BLOG: Are you theologically prepared? Part two

In our last post in this series, we discussed a few reasons why growing in theological and biblical awareness is a key part of preparing for cross-cultural mission. Today, we’re looking at a few resources that can help you do that.

First Steps

If you’ve never intentionally studied theology, then starting with an overview of important doctrines could be useful. Consider reading books such Bruce Milne’s Know the Truth, Tony Lane’s Exploring Christian Doctrine, or (if you’ve got more time on your hands) Alister McGrath’s Christian Theology: An Introduction. Learning from a range of authors will help to show what contentious issues you should be aware of and to give you a well-rounded approach.

It’s essential that our theology is founded on a deep understanding of Scripture. A great introduction to reading with more insight is How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart, which gives some foundational principles to consider. If you want to look at the Bible in more depth, consider taking an Old Testament or New Testament survey course, such as found on BibleMesh.

Engaging with culture

As we discussed previously, culture can have a huge impact on how we read Scripture. To discover how aspects of Middle Eastern culture affects biblical interpretation, the work of Kenneth Bailey is really helpful.

We recently hosted BibleMesh’s Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus course, based on the book of the same name by Nabeel Qureshi, a noteworthy apologist and convert from Islam. For an introduction to apologetics aimed at Muslims, either the course or the book is a great place to start.

If you are looking for greater depth and breadth to your understanding of Islam, then we’d highly recommend All Nations Christian College’s Engaging Islam Today: a week-long residential course. The course aims to enable Christians to better understand the roots and realities of Islam and how to respond in a way that is Biblical, sensitive, informed and bold. Interactive lectures and seminars are delivered by a range of speakers who have a wealth of experience from across the Islamic landscape and they combine academic, practical, and personal perspectives.

“I really enjoyed the Engaging Islam Today course. The teaching was really good quality and I came away feeling I had a much more of a comprehensive insight into Islam than I had before. It was also great to be around the 30 or so other participants who were from a range of backgrounds and throughout the week chat with them over meals. It was great to share stories, discuss questions that had arisen from the day’s teaching, and to hear about the different experiences and ministries people were involved in.”

A worthwhile investment 

Whether you are preparing for long or short-term mission overseas, engaged in local ministries here in the UK, or just beginning to explore reaching out to the Muslim world, investing in your theological understanding is great preparation for being effective, sensitive and informed for sharing Christ cross-culturally. We hope that this article inspires you to go deeper in this area.

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