Evangelizing the Muslim

Notes on Ergun Mehmet Caner and Emir Fethi Caner’s
Unveiling Islam
Chapter 16: Inside the Muslim (Earning a Hearing and Winning a Soul)

It is important that Christians be culturally sensitive and Biblically articulate in befriending the Muslim and communicating the gospel to him or her.

Some tips:

  • Never offer your left hand for a handshake
  • Never call a Muslim “brother”. “Friend” is a more appropriate term.
  • Accept Muslim hospitality (including eating their food and observing their household rules without question)
  • Extend hospitality (and be sure to be sensitive to their dietary protocols such as no pork, lard, or shellfish, and no alcohol served with meals)
  • Avoid conversation with the opposite sex until you have ascertained that it is safe to do so.
  • Attend an Islamic service, if asked to, but you need not (and should not) participate in the acts of worship). Instead, stand to the side quietly and ask your host questions in an unobtrusive manner.
  • Earn a right to be heard through friendship–don’t rush in to convert the Muslim. (Demonstrate love for them first.)
  • Avoid political arguments and avoid equating patriotism to American with Christianity.
  • Don’t defend or underplay the sins of so-called “Christians” throughout the ages or in the present day.
  • Remember that many Muslims face a great “cost” for converting to Christianity–including complete rejection by family and friends. It is right that Muslims should count the cost.
  • Avoid “church talk” like “born again”, “saved”, “lost”, or certainly “crusade”.
  • Clearly communicate the elements of the gospel that are most foreign to Muslims: grace (liberation from dead works and complete payment of all debt owed) and love (a personal, loving God as seen in the cross.)
  • Be prepared to defend Scripture and its sure testimony regarding Christ
  • Read the Qur’an and be able to use the Qur’an to encourage Muslims to give the Bible a hearing (This may be the most helpful section in this book–giving a clear argument for why the Bible is a reliable witness, using the Qur’an and Aristotelian logic–which is accepted by Islam.)

Addendum (May 10, 2010): Ergun Caner’s testimony as a converted Muslim has been challenged by several bloggers who claim that he has grossly exaggerated the extent of his Muslim upbringing. Readers of this book ought to be aware that the Caners may or may not have the experiential knowledge of Islam that they claim to have, and should therefore be careful to test the statements found in this book against other reliable sources.

1 thought on “Evangelizing the Muslim”

  1. These looks like good suggestions. Your one bullet reminded me of when I was in high school and volunteering at an elementary school function. Innocently making my rounds and talking to the children, I sat down with a bunch of Kurdish boys {age range about 6-12}. However, after a while, it suddenly dawned on me that all of the women were sitting together and all the males {even the boys} were separate. Ohhhh that was awkward and very culturally ignorant on my part. I wasn’t evangelizing, but I’m sure I looked indiscreet and brazen!


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