Saturday, April 27, 2013

Review: What Every Christian Needs to Know about the Qur’an by James White

5 out of 5 Stars
Author: James R. White
Publisher: Bethany House
Buy Book: What Every Christian Needs to Know about the Qur’an
Reading Level: Moderate

I’ve made it my goal to learn more about Islam as I’ve seen more poor interaction and slander coming from Christians . I already reviewed The Search for the Truth about Islam which is more of a sprawling story about the quick growing religion and its diversity especially in America. James White’s lastest contribution examines Islam’s doctrine providing foundational information for Christian/Muslim engagement.

What I loved. First, James White is even-handed, not sensational. So much of what we read about Isalm is sensational. Much of the Christian response to Islam follows suit because their knowledge of this religion is dependent on CNN. White corrects this and provides a ready handbook for all who wish to actually know what Isalm teaches. For instance, Christians are often puzzled when Muslims are outraged because someone burns the Qur’an but White demonstrates that Muslims see the Qur’an as Christians might see Jesus and the hadiths more like we might see the Bible (hadiths as I understand it are authoritative commentary on the Qur’an). So you can see why Muslims would be outraged when Christians burn the Qur’an. We must learn to be winsome as we engage Muslims.

Second, White mines down to the heart of the matter when he focuses on what the Qur’an teaches about Jesus and more broadly the Trinity. He spends significant time in one chapter detailing what the Qur’an says Christians believe about the Trinity to demonstrate how the it significantly misunderstands Christian doctrine.

Third, White provides helpful background on Muhammad. If you don’t know much about Isalm’s revered prophet White sketches a brief history. He does attack some of the lurid details of Muhammad’s life while still being respectful.

I usually don’t mention recommendations but two of my favorite churchmen--Carl Trueman and Thabiti Anyabwile--recommend this book. Thabiti says,
This book is my new go-to source and recommendation for anyone wanting a thorough introduc- tion to the thought world of the Qur’an and the Muslims who revere it. For irenic, honest, charitable, and careful discussion of the Qur’an, this is the best resource I know.”
I couldn’t agree more and give Thabiti’s recommendation my hearty second (for what it’s worth).

I came away feeling more knowledge and confident in engaging Muslim beliefs. I also feel compelled to learn more--maybe even by reading the Qur’an itself--as a means of preparing for gospel opportunities. If you live in a context where Isalm prevails than I would urge you to pick up White’s book and give it your time and attention. It would also serve as a wonderful resource for church’s teaching through what Islam’s believe.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this What Every Christian Needs to Know about the Qur’an free from Bethany House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

If you plan on purchasing What Every Christian Needs to Know about the Qur’an, consider supporting Grace for Sinners by purchasing from Amazon.

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