Mission and the Twenty-First Century - Impressions from Salvador: Impressions from the Middle East

By Habib, Samuel | International Review of Mission, January-April 1997 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Mission and the Twenty-First Century - Impressions from Salvador: Impressions from the Middle East

Habib, Samuel, International Review of Mission


The Conference on World Mission and Evangelism in Salvador, Brazil, was an inspiring experience. People from various cultures from around the world gathered together to explore in depth the relationship between gospel and culture. Through worship events, study, discussion and dialogue, we experienced the diversity of the group and discovered the differences of opinion regarding issues of culture and interpreting the scriptures.

The conference itself was an experience of differences of opinions and cultures and understanding the nature of the church in the twenty-first century. Through conference discussions, we could see how the gospel challenges cultures, and there was a genuine attempt to listen and to share ways, understandings and wisdoms across the diverse cultures. These differences showed the richness of the church experience worldwide. This experience emphasized that cultures must be respected, and that the church needs to learn how to deal with people from different cultures when presenting the gospel to them.

Still there is need to study how the gospel challenges cultures and how cultures enlighten the gospel, making it more understandable. In Salvador we had a chance to see places that carry a history of slavery, and there we could feel the misery of people, while the rich and those who live a better life care little or nothing about the poor. From this situation, we could see that certain aspects of cultures need to be transformed to liberate people and introduce them to life in its fullness.

It is impossible to summarize the experience in Salvador in a few lines, but the Holy Spirit was helping us to see the relationship that exists between gospel and culture and to discern where the gospel transforms cultures. This article will present reflections from Salvador on the Middle East situation.


A major issue in the Middle East today is the peace settlement. Will the peoples of the Middle East experience peace after long struggle through wars? The Palestinian war lasted over forty years; the civil war of Lebanon more than seventeen, and both situations left misery, problems and suffering. The Palestinian issue is still being negotiated through dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian leaders. The Iraq situation is not yet solved.

Since 1948, the Palestinian issue has been the one cause that has joined the Arab nations together. Today a peace process has begun, but the road is thorny. Peace negotiations are not easy, but entering into peace between Israel and the surrounding Arab nations is a major issue as we enter the twenty-fist century. There are still dialogues that need to take place between Israel on one side, Syria and Lebanon on the other. However, dialogue is better than war, considering that land for peace is a difficult issue to tackle. A peace settlement has been accepted in principle, but implementation is not easy. Both Palestinians and Israelis want to be a resident on their land, which represents a part of their heritage.

The Jerusalem issue seems to be the heart of the problem in the area. Muslims, Jews, and Christians all consider Jerusalem to be a holy city, with sites sacred to the three religions. Already, tensions are higher in Jerusalem than for years as negotiations and agreements come closer to directly addressing this issue. Once a peace settlement is decided, the situation in the Middle East will certainly improve.

However, we are concerned about violence in the Middle East. There are certain nations that support violence and export violence worldwide, even to other nations in the Middle East. This is one concern that needs to find some solution. Yet the solution for violence cannot be a local solution -- it has to be an international one.

To bring the cultures of the different Arab nations together with Israel in the area, to experience peace and to live together, is an important issue for the coming century.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Mission and the Twenty-First Century - Impressions from Salvador: Impressions from the Middle East


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?