I just finished reading Thabiti Anyabwile’s book The Gospel for Muslims. The author has a first-hand experience of what it’s like interacting with Muslims and sharing Christ’s love to them. This book will help equip the average Christian who wants to share his or her faith, but isn’t sure how.
Thabiti gives a concise overview of what Muslims believe in part 1. He focuses on the key topics of God, such as mankind, the deity of Christ, repentance, and faith. In part 2, he shares practical ways to witness, such as being filled with the spirit, trusting the Bible, practicing hospitality, using your local church, and suffering for the name of Christ.
I have written an outline for each chapter, which covers the basic points the author makes in his book. It is my hope that this outline will provide the tool you need for sharing Jesus with confidence and precision.
Part 1: The Gospel
God by any other name?
- “There is only one God, and Muhammed is his messenger.”
- This is the act of Conversion for a Muslim.
- Shirk – Most blasphemous to have any partners or parts – Polytheism.
- Explaining the Trinity is an important component to conversing with Muslims.
- Sura 5:47 –“Ask those who have been reading the book from before thee: the truth hath indeed come from thy Lord: so be in no wise of those in doubt.”
- Christians believe God created man in His image. Muslims reject the idea that man is made in the image and likeness of God. Nothing shares Allah’s glory.
- The Bible teaches that Adam committed the first sin and spread to all people. Islam teaches that Adam just made an ethical mistake. Muslims consider unjust the idea that one person’s sins should be accounted to another person. Sura 6:164 teaches: “no liability of one soul can be transferred to another.”
- The Scripture teaches that sin offends God. “Only you have I sinned against.” To Muslims, the Quran maintains that the person who sins “does evil to himself.” Surah 65:1.
- Christians have a stronger view of sin than Muslims. Muslims view sin as weakness not wickedness. Demonstrating the seriousness of sin good strategy.
Jesus Christ: Fully God and Fully Man
- Who do people say Jesus is today?
- Muslim apologists like to argue that Jesus is the son of God just like Adam was called that in Luke 3:38 and Psalm 82 says we are god’s children. However, they skip John 3:16 that says “only begotten Son of God” and John 1:14 “Word became flesh.” Point them back to Old Testament since they are skeptical about New Testament. Isaiah 9:6 talks about “Immanuel”, “God among us.”
- Emphasize to Muslims that it was necessary for God to become fully man in order to satisfy the justice of God. But first make sure you stress sin so they realize there is no righteousness they have apart from God.
Jesus Christ: Lamb Slain and Resurrected
- Dhul-Hijah, a day to celebrate how the prophet Ibrahim sacrificed his son. They say it was Ishmael, but we say it was Isaac. Sacrifice is a motivation for the practice of hajj, pilgrimage to Mecca, Ramadan, giving of alms to the poor.
- Muslims do not believe that sacrifice can take away our sins. In Sura 22:37 it states, “It is not their meat nor their blood, that reaches Allah: it is your piety that reaches Him: He has thus made them subject to you, that ye may glorify Allah for His Guidance to you and proclaim the good news.”
- Emphasize the “Great Exchange.” He who knew no sin became sin for us.
Repentance and Faith
- What does repentance mean for Christians?
- Muslims use the term repentance to refer to conversion (Sura 5:36) to Islam or practicing Muslims turning to God (Sura 24:31). Problem is they don’t know what is acceptable and not acceptable to Allah. Assurance of salvation is a struggle.
- Stress salvation by grace through faith in Christ (Eph. 2:8-9). Also Rom. 8:39.
Part 2: As you Witness
Be filled with the Spirit
- Being filled means controlled by the spirit the way a boat’s sails are filled with the wind and blown on its course. The Spirit gives power (Acts. 1:8; 2:4; 6; 13:8).
- Yes, fear and boldness can coexist. We must be willing to get out of our comfort zones and trust that the Holy Spirit will lead our conversations with Muslims.
Trust the Bible
- Defending the Scriptures and assuming its reliability and truthfulness becomes essential to effective conversations since Muslims have a high view of the Quran.
- Muslims believe the Bible is full of all kinds of contradictions even though the Quran teaches that the Torah, Gospels, and Psalms of David are revelations from God. Reading these supposed contradictions in context is key.
- Christians fear that defending the Scriptures will offend their Muslim friends, but Muslims respect Christians more deeply when we stand firm in our beliefs.
- It is painful to not be included in the lives of others, whether you are the one extending or hoping to receive hospitality.
- Four factors that contribute to the decline among Christians of hosting others are privatization, fear of man, passivity, and Xenophobia.
- Four reason to show hospitality: The Bible commands Christians to be hospitable (Rom. 12:13). It allows us to care for the strangers among us (Ex. 22:21). The Bible teaches that our caring for strangers renders service to Jesus (Matt. 25:34-40). Lastly, hospitality in one mark of Christian maturity and godliness (1 Tim. 3:2; 5:10).
Use your Local Church
- Muslims have the belief that Christians are immoral like everyone else.
- Muslims need to see unity in our churches (Eph. 2:14-18) because they boast about Islam being a universal faith for all.
- Love within the local church clarifies what true discipleship looks like.
Suffer for the Name
- Muslims suffer for Jihad. They try to advance individual piety through prayer and fasting or to promote and defend Islam. They die because they think it guarantees them paradise. We are to suffer too, not by physical violence, but sacrificial love.