Summary of 2016 Conference

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Dr Dwight Swanson

At the end of the 2016 MCSCI Conference, “Evangelical Responses to Islamic Revival”, there was a review of all the main content that had been presented during the 3-day event. Anchored by Dr Dwight Swanson, Co-Director of MCSCI, this aimed to give a brief summary of everything that had gone before.

This 20-minute recording may be a good starting point for you if you are new to the field, want to know which speeches might interest you further and the ethos of the whole event.

Listen to the summary

This is a recording of the speech, which has been edited for clarity and to remove some questions (which could not be heard over the microphone).

Contact us

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We hope this website answers many of your questions.  If you have more, and need to contact us, please do get in touch!

In Person or by post

Our address is: MCSCI, Nazarene Theological College, Dene Road, Manchester M20 2GU.

Contact by phone

Call 0161 438 1926 – use extension 1935.

Contact on twitter

Drop us a Direct Message or tweet aimed at @mcrsci.

Contact by email

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Donate

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The work of MCSCI can only happen because of continued support from donors just like you! If you have been enlightened, inspired or educated by any of our work, perhaps you might consider donating to enable that work to continue.
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Friends of MCSCI

 

Perhaps you are able to give a regular amount each month, or maybe you would like to give the Centre a gift on your birthday or another date which is significant to you each year? You could even mark the Centre’s official birthday – as we launched on 3rd March 2014 – or our anniversary of registration as a Charitable organisation (18th September 2015).

 

A regular donation to the Centre would automatically make you part of our new “Friends of MCSCI” group, which helps us get to know you better and brings certain other benefits:

  • Automatically receive our regular e-newsletters*
  • 10% discount on all orders from our bookstore (excluding postage)
  • Early warning of all our public events – including access to “early bird” booking discounts.

We will regularly add features to our Friends’ benefits scheme – and Friends will be the first to know about them.

* – You may change your subscription options at any time

GiftAid

Giftaid itGiftAid is a UK Government scheme that allows registered charities to reclaim the tax paid on the donations they receive. If you have already donated to us (or are about to), and currently pay Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax in the UK, please fill in our Gift Aid Declaration to allow us to make your donation worth more, at no additional cost to you!

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Questions?

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If you have any questions about donations, such as how best to donate, or what your money will be used for, do contact us. Please do not give any financial or personal details using the “comments” form below, as your words will be published publicly. You can email us, view our phone number and other contact methods on our contact us page.

About MCSCI

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Early history

MCSCI was formed as a specialist centre at Nazarene Theological College [NTC] in September 2013, after several years when Rev Dr Dwight Swanson (Old Testament Scholar) and Rev Canon Phil Rawlings (lecturer-practitioner in Christian Engagement with Islam) had already been collaborating.

After an administrator’s post was added to the team, the official launch of the Manchester Centre for the Study of Christianity and Islam [MCSCI] took place on 3 March 2014.

The Centre has continued to host regular courses of study, both for “ordinary” Christians and Muslims, and for those studying for a university qualification through NTC. Examples of these include the Encountering the World of Islam course (held in Winter 2014-15), Joining the Family (launching in Spring 2016) and our Islam in Contemporary Britain unit.

Significant events

We have also organised several events which seek to inform people from a range of backgrounds, such as the “Hope for Muslims” day in Spring 2015, where David Garrison unpacked some of the changes that are happening in Muslim countries around the world – and our most significant event to date, our major conference in January 2016.

The conference heard from speakers who live in the UK, the Middle East and America about some of the issues affecting Muslims, Christians, those who choose to change their religious affiliation and those with none. You can hear and see some of the conference materials online now.

Our ongoing work

A voluntary Executive Director, Anne Davies, also joined the team in 2015 to assist with the conference and our continuing activities. In 2015, we also committed to a regular blog. From January 2016, Dr Swanson is writing an entry every fortnight during his Sabbatical period in the Middle East – where he has a different experience of the interplay between Christian and Muslim compared with in Manchester.

Our ongoing work includes regular Christian-Muslim dialogue groups, research into various aspects of both Christianity and Islam, and provision of a specialist bookstore. If you would like to know more about the work which we do, please contact us directly, or for regular updates join the MCSCI e-newsletter mailing list.

Charity status and funding

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In September 2015, after a lot of hard work, MCSCI became a registered charity. This enables us to reclaim the tax paid on donations to the centre through the GiftAid scheme.

If you are able and willing to support our work, do make a one-off donation, or contact us about joining the Friends of MCSCI scheme. The centre only exists thanks to the generosity of people like you.

Hot Topics general info

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All “Hot Topics” events will start at 18:30 and finish at 20:30 unless otherwise advertised.

There will be tea, coffee and water available.

Each of these events is a forum for discussion, and will be linked together to form a series – initially with one event each month.

These events will normally take place on the first floor of the Emmanuel Centre at Nazarene Theological College. For directions and more information about the college, please see the NTC (event venue) page.

There is no formal charge – however, we do ask for a donation towards the running costs of the centre, and suggest £10 per session would be appropriate. Feel free to give more if you can afford to – and less if you cannot.
If you pay UK Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax, please also complete our Gift Aid form, so we can claim tax relief on your donation back from the government. This makes your donation worth more, at no extra cost to you!

Documents

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Islamic Revival Worldwide

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Martin Accad

The speech “Islamic Revival Worldwide” was given by Dr Martin Accad, who is a Lecturer at Arab Baptist Theological Seminary and Director of the Institute for Middle East Studies in Beirut.

This was the second speech at the MCSCI Conference in January 2016.

Listen to this speech

This is a recording of the speech, which has been edited for clarity and to remove questions (which could not be heard over the microphone).

Abstract: Islamic Revival Worldwide

Dr Accad writes:

The emergence of ISIS as a transnational group over the summer of 2014, and the developments since then, significantly stirs our understanding of the future of Islamic revivalism globally. In order to know what potential scenarios to expect in the years ahead and to plan adequately as we think about God’s mission in the world, we need to understand both the most significant current dimensions of ISIS, as well as some of the historical background of where we find ourselves today. The present lecture will begin with an exploration of both the geopolitical and the socio-religious dimensions of Islamic revivalism today. In a second step, we will look at the historical and theological backgrounds of a group like ISIS. Finally, we will look at the implications for the future, both for our understanding and practice.

When can I hear him?

Dr Accad is expected to bring the conference’s second speech, “Islamic Revival Worldwide”, on Thursday 7th January 2016 at approximately 7:30pm.

Please note that all times are given as-planned in good faith, but the schedule may be amended without notice if required.

Who is he?

Martin was born in Lebanon and grew up and lived there through the civil war (1975-1990). He undertook seminary studies at the Near East School of Theology in Beirut and then completed a Master’s degree (MPhil) and a PhD (DPhil) at the University of Oxford in the UK (1996-2001). Martin has been back in Lebanon since 2001, based at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary. He directs ABTS’ Institute of Middle East Studies, which he founded in 2003, and teaches in the areas of Islam, Middle-Eastern Christianity and Christian-Muslim relations, both at ABTS and annually at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA. He is co-founder and “Senior Fellow on Middle East Program” of the Centre on Religion and Global Affairs. He describes his life vision as to bring about positive transformation in thinking and practice between Christians and Muslims in the Middle East and Beyond.

Publications

Martin has contributed many articles and chapters in international academic journals and publications, including “Just Peacemaking in Light of Global Challenges from Muslims” (in Petersen, Stassen and Norton, Formation for Life, Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2013); “Christian Attitudes toward Islam and Muslims: A Kerygmatic Approach” (in Reisacher, ed. Toward Respectful Understanding and Witness among Muslims, William Carey Library, Pasadena: 2012); “Mission at the Intersection of Religion and Empire” (IJFM 28:4, Winter 2011); “Loving Neighbor in Word and Deed: What Jesus Meant” (in Volf, bin Muhammad and Yarrington, eds. A Common Word, Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids: 2010). He is also currently working on a book on conflict and Christian-Muslim relations and theological dialogue. With a mixed Lebanese and Swiss parental heritage, he is at home in practically any culture and lives and works in Lebanon by choice and calling.

Martin blogs regularly at: IMESLebanon.wordpress.com.

Conference Schedule

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You can download the latest version of the schedule here: Daily schedule (web) – correct as of 11 December

While all effort will be made to avoid it, the organisers reserve the right to amend session timing, content and speakers if required.

Day 1 – Thursday 7th January

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Dr Phil Lewis

Morning

The conference will start on the morning of Thursday 7th January. After registration at 10am, there will be a short period of worship followed by our first keynote speech by Dr Phil Lewis.

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After that first speech, we break for lunch.

Afternoon

Thursday afternoon will be occupied with two sessions of seminar-style discussion groups. Delegates will be able to choose two issues to be part of discussions on (with some offered in both sessions). Discussion topics are planned as follows:

  • What is happening to Islam in the UK? (with Phil Lewis)
  • European Christian Response to Islam (with Gordon Hickson)
  • Making sense of Muslim groups (with Richard McCallum)
  • Christian use of the Qur’an (with Michael Lodahl)
  • Evangelism and the Muslim (with Dan Miller)
  • Believers of a Muslim Background (BMBs) and the Church (with Roxy Foulkes)
  • Churches’ response to Islam in Britain (with Richard McCallum)
  • What is happening to Islam Worldwide – trends and movements? (with Martin Accad)
  • Israel/Palestine today (with Salim Munayer)

The conference will then break for delegates to get an evening meal, visit exhibition stands and take part in networking, before reconvening for the evening speech.

Evening

Martin Accad

Dr Martin Accad

The evening will conclude with our second keynote speech, by Dr Martin Accad (Director, Institute of Middle East Studies at Arab Baptist Theological Seminary)

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Read more about Dr Accad and his speech “Islamic Revival Worldwide”.

The day is due to end at around 9pm.

Day 2 – Friday 8th January

Morning

Dr Salim Munayer

Dr Salim Munayer

Day two begins as on day one – with a time for worship together – but slightly earlier at 9am.

Immediately after this will be the third keynote speech of the conference, by Dr Salim Munayer.

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Read more about Dr Munayer and his speech, “Israel-Palestine and the Clash of Domination”.

Following a short coffee break, there will be another session of seminar-style discussion groups. Delegates will be able to choose one issue to be part of discussions on, with discussion topics planned as follows:

  • Dialogue as an evangelical response to Islam (with Martin Accad)
  • The work of reconciliation – is there any hope? (with Salim Munayer)
  • Crises in the Muslim communities? (with Roxy Foulkes)
  • Christian response to the Refugee crisis locally (with Dave Smith)
  • Contextualised communities of Believers from a Muslim Background (with Greg Livingstone)

Once these discussions are complete, we will break for lunch.

Afternoon

Dr Michael Lodahl

Dr Michael Lodahl

Immediately after lunch will be the fourth keynote speech of the conference, by Dr Michael Lodahl.

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Read more about Dr Lodahl and his speech, “‘That They May See Your Good Works and Glorify Your Father in Heaven’: A Wesleyan Theology of Evangelistic Engagement with Muslim People”.

Following a short coffee break, there will be a final session of seminar-style discussion groups. Delegates will be able to choose one issue to be part of discussions on, with discussion topics planned as follows:

  • What is happening to Islam Worldwide – trends and movements? (with Martin Accad)
  • Abrahamic Faith in dialogue (with Michael Lodahl)
  • European Christian Response to Islam (with Gordon Hickson)
  • Christian response to the Refugee crisis locally (with Dave Smith)
  • Contextualised communities of Believers from a Muslim Background (with Greg Livingstone)

The conference will then break for delegates to get an evening meal, visit exhibition stands and take part in networking, before reconvening for the evening speech.

Evening

The evening will conclude with the fifth keynote speech of the conference, by Dr Greg Livingstone.

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Read more about Dr Livingstone and his speech, “A Worldwide picture of Believers from a Muslim Background”.

Day 3 – Saturday 9th January

Day three is a half-day, designed to aid those who have to be home in their own church setting on Sunday morning.

Morning

Gordon Hickson

Gordon Hickson

After morning worship at 9am, the final keynote speech of the conference will take place, by Gordon Hickson.

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Read more about Gordon and his speech, “Christian Responses to Islam in Europe”.

Following a short coffee break, there will be a final session to review the content of the conference, which will be anchored by Dr Dwight Swanson and Rev Canon Phil Rawlings, who are co-Directors of MCSCI.

Afternoon

Lunch will be provided at 1pm.

There are no further sessions planned; we hope this should allow those who need to travel some distance to get away without missing anything. However, delegates are welcome to stay and network over an extended lunch period.

View full schedule

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Conference booking window extended

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The MCSCI conference, Evangelical Responses to Islamic Revival, is now only 4 weeks away, and we are very pleased with the range of speakers and topics we are able to bring you.

We know that Christmas is taking over a lot of people’s thinking right now – so we have extended the booking window for our conference to make sure everyone who wants to be there can do so – but we cannot hold bookings open forever, so please do secure your space today.

Late Bookings

We still have some spaces for extra delegates, so please do book a place at our conference if you have not already done so! We will be accepting late bookings until at least Thursday 17th December – but book now to avoid possible disappointment.

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A World-wide picture of Believers from Muslim background

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Dr Greg Livingstone

Dr Greg Livingstone

The speech “A World-wide picture of Believers from Muslim background” was given by Dr Greg Livingstone, who founded Frontiers.

This was the fourth speech at the MCSCI Conference in January 2016.

Listen to this speech

This is a recording of the speech, which has been edited for clarity and to remove some questions (which could not be heard over the microphone).

Abstract: A World-wide picture of Believers from Muslim background

Dr Livingstone writes:

The Worse of times; the Best of times.” Are we really in the midst of the greatest turning to Christ among Muslims in fourteen centuries?

 

 

Since 1979, and even more since 1999, clearly God is doing more than we realize among the 24% of all the men, women, and children across the globe that are loyal to Mohammed. But where is the lasting fruit?

 

 

Undocumented stories, (e.g. Tens of thousands of Muslims are falling in love with Jesus”) passed on by hopeful saints, should cause us to increase our determination to ‘love God with our minds.  How can we discern the difference between pragmatic acquiescence (tickets to the West? Islamic universalism?) vs. true repentance and reliance on Christ’s redeeming work on the Cross with intention to obey Him as Lord and Saviour?

 

 

What can/should be done, by whom, for Muslims who are ‘moving towards’ the Saviour, but not yet in the Kingdom?

When can I hear him?

Dr Livingstone is expected to bring the conference’s fourth speech, “A World-wide picture of Believers from Muslim background”, on Friday 8th January 2016 at approximately 7:30pm. Day visitors are asked to arrive no later than 9:15am to allow time for registration.

Please note that all times are given as-planned in good faith, but the schedule may be amended without notice if required.

Who is he?

Greg is from Aspen, Colorado and Sally grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  They met at Wheaton College.  Greg has his doctorate from BIOLA in Missiology, and Sally her MS in Family Counseling from Villanova University. They currently live in High Wycombe working with a church planting team among Pakistani Muslims.

The Livingstones have three sons, Evan, David and Paul born in India, Germany and Lebanon.  They have seven grandchildren.  Their sons: a lawyer, a Univ. prof, and a Teacher and artist of World Music.

Frontiers‘ mission is to glorify God by planting churches via apostolic teams among all Muslim peoples working in coordination with others who share the same vision.    The Livingstones are also Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) World Outreach Missionaries and are thereby supported in part and accountable to the EPC.

Greg and Sally have ministered to Muslims in India, Lebanon, and Malaysia.  They are now based in the U.K. where they coach church planters among Pakistanis in England.

Greg’s ‘first love’ is as a ‘team forming coach’ who births and deploys pioneer teams of citizens and ex-pats aimed at establishing house churches led by their own Muslim-background elders.  Presently he is recruiting for the Tatars and Chechen of Russia, Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Pakistan.

Livingstone was instrumental in founding both Operation Mobilization and Frontiers, and in giving leadership to Arab World Ministries and World Outreach of the Evangelical Presbyterian church. Greg & Sarah have help facilitate the placement and coaching of over 1400 long term missionaries in 40 countries with these and other agencies.

Publications

In the equipping areas, Greg specializes in the history of ministry to Muslims.  He is convinced that effective discipling and church-planting requires a thorough knowledge of the past.  He is presently writing a textbook: A History of Christian Mission To Muslims.

The Livingstones’ life story is published as You’ve Got Libya.

Christian Responses to Islam in Europe (speech)

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Gordon Hickson

Gordon Hickson

The speech “Christian Responses to Islam in Europe” was given by Gordon Hickson. Gordon is the National Co-ordinator for Mahabba.

This will be the final speech at the MCSCI Conference in January 2016.

Listen to this speech

This is a recording of the speech, which has been edited for clarity and to remove some questions (which could not be heard over the microphone).

Abstract: Christian Responses to Islam in Europe

Gordon writes:

The last generation of responses to Islam in Britain and Europe have largely tended to feature the specialists and returning missionaries who have worked overseas with Muslim people groups.

The landscape across Europe has now changed making it imperative that we find God’s strategy to awaken the sleeping giant of the church, out of its fear or often indifference, and enable them to see local Muslim people as incredible “treasures in darkness” that are surrounding us, longing to really know God, and have an encounter with him.

Gordon will talk from his personal experience from the perspective of Mahabba, which is motivating and mobilizing a new generation of ordinary Christians who are willing to sacrificially pray for and reach out to their Muslim neighbours. Both the Polemic and the Irenic responses have been used successfully, so we will talk through the dynamics of our responses and the opportunities that are facing us.

When can I hear him?

Gordon is expected to bring the conference’s final speech, “Christian Responses to Islam in Europe”, on Saturday 9th January 2016 at approximately 9:30am. Day visitors are asked to arrive no later than 9:15am to allow time for registration.

Please note that all times are given as-planned in good faith, but the schedule may be amended without notice if required.

Who is he?

Gordon Hickson comes from a military and business background working across the Middle East. He then worked for 5 years in Africa and Asia as the International Campaign Director for Reinhard Bonnke, working into a number of Islamic Cities. On his return he became an Assemblies of God Minister, and their Missions Director for the Muslim World.

After many years of pastoring, he travelled extensively ministering with Heartcry, the Ministry developed by his wife Rachel, as well as setting up the London Prayernet as a 24/7 prayer shield over London. For several years he also travelled with Bro Yun, the Heavenly Man, before finally being hi-jacked by God into the Anglican Church!

In 2005 he was ordained in the Anglican Church, and served for almost 6 years as Parish Vicar of St Aldates Church in Oxford, where he set up the ministry of Mahabba with Tim Green.

Since 2012 he has been the National Coordinator for Mahabba, motivating and mobilizing ordinary Christians to unveil Jesus to Muslims. He is married to Rachel who runs her Charity “Heartcry for Change”, and they have four grandchildren and two married children, Nicola who has just planted a new Hillsong Church in Melbourne Australia, and David who is working into Zimbabwe with a heart to see the Nation restored.