When you work in social services, you have the opportunity to interact with people from all walks of life. Persons with different religion, philosophies, and hygiene habits. As a Christian these interactions can sometimes be culturally shocking – especially when you consider the immersion adherents of other world religions have with their respective faiths. I frequently recall a story of a time I interacted with a client at his home and during our meeting the Muslim call to prayer (Adhan) began playing over a speaker system in the home. This visit was awkward and created some discomfort, but reminded me significantly of just how different Christians and Muslims are in their practices, particularly in the West.
There are many facets of Islam that are concerning to Americans due to the increased media coverage, influence of ISIS in the Middle East, and the history of terrorism frequently involving individuals who claim Islam as their religion. But even the most skeptical critics of the “religion of peace” miss the bigger part of the picture. Whenever there is debate or question raised by talking heads and other religious readers I wonder if they have ever read a Quran? More so, have they considered the pervasive nature of Islam and how it impacts social, political, and spiritual facets of the believer’s life?
At the end of the day, we are only going to change the “evil” effect of Islam through the independent conversions of those that have become lost in its grip of deceit. Just like any other problem we must know the barriers before we can cross them. Most importantly we must remember Jesus’ instruction to love our neighbors – even the Muslims.
Personal experience has shown that the ability for a Muslim to find validity in your Christian witness is through the experience they have with you as a person and follower of Jesus Christ. If you seek to know them and their faith, they will respect you and yours. This is the crucial point where our dialog gains traction and the power of the gospel finds its root.
Thankfully, Justin Taylor has provided some excellent linkage from Adam Francisco (who has a Ph.D. in Islamic-Christian relations from Oxford University) is professor of history at Concordia University in Irvine, California. at his blog entitled, “A Crash Course on the Muslim Worldview and Islamic Theology” with several digestible 5 minute clips. The post also contains links to several other resources for further learning. I recommend your get on over and start studying.