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October 15, 2023 Book Review

Reaching Your Muslim Neighbor with the Gospel

Reaching Your Muslim Neighbor with the Gospel

A. S. Ibrahim

Reviewed by: Ashraf Guirgues

Reaching Your Muslim Neighbor with the Gospel, by A. S. Ibrahim. Crossway, 2022. Paperback, 176 pages, $12.98 (Amazon). Reviewed by OP ruling elder Ashraf Guirgues.

Growing up a Christian in the Middle East afforded me a unique perspective of the Muslim world. Muslims are not all the same but rather diverse in their views on Mohammed, the Quran, and adherence to Islam. Doctor Ibrahim, author of Reaching Your Muslim Neighbor with the Gospel, approaches evangelism to Muslims in the Western world with a depth of understanding that comes from living and growing up in the Middle East.

The first half of this book deals with the varieties of Muslims that will be encountered. The second half deals with the tools needed for carrying out evangelism. The book has an underlying focus on a Christ-centered approach to evangelism.

The author’s attention to the three varieties of Muslims is unique in evangelistic literature addressing Islam and Muslims. The examples given are helpful in clarifying potential opportunities and pitfalls in beginning a relationship or a discussion with Muslim acquaintances. The stories told to illustrate various scenarios are clear and should be relatable even to those who have never lived in the Middle East.

Whether stateside or abroad, the author declares clearly that regardless of how persuasive and friendly we are it is God who does the work of conversion. “No matter how smart, educated, and skillful Christians are in terms of theological argumentation and gospel proclamation, the only one who is able to persuade Muslims is the Holy Spirit.” Prayer is presented as being even more important than the words we speak.

The methods suggested and described are helpful but even more practical is the portrayal of common pitfalls that may be faced in the process of evangelism. The reverence that Muslims afford Muhammad as the final prophet of Allah and the Quran as his dictated word are often obstacles to proclaiming Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation. The author suggests utilizing the Bible to elevate the discussion with Muslims without getting bogged down with comparisons between Jesus and Muhammad. It is also noteworthy that presenting the gospel message does often require us to show that there is a price for following our Savior.

Although the author may not be Reformed as far as his view of soteriology, he sees the sovereignty of God as an essential component of successful evangelism. This focus drives his discussion of the tools and methods that we have at our disposal in the Word of God. The love that God has for the lost, including Muslims, should be matched by our zeal for evangelism. These image-bearers marching on the path to desolation should break our hearts and fill our prayers with pleading to our heavenly Father to bring them to himself and to use us.

In conclusion, I would recommend this book as a practical volume on evangelism to Muslims. It is concise and God-honoring in dealing with a complicated topic.

 

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