The Evangelical Faith in the Arab Culture
Yohanna Katanacho, ed. The Evangelical Faith in the Arab Culture. Lebanon: Dar Manhal Alhayat, 2021.
Few years ago, several PhD Arab Scholars met in order to discuss faith among Arabs in the Middle East and north Africa. The goal was to help Arab Evangelical Seminaries to develop their hermeneutical lenses. How can we train our Evangelical Christian leaders? What are the main Christian ways in which Arab Evangelicals perceive or should perceive their realities? The focus was to help Arab Evangelicals to construct a multifaceted hermeneutical tool that can empower them to perceive maturely and form their faith contextually. This tool can then be used to influence many disciplines such as biblical studies, or history, or society, or other fields that are important for shaping a contextually sensitive faith.
Eight PhD scholars who are considered among the top Evangelical leaders in the Arab world worked with the editor in order to fulfil this goal. The journey was full of obstacles but the outcome was indeed worth it. Scholars from Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine-Israel, Jordan, and Egypt worked together and wrote a well-documented and researched academic book.
The lenses that were considered indispensable for viewing Arab reality maturely were: Christ, Scriptures, the global church, the Missional church, Islam, the historical depth, the political considerations, and the socio-political dynamics of the church. The chapters were done in the following order
1. Dr. Hani Hanna wrote on the centrality of Christ in theological education. Dr. Hani is the
president of Evangelical Theological Society in Cairo.
2. Dr. Imad Shehadeh wrote on the centrality of Scriptures. He is the President of Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary.
3. Dr. Wageeh Mikhail on the global church focusing on Arab Christianity. He an expert in Christian and Muslim history and serves with Scholar Leaders.
4. Dr. Elie Haddad wrote on the Missional Church. He is the president of Arab Baptist Theological Seminary.
5. Dr. Martin Accad wrote on Islam. He is an associate professor of Islamic Studies at Arab Baptist Theological Seminary.
6. Dr. Ashoor Yousef wrote on the historical depth. He is the director of MTS Modular Program at Tyndale University.
7. Dr. Andrea Zaki wrote on the political considerations. He is the president of Protestant Churches in Egypt.
8. Dr. Salim Munayer wrote on the socio-political consideration focusing on Palestinians as a case study. He is the founder of Musalaha and a Professor at Bethlehem Bible College.
Dr. Yohanna Katanacho the Academic Dean at Nazareth Evangelical College led the team in writing this project and introduced the book by talking about three components in the title of the book, that is, (1) Evangelical, (2) faith, and (3) Arab. After discussing theses labels diachronically, synchronically, historically and theologically, He introduced the different lenses. The book is now available in Arabic and it is expected to impact the next generation of Arab Evangelical scholars in several ways such as:
1. It is expected that Arab Evangelical Scholars will pay better attention to their context not only thematically but also hermeneutically.
2. It is expected that Arab Evangelical Scholars will reflect critically on their identity and missional responsibility.
3. It is expected that Arab Evangelical Scholars will work together and develop tools to relate to their Christian brothers and sisters from other denominations with generous orthodoxy.
4. It is expected that Arab Evangelical Scholars will pay more attention to the importance and significance of the church.
5. It is expected that Arab Evangelical Scholars will reflect saliently on addressing their Muslim neighbors lovingly, truthfully, and wisely for the glory of God.
6. It is expected that Arab Evangelical Scholars will use these lenses to write many other scholarly volumes that has the potential to enrich theological Education.
7. Last, producing contextually and hermeneutically wise leaders shall advance the Kingdom of God among Arabs globally.
Written by an Editor from Come and See