Category: Camel Method

A New Life for a Dead Camel in the New York Times

Just when one thinks something has been debated ad nauseum we find others take up interest.  The New York Times recently ran an article on Dr. Ergun Caner’s disagreement with The Camel Method.  This came to their attention through our podcast #21 where Dr. Caner made some bold statements and even had to apologize because his passion over rode his verbal abilities.  What is amazing is The Times did not pick up our podcast #24 where Dr. Caner was more explicit about his disagreements with The Camel Method.

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Podcast Episode 24

Today on our podcast, we are joined once again by Dr. Ergun Caner, President of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.  In this episode we talk with Dr. Caner about recent events, comments he has made and comments which have been made about him.

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"Common Ground" or Common Deception?

Our podcast this week seems to have stirred up some folks, yet there has been no meaningful refutation offered of the basis for all this consternation, specifically Dr. Ergun Caner’s claim that use of the Camel Method by our International Mission Board is deceptive and that the method contains heresy. Admittedly, I’m no expert on these matters; others are far more able to speak to the specifics of what the Camel Method is and what it teaches. For example, our friend and former contributor, Dr. Bart Barber, wrote a lengthy series of posts, which can be found by clicking here, and ultimately concluded that the Camel method is deceptive and in error.

As I understand it, the Camel Method is part of a larger missiological movement known as “Common Ground.” As it relates to evangelism among Muslims, I suppose the name speaks for itself. Today I came across a guest post on the blog Biblical Missiology. It was written by a Christian from a Muslim background, and I was fascinated by his perspective on this “Common Ground” movement. Particularly intriguing to me were the questions he asked regarding the so-called “converts” that result from this approach. Here is his paragraph containing those questions:

And so following some years in closeness with Common Ground movement, still there were a lot of unresolved questions within myself!  Should CMBs (Christians from a Muslim Background) continue to attend mosques and would that be helpful for them? If that is the situation what happens after the Islamic congregation understands there are some different Muslims in their congregation? Will they tolerate, expel or persecute them? Where will they get their true spiritual nourishment? Perhaps they will meet in home groups in addition to attending mosque, but for how long that situation will last? What about church planting since they are supposed to stay within the Islamic culture and religion, will it be established at some point the Christian community or such a thing is not necessary? What about their identity, is it like Christian with Christians and Muslims with Muslims? Who are going to be their true brothers and sisters, Muslims or Christians or both of them? Is there any compromise in all of that? These were some questions I faced and am quite sure most of these believers do go through.

The entire post can be accessed by clicking here, and I encourage readers to take the time to read about the experiences of this former Muslim who believes that this deceptive approach is doing more harm than good.

Podcast Episode 21

Timid. Reserved. Reticent. All of these are fine adjectives, and none of them describe our guest on this week’s podcast. Dr. Ergun Caner, president of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, joins us for a conversation that ranges from apologetics to camels to task forces. Also this week, we welcomed our newest team member at SBC Today, David Worley, though he found out it’s difficult to get a word in edgewise. He’ll be more prepared next week, I’m sure.

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Links to items discussed:

A Theologian's Response to Contextualization

Dr. Fred Smith, Associate Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, has penned, at our request, a response to a recent post on another blog. We are grateful to Dr. Smith for his work on this article.

More than a Prophet: A response to “My Pilgrimage” on SBCImpact

by Dr. Fred Smith
Associate Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies
Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, Lynchburg, VA

fredsmithThe recent SBCImpact article, “My Pilgrimage,” attempts to offer a testimony in “contextualized form” designed to appeal to Muslims.  The anonymous author of this piece admits that some of the terminology “may not be everyday language for many readers.” Indeed much of what he writes is startling, even if it were biblical.

However, this author, in his zeal to contextualize the truth, sacrifices way too much.  The ideal of contextualization is to present the gospel in terms which the hearers will understand and so be able to make an informed decision about trusting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  The challenge of contextualization is to find a way to do this without changing the basic message.  Unfortunately, this author, an IMB Missionary, crosses that line.  He moves from contextualizing to changing the gospel message itself.  The end result is a false gospel, not merely the “old message in a new form.”

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