Dr. Joseph Ray Tallman, the Dean of Olivet Theological College & Seminary (OTCS) and Dr. William Wagner, president of Olivet University and OTCS professor of missiology, hosted a three-day conference on Islam at the end of March. The two leading Islamic scholars at Olivet University joined together in organizing the conference to raise awareness of Christians in understanding of issues related to Islam. The conference titled “Understanding Islam Today” was held March 24-26, cosponsored by Olivet University and Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (GGBTS).
Both Dr. Wagner and Dr. Tallman are leading Islamic scholars today. Dr. Wagner is the author of How Islam Plans to Change the World, which has been translated into three other languages. He also has extensive field experience in the Middle Eastern country and is a pastor of an Iranian American church. Dr. Joseph Ray Tallman, former director of Arab World Ministries, has also served as a missionary in Morocco, a country listed in top ten countries with the most Muslim populations.
The conference was held for three consecutive evenings starting on Wednesday, March 24. Dr. Tallman was on the floor the first night giving a lecture on the foundation of Islam’s belief and practice, followed by a Q&A session. Dr. Tallman gave a brief overview on the current state of Islam, their beliefs and five (or six) pillars, and the problems they are facing.
The second evening was lectured by Dr. Wagner, who gave the four methods that Muslims are using to expand and change the world. Three of the methods are already mentioned in his book, How Islam Plans to Change the World, – Da’wah, Jihad, and Mosque, and the fourth method, which he anticipates to include in his new revision of the book, is Immigration.
Both Dr. Tallman and Dr. Wagner took turns on the third night in additional lectures and discussions. The conference closed with Dr. Tallman’s remark to an audience question about approaching a Muslim where he said love, which is foreign to Islamic idea of God, overcomes everything.
After following the success of the first joint conference of two Islamic scholars, a series of other projects are anticipated and being planned.