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Round the Sphere Again: Father and Son and Children

Watch This
It’s quick—only a minute and a half (Mike Reeves).

And then…

Read This
Greg Koukl and Alan Shlemon
give their assessment of the insider movement (pdf), a movement aiming to advance the gospel among Muslims by allowing

new followers of Christ to identify and live as Muslims. These converts are called “insiders” because, although they claim allegiance to Christ, they remain inside their Islamic social and religious community.

The goal is to remove obstacles that make it difficult for a Muslim to convert to Christianity. This includes endorsing—and here is the part of the piece that relates to the video above—

“Muslim-friendly” translations of Scripture—versions that replace terminology that’s offensive to Islamic sensibilities with more acceptable words.

All filial language pertaining to God, for example, is modified in these translations. To Muslims, any reference to the kinship of Jesus with the Father (e.g.,“the Son of God”) is blasphemous. For this reason, God’s declaration at the Transfiguration (Luke 9:35), “This is my Son, whom I have chosen…” (NIV) has been changed to,“This is the beloved Messiah whom I have sent….”

In the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19) Jesus’ words,“baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (NIV), have been changed to “baptizing them in the name of God and His Messiah and the Holy Spirit.”

Even filial language referring to believers as God’s children is too intimate for Muslims and must be amended. Therefore, in the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:2), the address “Father, hallowed be your name” (NIV) has been changed to “Our loving, heavenly Lord.” 

In light of the Mike Reeves video, think about how much of the gospel is missing when God is not thought of as Father and Christ as Son. Is a gospel without God as Father, Christ as Son, and believers as God’s children, even the gospel? If you watched the video, I’m guessing you’ll answer no. Or at least you’ll acknowledge that it’s a lesser gospel—a gospel missing a the piece that makes it truly good news.

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