Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Introducing a new book entitled, "What every Christian needs to know about sharing the Gospel with Muslims"

Roland Clarke

We've seen a worldwide resurgence of radical Muslims over the last few years which is fuelling an unprecedented escalation of Christian persecution and the slaughter of tens of thousands of (fellow) Muslims. These conflicts have spawned a humanitarian disaster involving millions of refugees – the highest number on record. Seeing the increasing violence and turbulence can make us feel intimidated; on the other hand, this turbulence signals a ripening harvest. In fact, tens of thousands of Muslims have become disillusioned at seeing so much violence in their communities and have turned to Christ. But this doesn't mean the harvest flows in automatically; we must still preach the Gospel. (Rom. 10:8ff)

We need to be equipped and have our feet shod with readiness to share the Gospel. (Eph. 6:15) For this reason, I have written a 24 pg book entitled, What every Christian needs to know about sharing the Gospel with Muslims. Let me give you a few highlights.

As the title implies, ordinary Christians have the capacity to engage Muslims in seasoned-with-salt conversations as we meet them in many different circumstances of daily life, not unlike how Jesus met a Samaritan woman at a well as recorded in John chapter four.

Many Christians feel ill-equipped and inadequate to face this daunting challenge, so we make excuses like Gideon. Others blatantly disobey God as Jonah did. There are all kinds of excuses we may use not to get involved, e.g. "I'm not intellectually gifted to answer Muslim objections", etc. Has God not given us his Word which is living, powerful and sharp? (Heb. 2:12) Has he not given us the Gospel which is the power of God to salvation? (Rom. 1:16) Also, he has encouraged us that the “unfolding” of his Word enables simple people to gain understanding. (Ps. 119:130)

Can you think of a more fascinating way of “unfolding” God's Word than tracing the great rescue story through Scripture, telling one story after another? There is another advantage to unwrapping the gospel from the OT to the NT. It enables us to leverage similar beliefs. This book traces three themes through Scripture: 1) eternity planted in the human heart, 2) God is mighty to save, 3) God is one. I am convinced that these principles are the most significant core beliefs we share in “common” with Muslims. The first is perhaps, not so much a belief as a deep longing, which calls to mind the well known Qur'anic saying, "to Allah we belong, to him is our return."

Let's take a closer look at these commonalities which form the backbone of this book. The first is a heart for eternity. This pearl of wisdom from Ecclesiastes 3:11 resonates with people around the world. Recently, I shared it with a young woman who sat next to me on a bus. The man next to her saw what she was reading and asked me for a copy. Two days later I had a similar experience in a restaurant. After we finished eating, my friend paid the bill. I missed the opportunity to give this Scripture to the waitress, as I usually do. As I began looking for her, another waiter noticed I was in a quandary. I explained my situation and he promised to give her the slip of paper, but not without glancing at it first. His curiosity was sparked and he asked, “Could I have one too?”

We can use this seed to season our conversation with unbelievers and unwrap the gift of God, not unlike how Jesus explained this gift in John four. Christ evoked the woman's curiosity by offering her living water. This motivated her to explore what this puzzling expression meant. Eventually she discovered it is eternal life.

The second theme explored in this book is God's saving power. This is illustrated by tracing a series of rescue stories from the OT to the NT. Most people enjoy hearing stories but Muslims are particularly interested in these stories because of how they seamlessly interweave God's oneness AND his saving power. When you consider that 90% of Islamic theology focuses on Allah's oneness, it is no wonder that Muslims raise so many objections against the deity of Christ. You will be encouraged that this book provides basic answers to these objections.

Earlier we noted that persecution of Christians is escalating. This was reinforced recently when 142 university students were martyred in Kenya. Many of us living in the 'west' are timid to speak publicly of our faith in Christ, yet this attack happened in Kenya which has a higher percentage of Christians than many so-called western nations! May we be inspired by the courageous example of these young people who “did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.” (Rev. 12:11) What price are you and I willing to pay to testify of Christ?

I pray that ordinary Christians will not be overcome by feelings of inadequacy and timidity, but instead we will be courageous and strong in the Lord. (Eph. 6:10; 2 Tim. 1:7) I pray this book will help equip you to make the most of the opportunities to share the Gospel of peace. (Eph. 6:15) Let us bear in mind how relevant peace is as we bring this message against the backdrop of deepening violence throughout the Muslim world. May this book help many Christians learn to unfold the Bible, highlighting God as hero – the one and only Savior. Perhaps you lack the confidence to tell stories extemporaneously? This book will encourage you to read stories directly from Scripture.

The above-mentioned 24 pg book is available as a normal html document.  In order to obtain a nicer print out, it is also available with a cover as a pdf file.

Feel free to ask me any questions you may have which are relevant to this article.