Monday, October 30, 2017

Book Review: The Gospel for Muslims

The Gospel for Muslims: An Encouragement to Share Christ With Confidence. Thabiti M. Anyabwile. 2018. [January 2018] Moody. 176 pages. [Source: Review copy]

This book is written to remind Christians of an important, basic truth: "As a Christian, you already know everything you need to know to effectively share the good news of Jesus Christ with Muslim people. The same message that saves us—the gospel—is the message that will eternally save our Muslim neighbors and friends. In my experience, Christians know the gospel. They simply lack confidence in its power. This book is a call to place our confidence in the message that contains God’s power to save all who believe (Rom. 1:16). We don’t need new techniques for sharing the faith. We need confidence in the gospel in our evangelism to Muslims."

The book serves as a refresher course on the gospel--what it is. And it also serves as a refresher course on evangelism--how to share the gospel.

In part one, key gospel topics are covered: God, humanity, Jesus, repentance, and faith. These topics are presented from a Christian and a Muslim perspective. The goal isn't just to show the contrasts between two faiths, but to help readers better explain the gospel in ways that are meaningful.

In part two, the focus shifts from the gospel to evangelism. The book isn't a theoretical discussion of abstract ideas. It's an appeal to readers to get out there and to evangelize. The book seeks to be practical and helpful. Several chapters focus on hospitality and how important it is for families and churches to be hospitable.

I definitely enjoyed reading this one. I found it a great read. It takes an intimidating subject and makes it less intimidating perhaps. This one is PACKED with information. And it's passionately written.

Favorite quotes:
When we draw lines, we should do so with love because we’re representing a loving God we wish to make known.
Boldness is not what people do when they are unafraid; boldness is what people do in the face of fear.  Boldness comes, in part, when we fear the appropriate person—when we seek to love, revere, and stand in awe of God rather than men who may oppose us. 
When we make our case from the Scripture, we implicitly signal its trustworthiness and authority. Sometimes Christians fear that defending the Scriptures will offend their Muslim and other non-Christian acquaintances. But in my experience, Muslims respect Christians more deeply when we stand firm in our belief in the Scripture as the Word of God. They like to think of themselves as having an unwavering faith in the Quran. So a supposedly faithful Christian who does not honor the sacred Scriptures appears weak and untrustworthy to many Muslims. We gain ground in our evangelism simply by refusing to be embarrassed about the Scriptures and trusting that the Bible is the Word of God.
There are five reasons to address suffering and evangelism, especially as we present the gospel to Muslim friends. First, knowing the Bible’s teaching on suffering can prepare us to rejoice rather than be surprised when it comes. Some Christians feel fear thinking of suffering. Others are surprised God would let them suffer. They should not be surprised, says Peter (1 Peter 4:12). But imagine—we can rejoice at suffering.  Second, knowing the Bible’s teaching on suffering can help us shun the convenience and carnal pleasure that otherwise could dominate our lives. Though we wish to live at peace with all men, it’s not peace at all costs. We are not willing to gain peace at the cost of righteousness, integrity, justice, and loyalty to Christ. Third, by knowing the Bible’s teaching on suffering , we need not be afraid of Muslims when we share the gospel. Jesus repeatedly instructs His disciples in Matthew 10 not to be afraid (vv. 26, 28, and 31). If we let fear drive us, we will wish to avoid all hardship and will fail to tell others the good news of God’s love through Christ. Fourth, knowing the Bible’s teaching on suffering will help us prepare Muslim converts to endure suffering. Most Muslims awakened to faith in Christ will probably face immediate persecution. That’s the way it was in the New Testament world, and that’s the way it is in most of the Muslim world. Fifth, having a right theology of suffering will bring more intimate fellowship with Christ. If we think suffering is to be avoided at all costs, we will miss the unique communion with Jesus that comes only by sharing in His afflictions.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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