Sydney: Matthias Media, 2019

In learning of their own faith, Muslims learn something of Christianity – however erroneous that turns out to be – but Christians are not necessarily raised to know anything about Islam. Samuel Green has had many years of experience in presenting the gospel to Muslims, and has a wealth of experience and knowledge that Christians can draw on. Samuel says that while truth and love are needed, the Christian is well-advised not to be too passive. The most effective Christian approach may be not quite what seems the most obvious. For example, Samuel recognises that a Muslim will not usually begin with an exposition of the Five Pillars of Islam.

So far as Christianity is concerned, the central issues for the Muslim are usually the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the way of salvation. Samuel  rightly contends that early on in any dialogue two issues need to be considered: the belief in all the prophets, and the claim that the Bible has been changed. He makes the cogent point that Muslims only believe what Muhammad tells them about the prophets. In effect, this means that they only believe Muhammad. There is wise advice and hints all through this work. Showing the unity of Scripture is more effective than a squabble over textual criticism. To the Muslim, the Trinity means that 1+1+1=3, but to the Christian, it is more like ∞ + ∞ + ∞ = ∞. 

Samuel thinks that the place to start with a defence of the Bible but with the claim that the Qur’an is perfectly preserved. Perhaps all most Christians need to know on this topic is that the third caliph, Uthman, standardized the Qur’an by burning variant manuscripts. Yet in 1972 the Great Mosque in San’a in the Yemen was being restored, and a number of Qur’anic manuscripts were discovered. It should have surprised no one that these testified to textual variations. Having said that, a defence of the Bible will expose the Muslim to the Word of God which is self-affirming.

For Christians wanting to reach Muslims with the gospel, this is a clear and timely introduction.

Where to Start with Islam

A New Approach to Engaging with Muslim Friends

Samuel Green | Matthias Media

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