The Five Pillars of the Insiders: A Collective Response to Understanding Insider Movements

The Five Pillars of the Insiders: A Collective Response to Understanding Insider Movements

Eight Southern Baptist missiologists (six in the United States and two elsewhere) join forces here to respond briefly to a new volume on Insider Movements (IMs).[1] It is an initiative most of us had no intention of taking as little as three months ago, but feel compelled to take now. Quite frankly, some of us were surprised when we received a copy of the book in September 2015. We had rejoiced to see the movement of God as the gospel crossed all kinds of anthropological barriers in our changing world. However, that was not the same as endorsing IMs—or all their promoters claim for them. In fact, we believed that cogent arguments of respected evangelical scholars, against disturbing elements of IMs, had relegated them to the periphery of evangelical missions efforts. Unfortunately, we were mistaken. Advocacy for IMs, as exemplified in the book at hand, is alive and well.

It now appears that a major task lies before us. What we present here is simply a preliminary effort which we hope to supplement in months to come. It consists of an overview of the volume, five reflections of a biblical and theological nature, and two missiological insights. It is by no means the last word on the subject. However, as we offer this very limited response to some of the specifics in Understanding Insider Movements, we hope the reader will understand why we are concerned.

Head over to the Center for Great Commission Studies blog to learn more.

Ant B. Greenham

Ayman S. Ibrahim

[1] Harley Talman and John Jay Travis, eds., Understanding Insider Movements: Disciples of Jesus within Diverse Religious Communities (Pasadena: William Carey Library, 2015).


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