Muslims, Christians and Jesus
What is the subject?
This book looks at the basics of how Christians can engage conversation with those of Muslim faith through focusing on the person of Jesus and how he can be a bridge between Christianity and Islam.
One of the book’s tag lines is “overcoming the fears that divide us.” Carl does a great job of deconstructing the fears that media has created around the small percentage of Muslims with radical beliefs and helps build a love for Muslims as our neighbours in need of a better understanding of Jesus.
About the author
Carl writes from experience. The book’s many practical stories from Carl and his colleagues help to explain how the concepts can be practically applied to daily situations.
Carl has a passion for peacemaking and seeks this through political, cultural, and religious dialogue.
Why this book?
As our neighbourhoods become more culturally diverse, we find ourselves interacting regularly with people of Muslim faith. We need a Christ-centred perspective on these neighbours and how to connect with them in a way that draws them closer to Jesus and a personal relationship.
I have always appreciated good conversations with our Muslim neighbours, both overseas and in Canada.
I have read many books that outline the Muslim faith from a Christian perspective and how we as followers of Jesus should share our faith. Carl’s book was not any new information, but it is a very good summary, and a great place to begin as we journey alongside some Muslims friends and colleagues.
Comment on the book’s theological perspective in light of the MB Confession of Faith.
For MBs, this book resonates with the idea of being a peaceful witness: we are to love and care for those that God has placed in our community.
The main insight that challenged me was to use Jesus as a bridge between the Qur’an and the Bible. Carl outlines many references of Jesus in the Qur’an and how this can be a stepping stone to sharing the Jesus of the Bible.
This book outlines the commonalities between our faiths and draws us together that we might see each other more like “cousins” instead of strangers.
Carl’s focus is to always draw people into the person of Jesus as highlighted through the Gospels, but he will use the Qur’an as a bridge to connect with his Muslim neighbours.
Who should read it?
If you have a Muslim friend that you interact with regularly, and you are not sure how to bring faith into the conversations or are not sure how to address some of their questions, this is a great book to give you understanding and the knowledge of how to proceed in discussion.
If you are looking for common ground to build relationship with a Muslim neighbour or friend, this is a great foundation.
However, this book doesn’t go in-depth to address some of the deeper conversations that will arise as you begin to discuss faith with a Muslim friend. It’s a good foundation, but I recommend further reading to help with those friends who want deeper understanding.
This is the second edition of Muslims, Christians and Jesus. Carl has updated some of the content as the world continues to morph and change.
For more depth on sharing about Jesus with Muslim friends, I recommend these books:
“Christian. Muslim. Friend.” By David Shenk
“Christian and Muslim in Dialogue” By David Shenk and Badru Kateregga (great to understand perspective of each group to major questions of faith)
“Peaceable Witness Among Muslims” By Gordon Nickel
“If we’re answering the question ‘Is it safe to go to the Muslim countries?’ or, ‘Is it safe to talk about Jesus with Muslims in the West?’ then I’d simply say it’s as safe as it was to take the gospel to the nation when Jesus first commanded it. However, those may be the wrong questions, which then lead us to the wrong answers. Maybe it’s not about safety or wondering if ‘they’ might kill us, but asking ourselves, ‘What is Jesus’ clear command?’”
“In my reckoning, there is nothing helpful in telling a Muslim he or she believes in the ‘wrong God.’ What may be true, and definitely more helpful, is to show our Muslim friends how they can believe in God more fully in and through Jesus Christ.”
Matt is a peace builder engaged in Middle Eastern culture.