The following is a brief update from Dr. Andrew, who is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity with a concentration in Islamic Studies. After he finishes, he and his wife plan to return to his home country to work with the teams at Salam Church and Philadelphia Church and to help in planting other indigenous churches across the Middle East.
I left the U.S. on May 11th to travel to the Middle East. After visiting some believers in two other countries, I arrived in my home country. It was encouraging to visit with so many believers and evangelists in those countries and hear their stories and spiritual needs. Theological training is still the biggest need in this part of the world. People are hungry for the Word, but the laborers are few!
As I was waiting at an airport in the Arab Peninsula, I met with an Omani sheikh who teaches Comparative Religion at an Omani university. This sheikh told me that he is working on a book to reveal and explain the hidden prophecies of Muhammad in the Bible and to show that Christians changed the Bible to hide these prophecies. The sheikh and I talked for about forty minutes, and we went through some biblical passages that he believed to be prophecies about Muhammad. After I explained the real meaning of these passages, the sheikh said, “It seems that I need to study these passages more before I write the book.” Praise God that He has given His Word to explain His truth to this sheikh and to all people!
On May 18th, I arrived at a city where our ministry was organizing a four-day conference on the doctrine of the Trinity. We had men and women from several countries in the region attending the conference. Since the space at the conference was limited, we invited people who we knew had a heart for evangelism and a desire to learn. The main speaker of the conference compared and contrasted God’s unity in Islam and Christianity. This brother has a Ph.D. in Theology with a thesis in the Trinity, as well as two postdoctoral studies on the same subject.
The teaching was excellent, and people were really challenged with the new information they learned. Some of the specific teachings were on the meaning of the word “Trinity,” how and when it was first used, the difference between Trinity and the Islamic Tawhid, proving the Trinity biblically, and the difference between the attributes of God in Christianity and Islam and how this understanding affects our view of God. We also discussed some of the heresies that attack the Christian faith based on this doctrine.
In this conference, I saw the deep need of the church in the Middle East to understand the basic doctrines of our faith. Some of the leaders who were attending had some surprisingly basic questions to ask about core doctrines. I pray that this conference will be the first of many training conferences that equip and train Arab leaders and teachers to carry the solid biblical knowledge back to their churches.