Answering Jihad (book review)

Answering JihadMilitant Islam … Jihad … Religion of peace … ISIS … Islamic terrorism. These phrases dominate the news stories and the water-cooler conversations, but do we really know what they mean? Nabeel Qureshi does. He was born to devout Muslim parents, trained in the Quran, and ready to follow in his parents’ footsteps. But along the way, Nabeel became a Christian. Knowing both the Muslim and Christian angles of these topics, Dr. Qureshi can capably help us Westerners in Answering Jihad.

(By the way, if you haven’t read Nabeel’s account of how he became a Christian, you really should read Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus.)

Answering Jihad is presented to us in the form of answers to 18 of the most-asked questions about how jihad is really perceived in the Muslim community. As he did in his biography, Nabeel presents this information in a way Western minds can grasp. He introduces key points of history that surround Muhammed, explains Islamic terms, and quotes relevant passages from the Quran and other Muslim scholars. I think you will find, as I did, so much more clarity than the sound bytes thrown around on news sources and on social media.

Nabeel concludes his book by telling us that there is a better way forward than the “either-or” extremes that are usually proposed. He explains it this way—

“If we avoid the truth about jihad, we leave the door open for innocent people to be killed in attacks like Paris and San Bernardino. If we lack compassion, we close the door to innocent people who need refuge from places like Syria and Somalia. … Even though Muslims are often raised with the teaching that ‘Islam is the religion of peace,’ when they study the texts for themselves, they are faced with the reality that Mohammed and the Quran call for jihad. They will stand at the crossroads for only so long before they choose what path they will take—apostasy, apathy, or radicalization. As Muslims make that choice, it would benefit the whole world if they did not make it alone, or worse, with radical recruiters. We need to show compassion for Muslims and befriend them.”

Well said! And with the information in Answering Jihad, you can be ready to befriend your Muslim neighbors on their journey.

I am a Zondervan book reviewer.

Links & Quotes

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“A man may be perfected through suffering or be made worse through suffering, it depends on his disposition.” —Oswald Chambers

“The only option for French atheists (among whose ranks I used to count myself), is to maintain that there isn’t really any such thing as evil. When one denies the existence of God as a transcendent Creator of the universe who ordains how humans ought to live their lives, one is left only with conflicting opinions about what individuals like and dislike. If there is no God then there is no objective truth about the good and the bad…. [I]n reality, to be a consistent atheist one must affirm that the Islamic terrorists in Paris didn’t do anything ‘wrong’, as such. They only acted out of line with our personal preferences, (and in line with theirs). If there’s no ultimate arbiter of right and wrong, that’s all we are left with.” —Guillaume Bignon, a former atheist, after the ISIS attacks in Paris. Read more here.

Josh McDowell answers the question: “If my friends and I have a disagreement, what’s the right way to handle it?

Planned Parenthood asked people on Twitter to give them one word that describes what they do. I’m not sure they liked many of the (true) responses they received. What one word would you use? I would say: evil.

Links & Quotes

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“You can’t love Christ too much. You can’t think about Him too much or thank Him too much or depend upon Him too much. All our justification, all our righteousness, is in Christ. This is the gospel—the good news that our sins are laid on Christ and His righteousness is laid on us, and that this great exchange happens for us not by works but by faith alone.” —John Piper

“The beginning of true revival comes when a godly company of believers takes on the Lord’s burden for a church or a city trapped in sin. This godly company fasts and prays, pleading with God to begin rebuilding the walls and gates that will protect His people from every enemy.” Read more in David Wilkerson’s post The Beginning Of Revival.

Even in the midst of ISIS persecution in the Middle East, there is some really good news!

[VIDEO] How do scientists come up with the date for Adam and Eve?

Links & Quotes

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“That is the religion of ninety-nine English people out of every hundred who know nothing of divine grace—we are to be as good as we can; we are to go to church or to chapel, and do all that we can, and then Jesus Christ died for us, and we shall be saved. Whereas the gospel is, that He did not do anything at all for people who think they can rely on themselves, but gave Himself for lost and ruined ones. He did not come into the world to save self-righteous people; on their own showing, they do not want to be saved.” —Charles Spurgeon

Twitter stands up to ISIS. About time!

bu-030415-1Interesting research results from The Barna Group in What Millennials Want When They Visit Church.

“The engagement of God’s power never takes the place of the engagement of our will! The power of God in sanctification never makes us passive! The power of God engages itself beneath or behind and within our will, not in place of our will. … God will never appear with power in your will in any other form than a good resolve that you make and keep.” —John Piper

“Jesus is Amen as to His righteousness. That sacred robe shall remain most fair and glorious when nature shall decay. He is Amen in every single title which He bears; your Husband, never seeking a divorce; your Head, the neck never being dislocated; your Friend, sticking closer than a brother; your Shepherd, with you in death’s dark vale; your Help and your Deliverer; your Castle and your High Tower; the Horn of your Strength, your confidence, your joy, your all in all, and Amen in all.” —Charles Spurgeon

Read this in my Archeological Study Bible and thought this rang true for our generation still today: “This generation was not guilty of the gross idolatry of its forefathers. Rather, these Israelites had embraced a kind of dead orthodoxy, in which they tried to get by with the minimum that their faith required.”

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“We can gather that their state [ISIS] rejects peace as a matter of principle; that it hungers for genocide; that its religious views make it constitutionally incapable of certain types of change, even if that change might ensure its survival; and that it considers itself a harbinger of—and headline player in—the imminent end of the world.” Read more of this fascinating piece in The Atlantic: What ISIS Really Wants.

Frank Viola wrote, “Mark it down: As you go on with the Lord, your faith will be sorely tested. You will be tempted to ‘shrink back’ into unbelief. But you—dear child of God do not belong to those who shrink back.” Read more from his post The Crisis Of Faith.

Rob Bell is fast becoming irrelevant himself, by choosing which parts of the Bible he wants to follow, when he states “the Church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense” for traditional marriage.

[VIDEO] Epigenomes in the human body are like a symphony. How amazing is our Creator! Check out this artistic depiction of how this works—

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Some good reading & watching from this weekend…

Eric Metaxas has a thought-provoking commentary: What Chuck [Colson] Would Say About The US and ISIS.

Ouch! What Gossip Says About God.

This isn’t a problem in far-away places: Forced Abortion In America.

“It was always meant to be more about marshalling enthusiasm for a cause than making firm pledges.” Yep, they even admit that so-called global warming is more hype than substance.

“Do not dilute the power of this new day with the hardship of yesterday. Greet this day with endless possibility.” —Steve Maraboli

This would give further evidence to why the Bible refers to a married couple as “one flesh”: How Your Spouse’s Personality Affects Your Success At Work.

“We are emotional people, but we don’t have to be controlled by our emotions.” Watch John Maxwell talk about anger.

“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” —John Quincy Adams

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Some good reading & watching from this weekend…

“Godly men do expel the aerial powers, ejecting them from their possession by exorcisms, not by pacification: and they break their temptations by prayer not unto them but unto God against them. For the devils neither conquer nor chain any man but by the fellowship of sin. And so His name that took on Him humanity and lived without sin, confounds them utterly.” —Augustine

[VIDEO] John Maxwell talks to us about how to handle pressure.

“What we need is a zealous hunger for God, an avid thirst after righteousness, a pain-filled longing to be Christlike and holy. We need a zeal that is loving, self-effacing and lowly.” —A.W. Tozer

Yummy: 10 foods to lower bad cholesterol.

[VIDEO] Another great tribute to Derek Jeter.

Grateful that the Kurds are standing up to ISIS and defending Christian.

More evidence that so-called “climate change” is more hype than substance, as an actor (not a scientist) is appointed by the United Nations as their representative.

“I saw regenerate souls among the Baptists, among the Presbyterians, among the Independents, and among the church folks—all children of God, and yet all born again in a different way.” —George Whitefield, during his 1740 trip to America

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Some good reading from this weekend…

“I do not agree with a big way of doing things. What matters is the individual. If we wait till we get numbers, then we will be lost in the numbers and we will never be able to show that love and respect for the person.” —Mother Teresa

For anyone struggling with an addiction to pornography, this sounds like a helpful book: 10 Lies Men Believe About Pornography.

According to Cosmopolitan magazine, if you are pro-life political candidate you are automatically disqualified from getting support from any “enlightened” woman.

Obama & ISIS[INFOGRAPHIC] This is scary … do you know how much money ISIS makes every day from selling the oil they have captured?

“It is right to pour out our whole soul before Him that careth for us. But it is good, likewise, to unbosom ourselves to a friend, in whom we can confide.” —John Wesley

“That is always the way with a truly healthy Christian; God’s grace is externally manifested. There is the inner life within, it is active, and by and by when it is in a right state, it saturates everything. You talk with the gracious man, he cannot help talking about Christ; you go into his house, you will soon see that a Christian lives there; you notice his actions and you will soon see he has been with Jesus. He is so full of sap [Psalm 104:16] that the sap must come out. He has so much of the divine life within, that the holy oil and divine balsam must flow from him.” —Charles Spurgeon

“O God, of Thy goodness give me Thyself, for Thou art enough for me, and I may ask nothing that is less and find any full honors to Thee. God give me Thyself!” —Lady Julian

“Yes—at first one is sort of concussed and ‘life has no taste and no direction.’ One soon discovers, however, that grief is not a state but a process—like a walk in a winding valley with a new prospect at every bend.” —C.S. Lewis

A great post from Dave Barringer for married couples: Faking Your Death.

“Christianity is the only world religion whose primary source documents are in a language other than the founder of the religion. In other words, the New Testament texts are not in Aramaic, but in Koine Greek. … This makes a vitally important theological statement which so dramatically contrasts, for example, with Muslims who maintain that the Qur’an is untranslatable and that the Word of Allah can be conveyed truly and fully only in Arabic. For, at the very outset of the Christian message, the translatability of the gospel is enshrined in our primary source documents.” —Dr. Timothy C. Tennent, President of Asbury Theological Seminary, The Translatability Of The Gospel

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Some good reading from today…

“Moses’ aim in knowing God’s ways is so that he may know God Himself. ‘Let me know Your ways that I may know You’ [Exodus 33:13]. … This is the great passion of our lives: to know God Himself by grace, and to make Him known by grace.” —John Piper

“However deep the mystery, however many the paradoxes involved, it is still true that men become saints not at their own whim but by sovereign calling.” —A.W. Tozer

“A thousand years of remorse over a wrong act would not please God as much as a change of conduct and a reformed life.” —A.W. Tozer

“To think that before the hills were formed, or the channels of the sea were scooped out, God loved me; that from everlasting to everlasting His mercy is upon His people. Is not that a consolation?” —Charles Spurgeon

As our kids get ready to go back to school, Kevin Belmonte has a great reminder why teachers deserve our thanks.

God is willing to let His name be mocked just to wake up the church and give one last trump to the world.” Read more in David Wilkerson’s post: Please Say It Isn’t So.

“It’s easy to forget who is the servant and who is to be served. The tool of distortion is one of satan’s slyest. When the focus is on yourself, you worry that your co-workers won’t appreciate you or your leaders will overwork you. With time, your agenda becomes more important than God’s. You’re more concerned with presenting self than pleasing Him. You may even find yourself doubting God’s judgment. … Guard your attitude. If you concern yourself with your neighbor’s talents, you’ll neglect your own. But if you concern yourself with yours, you could inspire both!” —Max Lucado

Watch out! It won’t be long until this is true in America: British Christians forced to hide beliefs.

Jonah Goldberg asks: If “evil” doesn’t apply to ISIS, then what does?

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Some good reading & watching from today…

Surveys show that Christians who support same-sex “marriage” are also much more open to other unbiblical lifestyles. Read John Stonestreet’s post Package Deal.

“Seeing that a Pilot steers the ship in which we sail, Who will never allow us to perish even in the midst of shipwrecks, there is no reason why our minds should be overwhelmed with fear and overcome with weariness.” —John Calvin

“God has provided His salvation that we might be, individually and personally, vibrant children of God, loving God with all our hearts and worshiping Him in the beauty of holiness.” —A.W. Tozer

Timely reading: Suicide Prevention Tips From A Survivor.

[VIDEO] Inspiring speech from a Little League coach after his team was eliminated from the Little League World Series.

I never thought I’d read the New York Times ask this question: Who Will Stand Up For The Christians?

Want A Happy Marriage? Here are three important things.

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