Some barriers are cultural rather than theological.

There are between 600 and 700 million Muslims in the world, and Islam has been more resistant to the Gospel than any other ethnic religion. Indeed, Muslims regard Islam as superior to Christianity: “As Christianity superseded Judaism, so Islam has superseded Christianity,” they say. Now too there is a resurgence of Islamic faith, even in the West. In the United States, for example, the Muslim Students’ Association claims 117 campus groups, while in England the Ahmadiyya sect is investing about two million dollars on a program to “evangelize” Britain, including “committed Christians.”

At the same time, especially in situations of social change, there is among Muslims a new openness to the Gospel. We await with great expectation, therefore, the outcome of the North American Conference on Muslim Evangelization that was to be held October 15 and 21 in Colorado Springs. Jointly sponsored by the North American Lausanne Committee and by World Vision International, and directed by Donald McCurry, it was to bring together 150 key men and women deeply concerned to bring the Gospel to Muslims.

In the Middle East the largest Christian contact with Muslims is that of the ancient Orthodox Churches. But, generally speaking, these churches do not see themselves as having an evangelistic task. “We have coexisted beautifully with Islam for 1300 years,” an Orthodox Archbishop said to me a few months ago. He hoped that such peaceful coexistence would continue. But it was being disturbed by “Protestants” (a big enough umbrella to cover even Jehovah’s Witnesses), who were distributing propaganda tracts in the villages; it had ...

John R. W. Stott (1921 – 2011) is known worldwide as a preacher, evangelist, author, and theologian. For 66 years he served All Souls Church, Langham Place, in London, England, where he pioneered effective urban evangelistic and pastoral ministry. During these years he authored more than 50 books, and served as one of the original Contributing Editors for Christianity Today. Stott had a global vision and built strong relationships with church leaders outside the West in the Majority World. A hallmark of Stott's ministry was his vision for expository biblical preaching that addresses the hearts and minds of contemporary men and women. In 1969 he founded a trust that eventually became Langham Partnership International (www.langham.org), a ministry that continues his vision of partnership with the Majority World Church. Stott was honored by Time magazine in 2005 as one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World."

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