My wife Betty and I dropped in to the Bridges class, a Discipleship Training class, at our church last Sunday evening. Robin Burgess facilitates this class which teaches people how to reach Muslims for Christ. The guest speaker’s
question and answer period was the most instructive for everyone. The point was made that firstly, the Christian Church (i.e. the leadership) is divided on the issue of Islam, what it is and how to handle it. In other words they look at only one facet of a multifaceted question. Some are even handle it in a politically correct manner.
Secondly, he diagrammed the three areas Christians really need to be knowledgeable of, but more than that—knowledgeable in and able to draw on all the areas in an encounter with a Muslim or anyone for that matter. He also made the point that Christians are not balanced in this but are usually in either in the “we only want to evangelize” or we “know the truth” side to the exclusion of the others. I must admit I myself have not been in the evangelism box.
Indeed the Bible asserts that “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher” (Luke 6: 40). When we open our mouths to tell someone about Jesus we are teacher. Being a teacher is not just limited to a formal class setting (James 3:1).
Many Christians believe that the knowledge of the Bible is enough—yet they ignore many biblical commands because they think they do not fit their ideas of evangelism. Furthermore in this age it is absolutely a necessity to be able to defend your Christian faith, as well as punch holes in the barriers that keep nonbelievers from the Truth. The fact is the Church has elevated the doctrine of evangelism to the exclusion of everything else and hence most our evangelistic efforts are anemic and in the end–fruitless.
To fully be able to be effective in handling Islam apologetically the graphic would look more like this:
Evangelism must include discipling. Apologetics means you know how to defend the faith (1 Peter 3:15 and Jude 3). In our milieu I would think everyone would want to know about true Islam—not what is spewed from the face hole of a talking head on the boob tube. However, I am afraid it does take some effort on the part of the disciple. Indeed you need to be proficient in all three areas. You have to expend time reading books and searching out the truth. You might even have to spend some of your own money (heaven forbid) buying books or auditing a class at a good seminary.
For example, do you know who C.A.I.R. really is and who backs them? Do you know the truth about the struggle for a Palestinian state and do they really want to coexist peacefully? Do you really understand who and what the Muslim Brotherhood’s (Ikhwan) goals are? What is sharia (the path) law; is it compatible with our Constitution and what does it mean? Do you know what Muslims believe about Christians and Christianity? Who is Jesus in the theology of Islam? Do you know what abrogation or taqiyya mean?
These are just some of the questions we need to know and understand as Christians and Americans. Let me give you some resources to get you started. This is not an all-inclusive list, but should give you a good start. I will start with the books and while my new book, Before the Final Trump does not deal exclusive with Islam it does have a good overview in Chapter 3.
- The Truth About Muhammad by Robert Spencer
- Stealth Jihad by Robert Spencer
- Islam: What the West Needs to Know by Robert Spencer, Walid Shoebat, et al.
- Infiltration by Paul Sperry
- Is the Injeel Corrupt? By Fouad Masri (the injeel is Arabic for New Testament)
- God’s War on Terror by Walid Shoebat
- Unveiling Islam by Ergun Caner
- More than a Prophet by Ergun Caner
- Answering Islam: The Crescent in the Light of the Cross by Abdul Saleeb & N. Geisler
- World Net Daily
- Jihad Watch
- And especially Jihad Watch’s Islam 101.
- Wall of Lies
- Stop Sharia Now
- MEMRITV (The Middle East Research Insitute)
Bridges by the Crescent Project this is a DVD driven study course.
I think the Church has a great deal of work to do, for we have been quiescent for too long. We must find our legs and begin to do what Christ mandated–to be salt and light. It is time for us as Christians to become engaged.
What do you think?