Welcome to Engaging With Islam
Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. (Jude v. 3, NIV)
When we read the book of Acts we see the Apostles of Jesus evangelise different religious groups; there are Jews, Samaritans, magicians, followers of Zeus, Artemis, and John the Baptist, but we never read of any Apostle evangelising Muslims. The reason for this is of course that Muhammad, the founder of Islam, was born around 550 years after Jesus. This may sound like an obvious observation to make, but the absence of Islam in the Bible has an effect on Christians. It means Christians do not learn about Islam naturally from reading the Bible, instead it is optional.
The situation for Muslims is the exact opposite. Christianity is a major topic in the Qur’an being spoken about on many occasions. The Qur’an directly engages with many Christian beliefs and evangelism, and instructs Muslims to reject and refute them. In fact Islam promotes itself by speaking against Christian beliefs. These beliefs include the death of Jesus, the incarnation, Son of God, Trinity, and the reliability of the Bible. The Qur’an consistently misrepresents these beliefs, but the result is still that a Muslim who learns Islam naturally learns to reject Christianity; it is just part of being Muslim; it is compulsory.
The result of this situation is that when a Christian and Muslim talk the Christian may feel unprepared. They may not know the teachings of Islam, its history or what questions to ask. The Muslim, however, may feel quite prepared, and be well equipped with various books, leaflets, videos, Bible verses, and questions to ask. They may ask the Christian to “Explain the Trinity?” or they may quote the Bible to prove that Jesus is not God or state that the Bible is corrupted or make claims about history. Of course not all Muslims learn their faith or are zealous, but it is still important that Christians understand this whole situation so they know what to expect and can be prepared.
Not only does the Qur’an prepare Muslims theologically to talk with Christians it also prepares them politically and economically, both when they, the Muslims, are a minority and when they are a majority. It also prepares Muslim men to engage romantically with Christian women.
Islam has become an important worldview to understand and respond to. Even if you don’t know a Muslim you may be asked questions about Islam, or have questions yourself. Engaging with Islam equips Christians to engage effectively with Muslims and those who make comments about Islam or have questions. Its goal is to help you stand firm as a Christian, to help you defend and share the Gospel, and to be able to contest for Christianity in the public arena.
The Engaging with Islam website provides research, training, tools for evangelism, answers to common questions, and advice, so that the Christian can be prepared to share and defend the Gospel. Click on “Training” in the menu column to get started.