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MEC 2019 Presenters and Presentation Topics

Through the course of IMES’ Middle East Consultation 2019 – Thinking Biblically about Muslims, Muhammad & the Qur’an: Practical Implications for the Church Today (17-21 June | Beirut, Lebanon), participants will collectively work toward discerning a practically-grounded, yet biblically-faithful understanding of Muslims, Muhammad, and the Quran, which constructively informs the Church in its practice of ministry.

Each morning begins with an in-depth look at a practical case study exploring the everyday challenges of ministry in the region, followed by in-depth interviews with active ministry practitioners. These are followed by high-quality presentations by reflective practitioners, respected scholars of Islam, and mission thinkers looking at both traditional accounts and recent developments in historical-critical scholarship with respect to Islamic origins, the Qur’an, and the life of Muhammad. Furthermore, we examine biblical teaching as related to the topics of revelation, prophethood, and salvation, along with an exploration of the spiritual realities underlying interfaith encounters. Finally, we seek to discern each day practical applications for ministry and discipleship in the MENA context and beyond. Registered participants receive shortly the consultation schedule.

Now, we at IMES are very excited to announce our various presenters, listed below in alphabetical order by family name, for Middle East Consultation 2019:


Martin Accad

Chief Academic Officer, Arab Baptist Theological Seminary | Director, Institute of Middle East Studies | Associate Professor of Islamic Studies, Arab Baptist Theological Seminary and Fuller Theological Seminary

Martin Accad serves as the Chief Academic Officer of Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS), in Beirut, Lebanon. He is also Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at ABTS and Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, as well as Director of ABTS’ Institute of Middle East Studies. He is the author of Sacred Misinterpretation: Reaching across the Muslim-Christian Divide, in addition to numerous articles and book chapters. Having a rich multicultural background in his own family, he is very involved in faith-based peacebuilding and bridging Arab-Western cultural divides. He earned his PhD from the University of Oxford, defending his dissertation on “The interpretation of the Gospels by Muslims of the 8th to the 14th centuries” on 11 September 2001.

Dr. Accad is presenting on the following topics:

  • “Developing A Biblical Theology of Islam: The Most Important Issue Facing the Church Today”
  • “The Quest for the Historical Muhammad”


Shirin Bahrami

Trauma Counsellor and Owner, Healing4Living

Shirin is an Iranian and French citizen. Today, she is a committed counsellor with 10 years of experience providing professional counselling services. She is a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and abides by their code of ethics. She has worked with clients who deal with trauma, abuse, depression, addictions, marital difficulties, anger, anxiety, grief, self-harm and relational conflicts. She is able to engage with clients of all ages and cultures, challenging them in positive ways. Working in both France and the UK, she has developed the ability to work with different nationalities and backgrounds. She graduated with a Computer Science and Linguistics degree from Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris III and received her Counselling degree from Nottingham University. Shirin is fluent in English, French and Farsi. She is the owner of Healing4living ministry. The purpose of Healing 4 Living is to provide teaching that brings inner healing for men and women who are abused or marginalised in Muslim society. In addition, this ministry focuses on helping men and women to explore their God-given purpose, which empowers them to work toward positive change in the world around them.

Shirin will be exploring with us practical life applications as related to the themes of MEC.


George Bristow

Theological Training Coordinator, Turkey

George Bristow earned his PhD from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Having lived in Istanbul since 1987, he has served since 2009 as coordinator of a theological training network working with churches in Turkey. He is the author of Sharing Abraham: Narrative Worldview, Biblical and Qur’anic Interpretation and Comparative Theology in Turkey and The Promise of God: God’s Unchangeable Purpose through Human History. He is also the author of Sürgün Ve Ötesi: Kutsal Kitaptaki Daniel, Hagay, Zekeriya Ve Malaki Bölümleri Üzerine Yorum (a commentary of Daniel, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi).

Dr. Bristow is presenting on the following topics:

  • “The Seal of the Prophets: Reflections on John the Baptist and Muhammad”
  • “Reviewing the Missiology behind the Story: Voices from the Arab World”


Daniel W. Brown

Director, Institute for the Study of Religion in the Middle East (ISRME)

Daniel Brown directs the Institute for the Study of Religion in the Middle East (ISRME). The focus of ISRME is on the multi-disciplinary study of religious phenomena, including religious texts, ideas and belief systems, and also the rituals, histories and social structures of religious communities. In addition, Dr. Brown is the author of Rethinking Tradition in Modern Islamic Thought (Cambridge) and A New Introduction to Islam (Wiley-Blackwell). He was awarded his doctorate in Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago, has taught at Mount Holyoke College and Smith College and has been a visiting scholar at the Islamic University in Islamabad, the Institute of Islamic Culture in Lahore, Cairo University and Oxford University. His interests include modern Muslim intellectual history, Hadith studies, and Muslim-Christian relations.

Dr. Brown is presenting on the following topics:

  • “What We Don’t Know about Islamic Origins”
  • “Where Do Scriptures Come From?”


Emad Boutros

Lecturer in Old Testament Studies, Arab Baptist Theological Seminary

Emad Botros is Lecturer in Old Testament at ABTS, living in Lebanon with his family. His areas of research, writing and teaching include Old Testament Studies, Biblical Theology, and Islamic studies. Emad is married to Almess Yousif, and they have two boys Timothy and Nathaniel. After Emad and Almess graduated from ABTS, they established a pastoral ministry in Egypt before moving to Canada. While in Canada, Emad joined the mission field to minister among Arab migrants, worked in the field of social service – particularly among individuals with disabilities – and completed his Master of Arts in Christian Theology. He is currently working toward his Ph.D. at McMaster Divinity College. He is exploring a biblical theology of the Old Testament in the context of the Middle East and North Africa, with research focusing on the intersection of the Biblical texts and the Qur’an, with emphasis on the book of Jonah. Emad enjoys teaching about the Old Testament as well as mentoring students. He is very passionate about ministering to individuals with disabilities.

Emad is presenting on the following topic:

  • “The Reception of the Character of Jonah in the Qur’an: Towards Unbiased Understanding of the Qur’an and Practical Implications for the Church Today”


Issa Diab

Interpreter and Translation Consultant, United Bible Societies | Professor of Religious Sciences, Saint Joseph University

Issa Diab is a Bible interpreter and translation consultant for the United Bible Societies and regular lecturer throughout Lebanon and the Middle East, having taught at Saint Joseph University, the Near East School of Theology (NEST), Hagazian University, Middle East University, and Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, among others. He holds a total of four doctorates in the following fields: New Testament Studies, Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations, Islamic Culture and Society, and Old Testament Studies. He is a prolific author of many articles and books.

Dr. Diab is presenting on the following topic:

  • “The Qur’an, from Revelation to Writing”


Alan Donaldson

General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland

Alan Donaldson’s initial studies were undertaken at the London School of Theology where he graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Theology. In 1992 he moved to Moscow, Russia, to work with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, responsible for all aspects of children’s ministry. His return to the UK in 1993 saw him take up the role of Youth Pastor at Leven Baptist church. He was subsequently called as the assistant minister and in 1998 became the Senior Minister. In April 2006 Alan moved with his family to take on the role of Senior Pastor at Dumfries Baptist Church where they served for 4 years before accepting the invitation to become General Director of the Baptist Union of Scotland. Alan is married to Ruth. They have two adult children and as a family they have been foster carers for almost 20 years.

Rev. Donaldson is delivering a final reflection and benediction during our Closing Dinner.


Warrick Farah

Missiologist and Theological Educator, One Collective

Warrick Farah holds a doctorate in Missiology from Fuller Theological Seminary. He serves as a missiologist and theological educator in the Middle East with One Collective (onecollective.org). His research on conversion, theological paradigms of witness, and “insiderness” has been published in journals such as Evangelical Missions Quarterly, International Journal of Frontier Missiology, and Global Missiology. He is co-editor of the book Margins of Islam: Ministry in Diverse Muslim Contexts.

Dr. Farah is presenting on the following topics:

  • “Hermeneutical Hinges: How Different Views of Religion and Culture Impact Interpretations of Islam”
  • “Discerning Spiritual Realities in Islamic Contexts”


Amal Gendi

Missionary Theologian & Ministry Coordinator, Pioneers | Adjunct Professor, Heritage Baptist College and Theological Seminary

Amal Gendi has much experience serving the people of the Middle East and North African region. He holds a Doctor in Ministry from Tyndale University College & Seminary focused on identifying and addressing barriers to discipleship in the Middle East. He also holds a Master of Theological Studies from the same institution. He currently serves as Missionary Theologian and Muslims Ministries Coordinator as well as Dean of Bachelor’s Studies and Ministry Training with PIONEERS and PIONEERS International. He is the former Executive Director of Arab World Ministries and also serves currently as adjunct professor with Heritage Baptist College and Theological Seminary.

Dr. Gendi will be exploring with us practical ministry applications as related to the themes of MEC.


Ida Glaser

Director Emeritus, Oxford Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies | Associate Staff at Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford

Ida Glaser is the International Academic Coordinator and Founding Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Muslim Christian Studies. She oversees a number of international projects. She previously taught in the areas of Qur’an and Bible and history of Muslim-Christian dialogue at the University of Edinburgh, and her personal research interests focus on reading the Bible in the context of Islam. She is an associate staff member at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. She taught physics in Islamic contexts and done church-based outreach in multi-racial, inner-city Britain. She has worked among people of other faiths for Crosslinks, the Anglican Mission Agency, and is a past director of Faith to Faith, a Christian consultancy about other faiths. Her doctorate examined Genesis 1-11 in the context of parallel Qur’anic material. She taught Muslim-Christian relations at the post-graduate level in Jamaica, Nigeria, the Philippines, and the UK.

Dr. Glaser is presenting on the following topics:

  • “The Messengers and the Message: A Biblical Perspective on Qur’anic Prophethood”
  • “Is Islam a Special Case?”


Nabil Habiby

Visiting Lecturer in New Testament, Arab Baptist Theological Seminary | Dean of Students, Nazarene Evangelical School

Nabil Habiby lives in Beirut, Lebanon, where he serves as a Dean of Students with children and teenagers at the Nazarene Evangelical School in Sin el Fil, Beirut. He is currently working on a PhD in Theology from the University of Manchester researching the relationship between impurity and demonic spirits, doing a conceptual study on the relationship of the two in the Ancient Near East, the Hebrew Bible, and Second Temple Judaism. He is also conducting a narrative-spatial reading of the mentions of the “impure spirits” in Mark’. He holds a master’s degree from Nazarene Theological College, Manchester.

Nabil will be presenting on the following topic:

  • “Holy and Impure: A Narrative Study of Spirits in the Gospel of Mark with a Focus on the Holy Spirit”



Discipleship Ministry Leader, Morocco

Hanane is a graduate of Arab Baptist Theological Seminary. She and her husband are actively engaged in discipleship ministry in their home country of Morocco.

Hanane will be assisting us with morning devotions and exploring with us practical ministry applications as related to the themes of MEC 2019.



Alexander Massad

Adjunct Professor, California Lutheran University

Alexander Massaad is in the final stages of a PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary and currently serves as an adjunct professor at California Lutheran University. His research focuses on how religious identities are formed through historically contextualizing theological dialogue between Muslims and Christians. In addition, he is interested in religion and politics, international relations, religious studies, and pedagogy. He holds a Master of Theology and Religious Studies from Georgetown University and a Master of Middle Eastern and South Asia Languages and Cultures from the University of Virginia.

Alexander is presenting on the following topic:

  • “Who is the Other? Reconsidering ‘Salvation’ Through Classical Islamic Thought”


Michel and Nuna Matar

Triumphant Mercy Ministries, Lebanon

Michel and Nuna Matar are longtime ministers in Lebanon. As part of Triumphant Ministries Lebanon, they operate a community center, facilitate schools for refugee children and youth, organize day camps, run vocational assistance trainings, assist with medical emergencies, and facilitate spiritual activities such as Bible study and praise.

Michel and Nuna will be discussing with us the spiritual dynamics of interfaith encounters.


Carla Nelson

Research Professor, Tyndale University College & Seminary

Carla Nelson has been on faculty at Tyndale University College & Seminary since 2007. She has been the Director of the Bachelor of Education program during this time and is transitioning to Research Professor in the coming months. She holds a PhD in Education and a Masters in Educational Psychology from the University of Alberta as well as a Master of Divinity from Tyndale Seminary. She has extensive teaching experience in schools in several Canadian provinces. She has coordinated and delivered professional development programs for teachers in Kenya, Rwanda, India and Bolivia. As of January 2019, she has been entrusted with the role of Africa Liaison and Education Specialist with Canadian Baptist Ministries.

Dr. Nelson is heading up the Listener’s Team for MEC 2019, helping us to discern, distill and reflect upon key insights from MEC 2019 participants.


Lawrence Oseje

Lecturer and Adjunct Faculty in Missions and Interreligious Studies, Africa International University, Uganda Christian University, and Africa College of Theology

Lawrence Oseje is a Langham Scholar and earned his PhD in Interreligious Studies from Africa International University (AIU). He is an ordained minister of the gospel and has served as a pastor for twelve years in one of the largest cities in Kenya. He pioneered a department in Islam for Missions and Ministry in Uganda Christian University, (UCU) in Uganda.  Currently he is a lecturer and adjunct faculty in Missions and Interreligious Studies at a number of other Universities and Seminaries across Africa, including Africa International University, Nairobi, Kenya and Africa College of Theology, Kigali, Rwanda. His travels in many nations of the world training pastors, missionaries and other Christian leaders have given him a richer appreciation of people and their cultural values. Lawrence is married to Dorcas and together they are blessed with three children, Jael, Emmanuel and Rosebell.

Dr. Oseje is presenting on the following topic:

  • “Triple Religious Identity in Africa Funerals and Bereavements: Conflicts or Synthesis in Socio-Cultural and Religious Issues? A Case of Kendu-Bay, Kenya.”


Grant Porter

Program Director of Church Planting and Evangelism, Cornerstone Trust

Grant Porter, PhD, serves as the Program Director of Church Planting and Evangelism for Cornerstone Trust. Until recently Grant and his wife, Laura, lived and served in Lebanon focusing on mobilizing, evangelism, church planting and ministry partnering. They have three children and three grandkids and live in Michigan, USA. Grant earned his doctorate from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam focused on church planting practices in the Middle East.

Dr. Porter is presenting on the following topic:

  • “Adopters, Negotiators & Reframers: Concepts of a Righteous Life”


Karen Shaw

Associate Professor of Cross-Cultural Ministry, Arab Baptist Theological Seminary | Pastor, International Community Church Beirut

Karen Shaw has lived in the Middle East since 1990 and began teaching at ABTS in 2008. In addition to teaching part-time at ABTS, she shepherds the International Community Church in Beirut, Lebanon. She is the author of numerous articles, book chapters and presentations and is the author of the book Wealth & Piety: Middle Eastern Perspectives for Expat Workers. She holds a doctorate in Cross-Cultural Ministry from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a masters from Princeton Theological Seminary. Karen enjoys poetry and nature photography.

Dr. Shaw is assisting us with our morning devotionals and discussing the following topic:

  • “Jesus Christ & The Religious Other: Lessons Learned from MEC 2018”


Ashoor Yousif

Assistant Professor of Christian History, Tyndale Seminary

Ashoor Yousif is an Assyrian-Iraqi Christian, who is fluent in Arabic and Assyrian in addition to his knowledge of Aramaic, Hebrew, and Syriac. His teaching portfolio includes multiple universities and seminaries in Canada and the Middle East, including the University of Toronto, Tyndale University College and Seminary, and Arabic Baptist Theological Seminary in Lebanon. His interdisciplinary research focuses on the history of Middle Eastern Christianity, Christian–Muslim relations, and Islamic religion and culture during the early ‘Abbasid caliphate’ (750-950 AD). His doctoral thesis “God’s Deputy and Christ’s Apostle: The Abbasid Caliph and the Christian Patriarch in Syriac and Arabic Christian Historiography” examines the interaction of Muslim rulers and Christian clergies, and the religious and political impact of Islam on the presence and status of Christian communities within the caliphate. He has taught and lectured on various topics including the history of Middle Eastern and North African Christianity, the history of Christian-Muslim relations, Middle Eastern religions and cultures, and Islam.

Dr. Yousif is presenting on the following topic:

  • “Islam in Early Medieval Christian Sources”


In addition, MEC 2019 features interfaith and ecumenical forums wherein we can learn about and discuss important topics from alternative perspectives, intimate roundtable conversations allowing ample opportunity for participants to engage in robust discussion and contextual reflection, daily morning devotionals, and a book launch for IMES’ new book The Missiology behind the Story: Voices from the Arab World, ed. Jonathan Andrews.  Be prepared to grow in your own discipleship journey as well as in your skills of making disciples in any context, including your own!

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