Former Muslim: Don’t lose sight of what really matters
    September 2 2010 by Stephanie Smith

    CHICAGO, IL — The proposed mosque near Ground Zero has stirred up a lot of hostility toward Muslims. But a former Muslim who now pastors a thriving church in the Caribbean has a message for Christians who are up in arms over the growing public presence of Islam — don’t lose sight of what really matters. 

    “Increasingly, God seems pleased to bring the Muslim world right to our doorsteps. The work of cross-cultural evangelism and missions has never been more accessible,” says Thabiti Anyabwile, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman in the Grand Cayman Islands and author of The Gospel for Muslims: An Encouragement to Share Christ With Confidence. Anyabwile explains that “the Gospel of Jesus Christ is indeed triumphing in the hearts, minds and lives of countless men and women from various Muslim backgrounds ... I know, because I am one such person.”

    The author converted to Islam during his college years while studying the history of Africans and African Americans. “I grew angry toward white people in general. I became zealous for Islam, ‘the perfect religion for the African American’,” he remembers. Ironically, it was during Ramadan that “a steady awareness settled over me that Islam was not true.”

    He recalls, “As a Muslim, I had devoured as much of the Quran as I could. The Quran plainly taught that Jesus was born of a virgin with no earthly father (Sura 3:42-50). The Quran plainly taught that the Gospels were books revealed by Allah (Sura 4:163-165; 5:46-48; and 6:91-92).

    And in many passages, the Quran — written approximately 600 years after Christ and the apostles — expressed such confidence in these sections of the Bible that it called people to judge the truth using the Bible (Sura 3:93-94; 5:47; and 10:94). So, for me, any consistent and intellectually honest Muslim had to come to grips with the teaching of the Bible.”

    Christians don’t have to spend a lot of time attacking the Quran, Anyabwile says. Instead, our focus should be on “helping our Muslim friends understand why they should humbly accept the Bible as revelation from God and therefore believe its message. In God’s marvelous kindness to Muslims and to Christians doing the work of evangelism, the Quran itself states ample enough reason for the Muslim to accept the Bible.”

    Still, Anyabwile reminds believers to temper their confidence with humility when engaging Muslims on biblical truths.

    “Typically, if we’re thinking about winning or losing debates with our Muslim neighbors, we’ve lost sight of what really matters,” he concludes. “Sometimes we have to draw sharp lines in order to be understood. But even when we draw lines, we should do so with love because we’re representing a loving God whom we wish to make known.”
    9/2/2010 11:27:00 AM by Stephanie Smith | with 2 comments

Dr. James Willingham
Being hostile and pushy usually means a weakness on the part of the person who is displaying such shortcomings. A careful studied and studious answer is something that Muslims, I suspect from what I have learned from their history and from the few times I have had personal dealings with them, might welcome. They are usually well trained in rhetoric and logic. Indeed, their civilization is noted for its preservation of the writings of Aristotle and other Greek philosophers which the West made use of in what might be called the high middle ages (circa 1200s)(about the time of Thomas Aquinas and his usage of Aristotle in his theological works. Even so, the evangelistic motif of the Christian Faith is not an option to be dispensed with in cases like this. The case can and should be pressed without being in the slightest disagreeable. Pressing to the point of violating the canons of Agape love is not a viable option or an approved method for the Christian witness.
9/6/2010 4:21:39 PM

Gene Scarborough
[b]AT LAST[/b]---a more kind and loving way for Christians to approach Muslims.

I have a tobacconist who is Muslim and told me exactly the same thing about Jesus being born of a Virgin. We have had several enlightening conversations. I think the best approach is reciprocal discussions with me showing the "joy of salvation" and "a peace that passes understanding."

He is not hostile nor pushy so why should I be????
9/3/2010 1:32:51 PM

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