We recently noted the apperance of the testimony of a Muslim who came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ (HT to Abu Daoud for this.)
One of the tasks of this department is to teach people how to win others to Christ. We’ve been doing this for the whole time we’ve been here, which, if you count the predecessor entities, spans four decades. One thing we’ve found out is that teaching people about other religions is one thing: teaching people how to share their faith effectively with adherents of these religions is another altogether.
Recently we put out a little book entitled Reaching the Children of Ishmael, which gives some guidelines that lay people and clergy alike can use when sharing their faith with Muslims. This testimony–and some of the comments that have followed–lead us to share the following:
- The use of the term “Allah” for God is one that many Christians will find disconcerting. The main reason for this is that some groups–Muslim and otherwise–have used this to proclaim that Christians and Muslims have basically the same religion because they worship the same God. This concept, however, is neither Christian nor Muslim but Masonic. It’s true that, for Arabic speakers, “Allah” is the term for God that they will find in Arabic Bibles (and one sees the same thing in other languages spoken in predominantly Muslim cultures.) This issue, however, is best understood by…
- Some have taken exception to the testimony’s statement that “the only Prophet that could give us greater understanding of the Kingdom of Allah and true submission to His will was Isa Al-Masih.” Obviously there’s more to salvation in Jesus Christ than straight submission, as is the case in Islam. But it’s worth noting that the basic statement of faith in Islam is the Shehada: “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his Prophet.” For a Muslim to profess that there is a prophet that is greater than Muhammad is major. (To profess that Muhammad sinned and Isa (Jesus) did not is in the Qur’an.)
- One thing the testimony glosses over is the time his friend spent with him, which implies relationship building. In most cases, building relationships is essential to effectively sharing one’s faith with a Muslim. (The miraculous, such as this, doesn’t hurt either.) It’s noteworthy that the Muslim was watching the Christian’s life and was impressed by what he saw. This is important in sharing one’s faith with a Muslim: the non-verbal component is very important.
- Another thing that is easy to overlook is the importance of discipleship of Muslim converts, both before and after the salvation event. We have come to realise that discipleship is crucial for all Christians, but it’s especially important for new converts and even more so for those from Islam. There are many things to learn (and unlearn) and these are best learned in an effective discipleship process, which has a spiritual component, an educational part and a relational part.
- In the course of sharing one’s faith with a Muslim, it’s really good to have a basic knowledge of Islam and the Qur’an, especially those parts which do not support many common Muslim concepts about Jesus, the Scriptures, etc. That’s covered in detail in the book, and it’s time well spent learning about.
One thing we hope is that this testimony and others like it will encourage Christians to want to share their faith with Muslims and also desire to learn how to do so effectively. Let us know if we can help!