Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Divinity (MDiv)




Muslims are considered some of the least reached peoples in the world. As "Christianity" is often associated with Colonialism, the Crusades, and Western culture, traditional models of “casting the seed” have proven ineffective. Those seeking to share the goodness with Muslims must explore new contextual ways to communicate the message of Christ to the Islamic community. This thesis begins by defining and giving a brief history of contextualization. Basic methods of contextualization are explained, and issued of syncretism are addressed in chapter one.

Contextualization must be practiced when communicating the good news. Chapter two focuses on the aspects of cross-­‐cultural communication that must be taken into account in order to communicate the gospel message effectively. Muslim worldview, social norms, and decision-­‐making processes are addressed in order for outsiders to communicate the gospel message in ways that can be readily received.

Contextualization is also highly important when believers begin to develop forms of worship for the local community of faith. Those from the Muslim background are best able to determine which worship forms should be kept, and which should be reinterpreted or rejected. Chapter three explores Islamic worship forms, specifically focusing on the five pillars of Islam, and considers how local believers have chosen to contextualize these worship forms to their faith. Believers are not always in agreement concerning their contextual practices. In these instances, believers must approach one another with love and grace.

The final chapter of this thesis explores one of the most controversial issues among Muslim believers: if they should continue to identify as "Muslim" once becoming followers of Jesus. The major arguments in favor of and against keeping the Muslim identity are reviewed and the chapter ends with a discussion on whether outsiders should ever identify as "Muslim" to win Muslims for Christ.

Muslims are much more likely to receive the good news of Christ if they see that following Christ does not require them to give up their culture. Contextualizing the gospel to Muslims will open the door for greater numbers of people from the Muslim world to have their lives transformed through faith in Christ.

Included in

Christianity Commons