When I began reading about the C1-C6 spectrum I had already formed an opinion and was hoping to find evidence to support my conclusion. While my studies are far from over, I am surprised to find myself leaning in a different direction from where I started. My thoughts are a work in progress and I would love for my readers to join me in this discussion. Before I share those thoughts, I just want to outline the facts, to give you as much information as I can so that our conclusions are based on truth. If you have done research on contextualization please let me know if you see any holes in my arguments.
In recent years there has been much discussion on how to effectively take the gospel to Muslim countries. The C1-C6 spectrum appears to be at the center of that discussion. I have spent hours reading and have talked with people who hold different views on this subject. It has been insightful and challenging. Based on what I have been learning, I want to encourage you to remember a few things before you begin studying:
1. Let Scripture tell you the answers. My college minister use to always say this to me. It is easy to let our experiences and feelings determine our beliefs. Start with the Word as your foundation and go from there.
2. Be teachable. This is not a black and white issue. Consider all the information and don't let differences of opinion be devicive.
3. Muslims are not statistics or mission projects! They are a precious, unique people with whom we share a common bond - a need for Christ.
Important Terms and defentions:
MBB – Muslim Background Believer, this term refers to a follower of Christ who was formally Muslim.
Contextualization – To place a word or idea into a particular context; refers to the accommodating of words, phrases and meanings into understandable context for a particular culture.
Syncretism – The attempt to reconcile contradicting beliefs, often while melding practices of carious schools of thought. This term may refer to the attempt to merge and analogize several originally discrete traditions especially in theology or mythology and thus assert an underlying unity allowing for an inclusive approach to other faiths.
C1-C6 churches – The ‘C’ stands for “Christ-Centered Communities”. The numbers 1-5 reflect three main areas:
1. The language of worship.
2. The cultural or religious forms which are used in both public life and in their worship.
3. The self identity as Muslim or a Christian.
I received this digragm through an email from and IMB missionary.
It breaks down the general aspects of C1-C6 churches.
If you are new to this discussion, I hope that this little bit of information has been helpful. My personal thoughts are coming later, but some of the questions I have struggled with are: Is is ok for a Muslim to continue calling themselves Muslim? Is it possible to seperate religious and cultural costumes in Islamic countries?