The Importnce of Apologetics to Evangelism
So, in other obscure articles, I find two interesting articles about how Muslims should "evangelize" Jews and Christians and how Christians should evangelize Muslims. The first is from Ibnabeeomar at muslimmatters.org. For those tempted to paint all Muslims with a broad brush, there are different sects and approaches to Islam among Muslims, just like there are among Christians and Jews. This is the advice from one Muslim on how to share the message of Islam. Follow the link to read the whole article. Here are a few key quotes from the article:
"Muslims must learn the message that was given to the People of Scripture and how they responded to it. This is essential to understanding why we need to have dialogue with them in the first place. "
"The People of the Book are the Jews and Christians entrusted with the previous revelation,"
"The covenant Allah took from them is the same as the message of Islam"
"Instead of holding steadfast to this covenant though, the People of the Book broke it and committed crimes against what Allah entrusted them with."
"Their greatest transgression committed by The People of the Book was the crime of shirk. They claimed that Allah was a part of a Trinity and that He had taken a son, thus disbelieving in the message sent to them."
"The sincerity held by the pious amongst them must be recognized. These qualities are mentioned to show their nearness to the message that Muslims must invite them to. By reminding them of their positive qualities, it eases taking the next step into accepting the message."
"The People of the Book work to mislead and deceive the believers. They do this because they will not be pleased until everyone else follows their way of life,"
"The Muslims though, view the People of the Book with balance and respect... Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala commands the believers to have good manners with them and to call them with the best of argument and dialogue."
"Dialogue starts by asking them to come to a statement that should be an issue of commonality between both parties, worshipping Allah alone without any partner. This is also a commandment given in the Bible."
"As the believers start this dialogue, it is expected for the People of the Book to respond as well. Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala has given instruction on how to respond to their assertions. The believers are not only given the responses, but also commanded to stop after conveying the message."
"They will find ways to criticize the believers for following the Message sent to them."
"As with any debate and discussion, Muslims are commanded not only to defend themselves against accusations, but to be on the offensive in their dialogue as well."
"Once the dialogue is finished, a conclusion must be reached. For the believers, it requires understanding the responses of the People of the Book in light of their past history... They differ despite the clear evidences conveyed to them... This behavior is not new, but is something that has been manifest numerous times. The primary example of this is their rejecting and covering up the prophecies of the Prophet [Jesus] Sal Allahu ‘alayhi was-Sallam in their own Scripture... Unfortunately, not all immediately recognize the truth, and someone engaged in dialogue with them must always be prepared for this... It is up to them to choose the path of success."
The second article is from John Piper at Desiring God.
There are as many answers to this question as there are ways to do good and not wrong. “Love does no wrong to a neighbor” (Romans 13:10). “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4). Here are some things that, it seems to me, need to be emphasized in our day.
- Pray the fullest blessing of Christ on them whether they love you or not.
- Do good to them in practical ways that meet physical needs.
- Do not retaliate when personally wronged.
- Live peaceably with them as much as it depends on you.
- Pursue their joyful freedom from sin and from condemnation by telling them the truth of Christ.
- Earnestly desire that they join you in heaven with the Father by showing them the way, Jesus Christ.
- Seek to comprehend the meaning of what they say, so that your affirmations or criticisms are based on true understanding, not distortion or caricature.
- Warn them with tears that those who do not receive Jesus Christ as the crucified and risen Savior who takes away the sins of the world will perish under the wrath of God.
- Don’t mislead them or give them false hope by saying, “Muslims worship the true God.”
Don't let the similarities lead you to commit the logical fallacy that would make you believe that we're all just alike. There are similarities, but it is important to be able to understand what is true and what is not. This is why sound apologetics like we hear from Voddie Baucham in my last post are so important. It's not that we look for whatever visceral reason we can or that we are merely trying to justify belief in a "magic man" as I've seen so many atheists say, but that many have come who earnestly desire to know what is true. In the discovery of truth, one apologetic stands out among all others as being marked by our Creator as His Truth. Go back and listen to Dr. Baucham and get a primer on the certainty of our faith.