Dr. Leonard at World Reformed Fellowship
April 15, 2010
Rev. Dr. John Leonard, professor of practical theology and a pastor at Cresheim Valley Church, is speaking on “The Challenge of Islam” at The World Reformed Fellowship, 2010 General Assembly in Edinburgh, Scotland from April 12 - 15.
Dr. Leonard has been teaching at Westminster since 1998. He was a missionary in France with Mission to the World and Arab World Ministries from 1988–1998. He served as the regional director for Franco-phone Africa for Mission to the World from 1997–1998. In addition to teaching at Westminster, he has also been pastoring at Cresheim Valley Church since 2006.
Excerpt from The Urban Face of Mission: Ministering the Gospel in a Diverse and Changing World, "Jesus' Words to the Canaanite Woman: Another Perspective," page 197, by Dr. Leonard:
"In this century, the church has the opportunity to become a community that is not based on race, nationality or social status. The ever increasing number of immigrants flooding last's century's political borders and the further marginalizing of the church by mainstream society have opened up these doors. Unfortunately, much of the church fails to see the world of opportunity before it. Instead, it is asking, 'What is our target group?' This is the modern day equivalent of the Pharisee's question in Luke 10:29, 'Who is my neighbor?'
"'Target grouping' has become an unquestioned principle in much of the church-growth literature because it works and it seems natural. But when we call an individual to a radical personal conversion (a Western and especially American way of understanding conversion), that call must also include a radical community conversion. We must call people to repent of their racism, classism and sexism, because this is the church that our Lord is building. Unfortunately, their sins have been institutionalized, and we define our communal sin with theological and logical arguments..."