So How do we Reach Muslims?

Last Tuesday night at Intersections this question came up. Here are a couple of thoughts that I shared with the class as well as a few other resources you might find helpful.

  1. Probably the most important thing given our climate of religious pluralism is for Christians to maintain an absolutely rock-solid commitment to the uniqueness and sufficiency of Jesus. While it may not be the first thing we SAY to our Muslim friends, we can't fudge on Jesus being God's son, Jesus being the only way to God, nor Yahweh's identity (Yahweh is NOT Allah). We don't start here in our conversations, but if Christians aren't committed to these essentials internally, our external, verbal witness will eventually cave in. We'll have nothing unique to offer a committed Muslim!
  2. As suggested in class hospitality and love are also absolutely essential. Much more than with most middle-upper class majority culture Americans, Muslims, especially those of Arabic cultural background, SHOWING the love of Jesus with our life, our words, our kindness, our listening ear, our sacrificial acts of love will speak louder than our apologetics.
  3. We must show people Jesus. In class I suggested that Mark's gospel would be a good place to start as compared to John. John's Gospel is so up-front about Jesus' identity as the Son of God. Mark's Gospel builds that case differently and more gradually. Read Mark first with a Muslim friend.
  4. I wish I would have mentioned these resources in class. You can pick them up at a bookstore or order them online:

The Costly Call by Emir Fethi Caner - a terrific little book describing the stories of 20 different Muslims who converted to Christianity. Read it looking for as many common denominators as you can in their experiences. It is such an inspiring read! It will recalibrate every expectation you've ever had of sharing your faith with a Muslim.

Another brief but power-packed book here that I'd recommend you getting a hold of:

Is the Father of Jesus the God of Muhammed? by Timothy George - The best, briefest little book I've seen that truthfully compares Islam to Christianity. I gave this book to a friend who was in a pretty deep relationship with a Muslim man. It convinced her that NO Islam and Christianity are NOT headed in the same direction. It helped her keep her relationship with a possible Muslim boyfriend from getting more and more serious while ignoring the differences between the two faiths. I highly, highly recommend it! It's a great answer to the challenge of religious pluralism seduction in the realm of Christianity and Islam.

Another place to touch base on the Islam issue is on our media page. These two messages from the worship center as well as Gathering would be very insightful! Check them out if you've got a minute!

Christianity versus Islam (video)

Follow-up Interview at Gathering (audio)

Thanks to all 208 of you who are now in Intersections with me and Mark Ashton. We are having a blast! If you're curious about Intersections check out some previous posts here on the Spiritual Discovery Blog.