I was pleased that Christianity Today focused an article on Christianity in Turkey, “Jesus in Turkey” (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/january/12.25.html?start=2). The article notes that Turkey is rich in the Christian tradition as the Apostle Paul planted churches there and such. When it came under Islamic rule in 1453, the percentage of Christians started to decrease. Recently, Turkey has seen a surge of Christian converts and one such pastor who is instrumental in this growth is Turgay Ucal.
This Muslim Turk turned Christian had a heart to reach others in his demographic, recognizing that there was a void of Churches that were able to relate well with such a group. Turgay planted a church, risking his life, and has seen continued growth. Turgay’s church pursued a charismatic style of worship, complemented by an emphasis on systematic theology. Ucal noticed that his Muslim Turks responded well to a systematized approach better than an informal evangelicalism. Essentially, Ical is reaching Muslim Turks with passionate charismatic worship and systematic theology. This approach was dubbed “Emotional Calvinism” in the article.
“Emotional Calvinism”…”Experiential Calvinism”…etc are all phrases that sum well what I long for in American Evangelicalism and piety. I want to seek God with all my heart AND all my mind. Our pursuit of God should involve the totality of our being. I think the Bible and Jesus said something about loving God in such a way. I pray that “Mindless Mysticism” and “Cold Orthodoxy” would collide and converge.
Anyhow, may God continue to work in Turkey!!!
© 2008, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.