Book Review: The Gospel for Muslims

“The Gospel for Muslims: An Encouragement to Share Christ with Confidence” by Thabiti Anyabwile

As you might guess from the title, this very short but excellent book offers encouragement to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with Muslim friends, neighbors, and co-workers. This is a topic dear to the author’s heart, because he was once a Muslim himself. He offers himself as evidence that Muslims can and do find salvation in Christ.

The book is split into two parts. The first half outlines the specifics of the gospel message, particularly in contrast to the tenets of Islam, and the claims that the Qur’an makes about Jesus Christ. The second half contains practical advice for sharing Christ with Muslims. Throughout, the tone of the writing is very conversational, making this a quick and enjoyable read.

What I appreciated most about Anyabwile’s book is the simple fact that he doesn’t try to make evangelism to Muslims some formula which may be perfected. He avoids the pragmatism that most books on evangelism to a particular demographic seem to fall into. Instead, he reinforces what the Bible itself says: “The gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile… even the Muslim Gentile.”

The main thrust of the book is confidence in the power of God’s Word. Witnessing to Muslims — or to anyone else, for that matter — can be intimidating, but God has given us a spirit of boldness, not of timidity. When we trust the Bible, and address those who oppose us with gentleness and respect, the Holy Spirit works through the hearing of the Word to convict and convince unbelievers. This is evangelism 101, but for some reason, people tend to think it’s different with Muslims. It’s not!

There are some practical sections that deal specifically with answering Muslim arguments and understanding Muslim culture, but nearly everything Anyabwile writes finds application in any circumstance. Most of the objections that Muslims have against Christianity are the very same objections which we encounter with other nonbelievers, and this book is a good reminder that we must always be prepared to give a defense for the hope that is in us.

Of the practical sections, the chapter on hospitality was particularly helpful. The Bible expressly commands believers to be hospitable, both to one another and to strangers, yet this is a glaring weakness in many evangelical circles. Westerners — and Christians are no exception — have largely lost the art of hospitality. This is an area in which Muslims excel, and one of the main criticisms they bring to bear against the Church. Learning and practicing hospitality will go a long way to reaching those in our communities with the gospel, and is particularly effective (and needed) among immigrants who often feel as if they have no friends or neighbors they can count on for companionship and help, when needed.

(On a side note: Isn’t it ironic that many of us here in the United States make no effort whatsoever to reach out to the immigrants in our community, yet we often complain that they never assimilate into American society?)

On the whole, this is an excellent book for any Christian, but particularly for those living in areas that may have a high concentration of Muslims. At the very least, I hope that it will encourage you to pray for the salvation of Muslims, and for courage and boldness for those Christians who are seeking to evangelize them. Buy it here.

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