context of increasingly aggressive Muslim mission efforts to Christians, and the general trend toward mistrust and violence in the realm of inter-religious relationships. The argument ends with some suggestions for what it might take to improve Christian performance in the area of relationships with Muslims.
Muck, Terry C.
"The Third Moment of Muslim Witness: John Wesley Had It Right,"
The Asbury Journal:
1, p. 83-95.
Available at: http://place.asburyseminary.edu/asburyjournal/vol61/iss1/8