Monday, December 31, 2012
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Sunday, December 9, 2012
Download the PDF of the book review.
2) Your ministry put you in a position where you were able to know and influence a large number of young and new missionaries. What were some of the main things that you tried to teach them?
1. That pleasing God is the only worthy goal in any phase of ministry. Others goals constantly seek to influence us, i.e., fluency in the local language, impressing others, emulating some famous missionary of the past, having a large group of friends, saving money, winning a certain number of converts, not making the mistakes of so-and-so. All these goals, and many other seemingly worthy ones, compete for prominence in our thinking, but when allowed to dominate they can all become idolatrous and all devastating to the psyche, family, fellowship, and personal satisfaction of the worker.
2. Similarly, in language instruction I encouraged students to fo- cus on faithfulness to the language-learning process rather than on achieving results. I taught that faithfulness is our obligation whereas resulting skills are a gift of God, necessarily variable according to His will for each individual. Thus, I hoped, the terrible pressure of expec- tations in language acquisition would not add to the host of other difficulties and stresses already being experienced by students new to the culture of Jordan, and, counter-intuitively, the freedom from pressure would enable the student's mind to relax itself and acquire language more naturally and freely.
3. I tried to pass on to students some insights into Jordanian culture. I hoped that my descriptions of customs and people of that land demonstrated both the God's love for the Arabs and the delightful humor that can be derived from cross-cultural experiences.The entire interview appears in Volume 8:6 of St Francis Magazine. Download the PDF by clicking HERE.
Monday, November 26, 2012
Monday, November 12, 2012
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Abstract: A missiological essay on theological anthropology, seeking to balance aspects of the human being and the sacramental, charismatic and evangelical Christian traditions. The author argues that balancing these three traditions corresponds to balancing the body, spirit, and mind of the human being, and that this balance is essential to the success of the Church as it engages its misssion in the world.
Key Words: evangelicalism, charismatic Christianity, sacramentality, theological anthropology, mission.
Citation: Miller Botero, Duane Alexander. 'The Lights we have Kindled'. Unpublished research paper. San Antonio, Texas: St Mary's University 2005.
Get the PDF here. The essay is also available here.
Saturday, November 3, 2012
Phil Hill, our dean of students at Nazareth Seminary and lecturer in Church history, has recently composed a research paper for the Evangelical Christian Convention in Israel. We are releasing an edited version of this paper as Mary's Well Occasional Paper 5 (of volume 1).
The Convention is seeking recognition from the State of Israel as an official ecclesial community, which means it should have church laws regarding marriage, re-marriage, and divorce. This careful and valuable study is a contribution towards the formation of such a set of church laws.
Here is a section:
[...] there are at least four views of what Scripture teaches about divorce and remarriage in relation to that covenant. Some, especially in the Anglican Church, hold that marriage is indissoluble, so that neither divorce nor remarriage is allowed. Others hold that divorce is exceptionally permitted in response to cases of adultery or desertion, but not remarriage. A third view is to include in that the right to remarry for the innocent party. This approach was first proposed by the great Christian humanist Erasmus and became the predominant view of the Reformed Churches. Finally, there are those who argue that both divorce and remarriage are permissible for a wider variety of reasons.
Download the PDF HERE.
Editing done by Alex Miller and Stephen Louy.
Previous Mary's Well Occasional Papers are also available for download:
1:4 by Duane Alexander Miller Botero
1:3 by Azar Ajaj
1:2 by Stephen D. Louy
1:1 by J. Bryson Arthur
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Time for a Sabbatical?
Visit our seminary website if you might be interested in a sabbatical coordinated through our seminary.
Monday, October 29, 2012
Download the PDF by clicking here.
Here is the first paragraph of the review:
Monday, October 22, 2012
Constantine, a controversial figure, was influential for the development of Christianity after the 4th Century. In relation to Palestinian Christianity, Helena, his mother, was equally important but in a different way, as the one whose mission to the Holy Land would lay out the basic map of holy places for all future generations, including ours.
Lecturer: Duane Alexander Miller Botero
Assigned Reading: St Constantine the Great: an Orthodox perspective by Marina Shelley Havach
Lecture 5_The Church in the Roman Empire
Lecture 4 was about the Roman Empire, and this lecture is about key traits of the early Church related to mission. It was 1) shaped by persecution, 2) by c. 200 episcopal in its polity, 3) alive and well outside of the Roman Empire, and 4) engaged in apologetics. Special attention is paid to Justin Martyr, a native of Palestine (Neapolis-Nablus).
Lecturer: Duane Alexander Miller Botero
Reading: Justin’s First Apology
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Synopsis: What were the factors present in the Roman Empire that facilitated the surprisingly rapid growth of the Christian faith? This lecture will cover factors like the Pax Romana, Roman infrastructure, the Jewish diaspora, and the Septuagint.
Lecturer: Alex Miller
Course Information: Christianity and Mission in Palestine (Fall of 2012).
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Download the PDF by clicking here. Here is the first paragraph of the review:
Gabriel Said Reynolds' The Emergence of Islam: Classical Traditions in Contemporary Perspective is a masterfully-written book. The argument is propelled by an engaging style, economy of words, and a momentum built in to the structure of the book. Reynolds' approach is academic and empirical, but the target audience is educated non-specialists. His tone is candid without being sensational or polemical. In fact, his ability to give context and a fair hearing to a wide spread of data is rather refreshing given the contentious nature of much writing on Muhammad and Islam. In terms of spirit one might place Reynolds somewhere between the poles of philo-Islamic advocates and anti-Islamic polemicists, a polarity which he explicitly illustrates with reference to Karen Armstrong and to Robert Spencer (locations 198-212, Kindle Edition).
Friday, October 12, 2012
Lecture 3: The content and method of Jesus’ mission
Nazareth Seminary, Fall of 2012.
Lecture questions: In what ways was Jesus’ ministry original? In what ways did he simply carry on established traditions? What was the content of his teaching? And how did he envision to accomplish that goal?
Lecturer: D. A. Miller
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Sunday, October 7, 2012
With that in mind, our lecturer in Church History and Theology, Alex Miller, has recently published a brief history of Christ Church, which is the Anglican/Episcopal church here in town. This article appears in St Francis Magazine. The article has some nice pictures of the church as well as some helpful information.
Click to download the PDF of the article.
Mr Miller has also published articles on the following churches in the region:
Church of the Redeemer (Anglican/Episcopal) in Amman, Jordan
The Cathedral Church of St George the Martyr (Anglican/Episcopal) in Jerusalem
The Alliance Church (CMA) in Jerusalem's Old City
If you would like to see some pictures of a few churches check these out:
St Joseph's (Latin) in Nazareth
Annunciation (Orthodox) in Nazareth
Christ Church (Anglican) in Nazareth
St Michael's (Anglican) in Heliopolis, Egypt
If you have pictures of any church in the Middle East and would like to corroborate in a project to preserve photographic records of these structures please contact Mr Miller by leaving a comment on this blog's most recent post, regardless of topic.
Friday, September 7, 2012
The author presents a theological analysis of Farewell to Islam, by Saiid Rabiipour (Xulon 2009, 348 pages). In analyzing Rabiipour’s writing he argues that Rabiipour’s experience of being trapped in Iran should be read as a metaphor for Islam, both as a religion and as a political structure. In American Christianity Rabiipour finds a space of freedom and liberation. Utilizing the extended metaphor of his de facto captivity in Iran, Rabiipour offers both an American, Christian apologetic, and a critique of Islam as a religion and a politic.
Liberation theology, Iranian Christianity, ex-Muslim, Muslim-background believer, MBB, freedom
And here is the bibliography:
Miller, Duane Alexander. ‘"It is okay to question Allah": the theology of freedom of Saiid Rabiipour, a Christian ex-Muslim’ in Mary’s Well Occasional Papers, 1:4, September (Nazareth, Israel: Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary, 2012).
Click HERE to download the PDF.
Previous Mary's Well Occasional Papers can be found here:
Mary's Well Occasional Paper 1:3 by Azar Ajaj
Mary's Well Occasional Paper 1:2 by Stephen Louy
Mary's Well Occasional Paper 1:1 by Bryson Arthur
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Baker, Dwight L. 1961. Baptists Golden Jubilee, 50 Years in Palstine-Israel: A Short Commemorative History. Nazareth, Israel: Association of Baptist Churches.
Click HERE to download the PDF.
We are happy to make this rare document about the history of the Anglican church in the Trans-Jordan available to scholars. The scan is not of high quality, but then again it is a scan of a copy of a copy. Nonetheless, this 1925 pamphlet contains a snapshot of what the ministry among the CMS and Arab Anglicans in the region looked like.
Click HERE for the file. If that does not work, try HERE.
Palestine Church Council. 1925. Palestine Church Council: an illustrated report of the origin, work, and needs of the Council of the Episcopal Evangelical Church in the Holy Land. London [?]: CMS [?].
Friday, August 24, 2012
Here is a memory from the Rev. Ibrahim Simaan who ministered along-side Dwight Baker, originally posted here:
The young missionary worked very hard to get the church in Nazareth re-started, as well as the Nazareth Baptist School...and worked very hard to sustain an orphanage which included some 19 kids.
He was joined later by Paul Rowden, and the Baptist Convention in Israel was founded..with Dwight in the North and Bob Lindsey in Jerusalem.
In Nazareth, Dwight recruited a good team of new young believers, an initiated quick training for them, with the vision of indigenizing the local church..The church-and school sponsored Sunday School, Brotherhood, Royal Ambassadors, Girls Auxiliary...etc...
He believed in the theory of churches survive if they develop a missionary outreach. Therefore, The Nazareth Church under his leadership started village work covering Cana of Galilee, Tur'an, Eilaboun, Rama, Acre...in 1964, Having turned over the pastorate to a national pastor (Rev. Fuad Sakhnini) he had another phase of his vision for the Baptist witness..Leadership Training, therefore in 1963, he came back from furlough, with a mind set up on this vision, therefore he moved to Haifa, as a more central location in the country, where he started the Christian Service Training Center, as an Extension to Southern Baptist seminaries...During his stay in Haifa, several generations of Baptist potential leaders were located and got their training at the CSTC...including Rev. Edward Souti, Rev. Suheil Ramadan, Rev. Ibrahim Simaan...and later on the CSTC extended its services to Jerusalem, Ramallah and Gaza
Dwight was a great preacher, great pastor, and a great writer and historian...he wrote many articles to well known papers, like "Christianity Today" and the local Baptist publication "Hayahad Digest", and started the Arabic magazine "Al-Jama'h" with me as secretary editor...
He even had a vision to start work among the Bedouins of the Negev...so he worked as an English language teacher at Kusefeh Secondary School near Arad..and moved to live in Arad...He served for two terms in India, and taught church history and Islam at Baylor University.
But I think that his first love-field-of-service was the Holy Land to which he returned as a volunteer-missionary for one year, after his retirement...
He helped founding the Christian Council in Israel, and was its chair person several times...
He did not forget his labor in the Holy Land, and the Baptist House in Nazareth, home to the Nazareth Evangelical Seminary, and the New Life Baptist Church, was purchased in 2005 by the Association of Baptist Churches due to a generous donation from his personal resources.
Many generations shall remember you Father Dwight.
I am indebted with most of what I know to Dwight Baker, having associated with him so many years, and worked under his leadership more than 15 years.
His remembrance shall be forever! (Psalm112:6)
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
You can read it in English HERE, or in Arabic HERE.
Sunday, August 5, 2012
D. Alexander Miller, our seminary's lecturer in Church History and Theology, was the guest editor for the issue. Click to read his letter from the issue editor.
Mr. Miller also interviewed a veteran missionary involved in church planting among Muslims in India. Visit the website to read the interview.
Also included in this issue of SFM is a book review by Azar Ajaj, our lecturer in Biblical and Pastoral Studies. Click to read his review of Emir Rishawi's A Struggle that led to Conversion.
To download the complete PDF of isssue 8:4 click HERE.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Ajaj, Azar. 2012. 'Brother against Brother: Covenant and Dispensationalist Eschatologies in the Context of Israeli Evangelicalism' in Mary's Well Occasional Papers, Vol 1:3, July.
Download the PDF HERE.
Previous occassional papers are here (1:1) and here (1:2).
Monday, May 14, 2012
White, Malcolm. "Anglican Pioneers of the Ottoman Period: sketches from the CMS archives of some Arab lives connected with the early days of the Diocese of Jerusalem" in St Francis Magazine (8:2), April 2012.
Thank you Malcolm for your hard work in investigating the lives of some of the early evangelicals in the region.
Friday, May 4, 2012
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Friday, April 6, 2012
In this article Miller explores the role of aesthetics in one religious conversion and asks if evangelicals have ignored this factor in analyzing religious conversions so far. This is a continuation of his previous research on Iranian Christianity and religious conversion.
Download the article here:
Additional articles by Miller can be found at Google Scholar and Microsoft Research.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Abstract: This paper is intended to contribute to the continued effort to understand Philo of Alexandria’s ethnic self-identification. Scholarship has long sought to determine whether Philo would be better understood in terms of Jewish or Greek identity, noting that he displays characteristic features of both groups. This paper examines Philo’s use of the Greek word barbaros, barbarian, in order to highlight the dual nature of Philo’s self-identification, and suggests that his writings would best be understood as deriving from a person who possessed what Philip Esler calls “multiple” identities.
Key Words: Philo, barbarian, ethnicity, identity, Esler, Judaism.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
J. Bryson Arthur: Revelation and religious pluralism in the theologies of John Macquarrie and Karl Rahner
Arthur, J. Bryson. 1994. Revelation and religious pluralism in the theologies of John Macquarrie and Karl Rahner. Unpublished Thesis. UK: University of Glasgow.
We are happy to make this thesis more widely available.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012
We hope to publish a couple of papers each year, under the name of Mary's Well Occasional Papers. Mary's Well is about five minutes from the seminary (walking) and is a constant reminder to us of our connection to the events we read about in the Bible and our call to faithfulness and obedience as disciples of Jesus.
If you have any questions about our occasional papers please do not hesitate to contact me. Also, if you are interested in submitting a paper for consideration, as the executive editor of the series I will be glad to take a look at it.
--Alex Miller (alex.miller [at] nazarethseminary.org)
Arthur, J. Bryson. ‘Out on a Limb: a theological exploration of suffering, risk and persecution’ in Mary's Well Occasional Papers, 1:1, February (Nazareth, Israel: Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary 2012).
Friday, January 6, 2012
Am glad to let you know that I have published my first article in the online journal Global Missiology (the English-language edition). Here is the Biblio:
Miller, Duane Alexander. 2012. ‘Iranian Diaspora Christian in the American Midwest & Scotland: Historical Background, Present Realities, & Future Challenges’ in Global Missiology 9:2, January.
Here is the abstract:
Over the last few years (2009-2011) I have been able to meet with numerous Iranian Christians in various cities in the UK and the USA. I have attended their churches and gatherings, I have sat down at Starbucks or over Persian food for conversations, and even in a hot tub once. In this article I will share a few of my preliminary conclusions and mention what I understand to be some of the key issues and challenges facing the Iranian Christian community in the coming years.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Miller, Duane Alexander. 2010. ‘Woven in the Weakness of the Changing Body: the Genesis of World Islamic Christianity.’ Presented at Coming to Faith in Christ 2, Buckinghamshire, UK, February.
This is the paper I presented at the Coming to Faith in Christ 2 (CTFC2) conference in Buckinghamshire, England, in February of 2010. In this paper I try to analyze some of the main trends that have allowed for a global space wherein conversions from Islam to Christ have increased very substantially since the second half of the 20th Century.
Here is a sample:
One common theme that surfaced again and again was how closed Islamic society has been for many centuries. Closed in terms of not allowing certain forms of critical discourse, an ancient custom reaching back to the Prophet himself, who in one instance, for example, upon being ridiculed by a poet, procured her assassination. In Islamic law this act of execution is not a crude thing indeed to affront the Prophet is to affront God and must be met with the appropriate response. The lack of room for critical discourse in Islamic societies for many centuries has also led to a good deal of conflict, the most famous recent example being the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet of Islam, which led to multiple violent outbursts in many Islamic societies, including in the West, that included arson, murder, and the death threats. Examples could be multiplied, the publication of The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie being another fine example of the use of coercion to force a cessation of critical discourse or even discourse that has been misinterpreted as critical.
Here is the abstract:
The article begins with a brief review of the history of the diocese of Jerusalem. By interviewing eight members of the diocesan clergy in Jordan, the researcher desires to explore how the concepts in the title are related to each other within the Jordanian context. Is there a unique identity of Jordanian Anglicans? What is the desirability and/or feasibility of revising the prayer book? Given the declining demographics of Christians in the region, what avenues are open to these ministers to sustain their congregations? Specific care is paid to the topic of incorporating Muslim converts into existing congregations. Also included are some theological reflections on the meaning of liturgy within the Jordanian context and the diocesan policies for the formation of future priests, which have important implications for the future of the diocese.
Keywords: Anglican; Church Missionary Society; dhimmi; Episcopal; Jerusalem; Jordan; liturgy; mission
Click here to view more details.
Monday, January 2, 2012
Ajaj, Azar. 2010. 'The Joseph Story in the Qur'an and the Bible, and in Muslim and Jewish Tradition'. MTh dissertation. Prague: International Baptist Theological Seminary.
Download the PDF HERE. Congratulations to Azar on this accomplishment.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Lisa Loden is the head of our leadership development program. Congratulations to her for this accomplishment.
Here is a description of the book from the publisher's website:
Our theology does not exist in a vacuum but must relate to the world we inhabit and must influence our moral and ethical actions. This is especially true when discussing theology of "the land" in the context of a violent territorial conflict. The Holy Land has seen so much bloodshed that the earth itself is crying out to God.The book can be purchased through the publisher's website. Here is a short bio on Lisa:
The chapters presented in this book form a unique collection of voices speaking from different perspectives on the issue of the theology of the land. These voices include Messianic Jewish and Palestinian Christian theologians and scholars who live in the Holy Land, as well as others from around the world.
The various chapters respect a wide spectrum of opinion and reveal how much disagreement still exists among followers of Christ. However, the dialogue generated by having these opposing voices side by side, speaking to each other rather than past each other, is encouraging. This book is both challenging and inspirational, and contributes in an innovative way to this important discussion.
Lisa Loden is a leader in the Israeli Messianic Jewish community. She heads up and is a lecturer in the Department of Leadership Development Studies at the Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary. She has also served with the Fellowship of Christian Students in Israel (board chair 2009 - ) and Hagefen Publishing (board chair 2003 - ).
Phil Hill: 'The Baptist Revival Fellowship (1938-1972): a study in Baptist conservative evangelicalism'
by Philip Douglas Hill, B.A.
University of Wales, M.Phil Thesis in Theology
Date of Submission: April 2011
Download the PDF HERE.
And congratulations to Phil for having completed this degree! And now, on to a PhD...