Middle East Consultation

The Church in the Middle East continues to experience dynamic flux and fervor as mounting dilemmas pose constant challenges and unfolding realities present emerging opportunities to demonstrate witness of Christ. Difficulties certainly abound for churches and faith organizations in the region, but God is at work in profound ways to minister the gospel and empower faith communities towards active, Spirit-led presences within their contexts. God’s Kingdom is manifesting, oftentimes in ways only seen after careful probing, and there is much to learn and discover as followers of Christ seek to faithfully serve amid complex realities.

The Middle East is indeed a unique context for Christ-followers, but it does not exist in a vacuum. The Church is a global entity sustained and strengthened by strong engagement of people across local, national, regional, and international levels. As a part of Christ’s body rooted in the Middle East and tightly knit within the wider Christian community, ABTS invites believers to participate in urgent discourse annually during the Middle East Consultation. This platform aims to bring together voices from throughout the Church to foster meaningful discussions that provoke important questions, stir illuminating dialogue, and explore innovative theological frameworks to equip the Church for Christ-like witness.
The purpose of the Middle East Consultation (MEC) is to equip the Church to live Christ-like witness amid
the complex realities of ministry in and beyond Middle Eastern contexts.
The Middle East Consultation is an annual event bringing together church and ministry leaders of the Arab world, members of NGOs and mission agencies, Christian thinkers and practitioners, individuals engaging in contexts of Islam, and anyone with a curiosity and concern for issues impacting Christ-followers in the Middle East.

Since its launch in 2004, MEC has sought to respond in dynamic manner to issues facing churches and faith communities. Contributors and participants came together in reflection on the critical challenges, such as faithful witness within Islamic contexts, navigating matters of religious diversity, and rethinking Christian witness in light of scripture and the study of religion. Past MECs have covered various topics including Jesus Christ and the Religious Other, The Refugee and the Body of Christ, Thinking Biblically about Muslims, Muhammad & the Qur’an, and The Church in Disorienting Times.

Today, MEC continues to seek innovative ways to adapt to modern circumstances and respond to the needs of the Church and its communities by facilitating important discourses for followers of Christ. Theologians and practitioners share research and personal experiences to help shed light on issues of faith and society. This is integral to the Arab Church as it learns to reach out to its diverse communities with the love of Christ.
Check out our newly launched book: The Religious Other: A Biblical Understanding of Islam, the Qur'an and Muhammad
We live at a time when religious diversity has become a fact of life in our globalized societies. Yet Christian engagement with Muslims remains complex, complicated by fear, misunderstanding and a history fraught with political and cultural tensions. These essays, drawn from the 2018 and 2019 Middle East Consultations hosted by the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary's Institute of Middle East Studies, engage the need for a carefully developed theological understanding of Islam, its origins and its sacred text. Weaving together the work of Christian scholars of Islam, the Bible, theology and missiology, along with the insights of ministry practitioners, this book combines scholarly exploration with pertinent ministry practice, offering a rich framework for the church to continue its conversation about its engagement with Muslim communities and its proclamation of Christ worldwide.
 
Check out: The Church in Disorienting Times: Leading Prophetically Through Adversity
Edited by Jonathan Andrews, the book is the output of MEC 2017. It seeks to inspire Christians worldwide to stand alongside people that are living through trauma and to provoke everyone, in the Middle East and elsewhere, to ask what they should be doing to encourage transformation of societies to today.