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Understanding and Answering Islam

What are the foundational differences between Christianity and Islam? Which is the real Word of God? The Bible or the Qur’an? Do you know what it costs a Muslim to consider Christ?


Islam is no longer distant

In Australia today, as in all Western countries, there are growing Muslim communities. Increasingly many of us have Muslim neighbours and co-workers. Moreover, radical Islam is on the move around the globe in way we were woken up to on 9/11, and are constantly reminded of in global news stories. These developments provide the church with many evangelistic, apologetic, social and political challenges. It is our hope that you will join with RZIM, Arthur Jeffery Centre for the Study of Islam, Melbourne School of Theology and Queensland Theological College in recognising and seeking to respond to these challenges biblically and thoughtfully.

We regularly gather some of the world’s leading Christian scholars researching Islam, as well as some of the greatest contemporary apologists to Muslims. Our speakers represent a wide range of background and bring a wealth of academic and international ministry experience. Their teaching sessions are designed to take us on a journey covering many of the key issues in the Christian encounter with Islam. As always, these conferences will marry apologetic rigor with gospel passion.

Our hope and prayer is that your involvement in these conferences will stretch your mind to understand the nature of the challenge of Islam. We long, too, for the Lord to enlarge your gospel heart for your Muslim neighbours and workmates as we provide you with practical tools for lovingly speaking, and defending, the Gospel of Christ.

These events are designed for families, students, churches, small groups, and anyone interested in the questions raised by the interaction between Islam and Christianity. Please join us in praying for a wonderful time of spiritual renewal and greater understanding of our Muslim friend.

Speakers Include

Dr Richard Shumack

Rev. Dr. Richard Shumack gained his PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia, where he examined contemporary Muslim philosophy and discovered Muslim thinking to be especially weak in their bold claims to certainty. Richard is the Director of the Arthur Jeffery Centre for the Study of Islam at Melbourne School of Theology and a research fellow with the Centre for Public Christianity, in Sydney, Australia. He teaches regularly on ministry in Muslim contexts in Australian seminaries, universities, churches and mission organizations. His publications include a training book Witnessing to Western Muslims, and a philosophical apologetic entitled The Wisdom of Islam and the Foolishness of Christianity (in association
with RZIM).

Dr Andy Bannister

Dr Andy Bannister is Director of the Solas Centre for Public Christianity and an Adjunct Speaker for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. He has spoken in hundreds of universities, churches, business settings and on TV and radio. Andy holds a PHD in Qur’anic Studies and is a Research Fellow of the Arthur Jeffery Centre for the Study of Islam at Melbourne School of Theology. He is the author of two books, An Oral-Formulaic Study of the Qur’an (a ground breaking and innovative study that reveals many of the ways the Qur’an was first composed) and The Atheist Who didn’t Exist (or: The Dreadful Consequences of Really Bad Arguments), a humorous engagement with the New Atheism. He also co-wrote and
presented the TV documentary, Burning Questions.

Dan Paterson

Dan (Daniel) Paterson is a speaker with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries based in Brisbane, Australia. After some family tragedies in his childhood that raised a series of barriers to belief in God, Dan came to Christ at 18 through an investigation of the New Testament. Given this background, Dan developed a driving passion to study theology and apologetics to help make sense of the Christian faith to sceptics and spiritual seekers. Completing Bachelors and Masters degrees in ministry and theology, Dan pursued further training by heading with his wife to Oxford in the UK, where he completed RZIM’s one-year course at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics (2012/2013). Having returned to Brisbane, Dan speaks regularly to audiences across the belief spectrum on life’s biggest questions.

Dr Bernie Power

Dr Bernie Power holds degrees in science, arts and theology. He worked as a mission partner with Interserve for 21 years in Asia and the Middle East in Muslim-majority countries. He lectures in Islamic Studies at the Melbourne School of Theology, and works with CultureConnect in Melbourne. He completed his doctorate on the Hadith, and has written three books on the Muslim-Christian interface: Understanding Jesus and Muhammad: What the Ancient Texts say about them; Challenging Islamic Traditions: Searching Questions about the Hadith from a Christian Perspective; Engaging Islamic Traditions: Using the Hadith in Christian Ministry to Muslims. His next book is about the Qur’an. His areas of academic interest include the life of Muhammad, the Qur’an, the hadith and apologetics to Islam. His aim is to help Christians understand more about Islam, and for Muslims to understand more about Jesus.

Dr Peter Riddell

Dr Peter G. Riddell is Vice Principal (Academic) at the Melbourne School of Theology and Professorial Research Associate in the Department of History at SOAS, University of London. He previously taught at the Australian National University, the Institut Pertanian Bogor (Indonesia), SOAS and the London School of Theology, where he served as Professor of
Islamic Studies. He was invited as visiting professor at L’Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes/ Sorbonne (Paris) in May/June, 2015. He has published widely on the study of Southeast Asia,
Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations. His books include Transferring a Tradition (UC Berkeley, 1990); Islam and the Malay-Indonesian World (London: Hurst, 2001); Islam in Context (with
Peter Cotterell, Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003), Christians and Muslims (Leicester: IVP, 2004) and Interpreting the Qur’an in 17th Century Aceh (Leiden: Brill, 2017). He has edited over a
dozen volumes, including Islam: Essays on Scripture, Thought and Society (with Tony Street, Leiden: Brill, 1997), Islam and Christianity on the Edge: Talking Points in Christian-Muslim Relations into the 21st Century (with John Azumah, Melbourne: Acorn, 2013); and The Qur’an in the Malay-Indonesian World: Context and Interpretation (with Majid Daneshgar and Andrew Rippin, London: Routledge, 2016).

Rev Dr Mark Durie

Dr Mark Durie is an academic, human rights activist, Anglican pastor, a Shillman-Ginsburg Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and Adjunct Research Fellow of the Arthur Jeffery Centre for the Study of Islam at Melbourne School of Theology. He has published many articles and books on the language and culture of the Acehnese, Christian-Muslim relations
and religious freedom. The Third Choice; Dhimmitude and Freedom and Which God? Jesus, Holy Spirit, God in Christianity and Islam are two of the books he has published. Mark holds a PhD in linguistics from the Australian National University and a THD in Quranic Theology from the Australian College of Theology.


For further information on the content please contact info@JefferyCentre.mst.edu.au

Event starts Friday evening, 14th September, from 7:00pm – 9:30pm. Concludes Saturday 15th September, from 9:00am – 4:00pm.

The address of the venue will be sent out to you with other registration information after registration is complete.

Registrations close Monday 10th September. Please ensure you book on time. Refunds will not be offered after this date. Thank you for your understanding.


Spring Hill
Spring Hill, Queensland 4000 Australia
Friday, 14th September @ 7:00 pm
Saturday, 15th September @ 4:00 pm
$90 – $120

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