Our next Coffee Night speaker program featured podcast host, award-winning author, and university lecturer Jason Howk. An army veteran of Baptist confession, Howk shared with us his stimulating story that connected his first career as a military officer to a second and no less interesting one as an interfaith speaker and lecturer on Islam.
“…Howk believes in a different approach to interfaith work. Typically, a Christian explains Christianity, a Jew explains Judaism, a Muslim explains Islam and so on. He’s flipped that formula on its head – and it’s worked.” Stephen Lanzi, Auburn Magazine.
Moderator:Joel O. Rainey, Ph.D.
Joel O. Rainey is currently Lead Pastor at Covenant Church in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. He is a sought-after speaker, and in addition to his pastoral duties, serves on the adjunct faculty of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, North Carolina. Dr. Rainey has been involved in planting more than 100 new churches in North America, has trained pastors and church planters nationally, and internationally, and has intercultural experience on five continents. In addition to the following books, The Story: God’s Grand Narrative; Our Great Hope (CreateSpace, 2017), Speaking from a Firm Foundation (CreateSpace, 2013), Planting Churches in the Real World (Missional Press, 2012), Side-Stepping Landmines: Five Principles for Pastor Search Teams (CreateSpace, 2012), he was also a contributing author to the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Broadman & Holman, 2003), and has written numerous articles for publication related to the church and its global mission. His writing has appeared in the Great Commission Research Journal, SBC Voices, The Gospel Coalition, Evangelical Missions Quarterly, churchleaders.com, The Christian Post, and the Washington Post, and he has represented the evangelical perspective to news outlets such as Al Jazeera America, and the Baltimore Sun.
Jason Criss Howk, Retired U.S. Army Foreign Area Officer
Jason spent over twenty years focused on the Broader Middle East and Islam in the Department of Defense. He is currently the host of “We’re Just Talking About It,” a podcast that explains Islam to non-Muslims in plain English.
For over 5 years he has led religious dialogue discussions about Islam across the United States to dispel myths and stereotypes about Muslim cultures. He is the award winning author of The Qur’an: A Modern-English Chronological Interpretation and numerous other works. Jason is an Islamic studies professor at the USAF Special Operations School.
For over 29 years he has conducted defense, diplomacy, education, and intelligence missions globally. Jason holds a MA in Middle East and South Asia Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School. Jason studied Dari (Afghan Farsi) and Arabic at the Defense LanguageInstitute and is a Malone Fellow in Arab and Islamic Studies.
Jason was a term-member in the Council on Foreign Relations and is sought by various journalists for his insights. For his work on Afghanistan over a 12 year period Major Howk was awarded two Bronze Star Medals and the Legion of Merit from the U.S. Department of Defense. For his direct work with Afghan officials he was awarded the Afghanistan Governmental Success Medal from the President of Afghanistan.