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 of course is 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 something optional they may or may not do.
The situation for the Muslim 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 instructs Muslims how to refute and cast doubt over them. These beliefs include the death of Jesus, the incarnation, Son of God, Trinity, and the Bible. Therefore, the Muslim who learns Islam naturally learns how to refute and cast doubt over Christianity; it is just part of being Muslim; it is compulsory. Thus the Qur’an prepares Muslims theologically to talk to Christians.
What is the result of this situation? The result is that when a Christian and Muslim talk the Christian may feel unprepared because it is a new topic that he or she is not familiar with. The Muslim, however, may feel prepared and eager to talk, and be well equipped with various books, leaflets, videos, and questions. They may ask the Christian to “Explain the Trinity?” or “How can Jesus be God?” or state that the Bible is corrupted or make claims about history. And even if Muslims do not say these things it is still part of their general education to reject Christian beliefs.
Not only does the Qur’an prepare Muslims theologically to engage with Christians it also prepares them politically, 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 defend and share the Gospel, and to contest for Christianity in the public arena.
The Engaging with Islam website provides training, tools for evangelism, answers to common questions, teaching from the Bible and Qur’an, plus other useful links. Click on “Training” in the menu column to get started.