Book Reviews From 2018

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus—expanded edition (book review)

In 2015, a family member who works in predominately Muslim areas of the world recommended that I read Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus. This book opened my eyes and heart to our Muslim brothers and sisters around the globe who haven’t heard how Jesus can meet each one of us personally. 

The 10th anniversary of the book is being released next week with all new content, and I couldn’t be happier to recommend it to you. (There are also some special offers for you if you pre-order this book on NabeelQureshi.com.)

When I first read Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus I wrote…

“This book is told in the narrative style of an autobiography, as Nabeel walks us through his devout Muslim upbringing, and the conversations and confrontations that got him thinking about his religion in contrast to Christianity. The book has a “documentary” feel to it, as Nabeel takes us inside his home, school and mosque to let us see his life portrayed almost in real-time. Many of the conversations include Arabic phrases, which Nabeel footnotes at the beginning of the book, and then continues to use without the footnoted translation later, allowing the reader to become more immersed in his world.”

This is the same great content you will find in this expanded edition as well. In addition, there are some added bonuses too:

  • An epilogue where Nabeel answers some of the frequently asked questions like how his family responded to him becoming a Christian, and how he met his wife.
  • You will also hear from his wife Michelle, and a transcribed interview between Nabeel and David Wood, who was instrumental in his conversion to Christianity. 
  • Several expert essays from Christian apologists.
  • Some frequently asked questions about Islam.

As I wrote in my review of the first edition, I wholeheartedly repeat here: By reading Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, I (re)discovered a whole new way to pray for my Muslim friends, as well as feeling like I may now carry on a more intelligent conversation with them about their cherished beliefs. Please get a copy of this book for yourself! 

I am a Zondervan book reviewer. 

11 Quotes From Important Islam Booklets

I recently read four very insightful booklets on how Christians can best prepare themselves to share their faith in Jesus with their Muslim neighbors. You can read my complete review of these booklets by clicking here. Below are just a few quotes that caught my attention.

“‘America’s mosques are loaded with people who grew up in church’ [says Carl Ellis]. Ellis says that many converts to Islam are African-American males who see traditional churches as male unfriendly and as failing to address their real needs.”

“God is bringing thousands of Muslim immigrants to our shores every year. These people are coming from Islamic nations where they could not be evangelized before. Yet here in America, they are free to listen and respond to the Gospel. In this ‘land of the free’ they do not have to fear horrible consequences if they believe the gospel and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.”

“Our hearts should be increasingly burdened not only by the enormous spiritual need of the 1.4 billion Muslims, but also by the apathy of the missionary movement towards them. …  Instead of being evangelized, Muslims are evangelizing. …

“It is reported that Muslims are counting on Europe, the birthplace of the Reformation and the modern missionary movement, to become completely Islamic within the next few decades. In England more than 300 closed churches have been converted into mosques. … Muslims are now a majority in 44 countries of the world.”

“When you are discussing the Bible with the Muslim, it is important that you read the Bible verses in context. The Muslim has developed an intricate system of ‘abrogation’ or substitution of one verse for another, due to the random way the Qur’an is written. He will have a tendency to try to find verses in the Bible that ‘contradict’ each other. Anyone witnessing to a Muslim must know the Scriptures thoroughly and be able to lead the Muslim to understand the meaning of passages in relation to the setting in which they are found.”

“The Muslim will be impressed with a Christian’s words only if he experiences genuine friendship from the Christian and sees him living a consistent moral life. A Christian’s lifestyle must match his testimony.”

“It is better to win the Muslim as a friend than to win an argument and lose his friendship.”

“Christians should be aware that Muslims are people who seek after God!”

“Here, surely, is a key to witnessing to Muslims, both in the United States and around the world: Love them as Jesus loves us. … You must give your SELF to your Muslim friend—not just the gospel!”

“A cardinal rule is: Never become involved in arguments—especially theological ones! Nominal and even irreligious Muslims often become fanatical advocates of their faith when pushed by argument. The truth is: We have argued and debated for hundreds of years without success. Let us now become witnesses—not debaters!”

“No religion on the face of the earth deals with forgiveness of sins except Christianity. … The concept of God as a loving Heavenly Father is completely foreign to a Muslim. … Show him from the Bible how God has provided a way whereby all sins can be forgiven, and every trace of guilt can be completely removed. This is a very powerful tool in witnessing.”

“One way the power of the Holy Spirit is demonstrated is through physical healing. If your Muslim friend or a member of his family is sick, offer to go and pray for him. He will deeply appreciate your concern, and when the person is healed, this demonstration of the Holy Spirit’s power will be convincing—often the key to his accepting Christ as Savior and Lord.” 

Some other helpful resources on this topic are two books from Nabeel Qureshi: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus and Answering Jihad. Also, check out Praying For Muslims.

Book Reviews From 2016

The Qur’an And The Bible

Answering JihadIn his outstanding book Answering Jihad, Nabeel Qureshi gives us an understanding of the beliefs which support the Islamic faith. One thing that is key for Muslims is their reliance on multiple sources for definitive answers to their faith. Nabeel explains it this way…

“The Qur’an that was the first Arabic book ever put into writing, and the Arabic script of the seventh century remained too deficient to capture the richness and complexities of its text. … Muslim biographers begin to write about Muhammad’s life around 770 A.D.” 

“By the middle of the ninth century, there were more than 500,000 traditions of Muhammad’s life in written and oral circulation, and Muslim scholars decided to undertake the effort of sifting through them and distilling the most authentic accounts.” 

“Since there are thousands of verses in the Qur’an and hundreds of thousands of hadith, it is expected that only trained Muslim jurists can engage in determining what sharia teachers. The jurist must give primacy to the Qur’an, then consider the actions (sunnah) and sayings (hadith) of Muhammad, followed by reviewing the consensus of Islamic scholars, or ijma, before using his own reasoning (qiyas). By following these four steps, a Muslim jurist can make a decision, or fatwa, about what sharia teaches on a given matter. The ultimate goal is to apply the teachings of sharia to Muslim life, and that is called fiqh.” 

“As is probably clear by now, at no point was the average Muslim expected to read the Qur’an to decide upon correct Islamic practices by himself or herself. Not only is Islam not a faith that upholds the sufficiency of scripture alone, the complexity of its foundations virtually necessitates a reliance on jurists and scholars for proper practice.” 

I prefer to pattern my life after the Bible, a book which I am free to read on my own. It’s authenticity has been well-established, and it doesn’t require me to find an “expert” in the texts and traditions to explain to me how to live my life.

I would highly recommend you read two books by Nabeel Qureshi: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus and Answering Jihad. If you are curious about the claims of the Bible, you can check out God-Breathed and Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask. And if you want to dig any deeper, search this website for the quotes I have posted from all four of these books.

10 Quotes On The Difference Between Christianity And Islam

Nabeel Qureshi wrote a couple of outstanding books to help those in the West better understand Islam (Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus and Answering Jihad).

Answering JihadIn Answering Jihad, Nabeel invests several chapters in looking at the differences between Christianity as displayed in the Bible and Islam as displayed in the Quran. Here are some of the more noteworthy quotes I pulled from this book. The references in parenthesis in these quotes are references to a chapter and verse in the Quran.

“Christians believe Jesus is God, but the Quran is so opposed to this belief that it condemns Jesus worshipers to hell (5:72).”

“According to Jesus, God is our Father, yet the Quran very specifically denies that God is a father (112:1-4).”

“Islam roundly condemns worship of the Trinity (5:73), establishing in contrast its own core principle of Tawhid, the absolute oneness of God. Tawhid emphatically denies the Trinity, so much so that it is safe to say the doctrine of God in Islam is antithetical to the doctrine of God and Christianity. … The Trinity teaches that God is not a person, but three Persons: Father, Son, and Spirit. To assert that the God of Islam is the same person as the God of Christianity becomes almost nonsensical at this point, as the Christian God is tripersonal, two persons of Islam specifically denies in the Quran.”

“The Trinity is an elaboration of Jewish theology, not a rejection. By contrast, Tawhid is a categorical rejection of the Trinity, Jesus’ deity, and the Fatherhood of God, doctrines that are grounded in the pages of the New Testament and firmly established centuries before the advent of Islam. The earliest Christians were all Jews, incorporating their encounter with Jesus into their Jewish theology. Nothing of the sort is true of Muhammad, who was neither a Jew nor a Christian. Islam did not elaborate on the Trinity but rejected and replaced it.”

“Christians worship the triune God: a Father Who loves unconditionally, a Son Who incarnates and Who is willing to die for us so that we may be forgiven, and an immanent Holy Spirit Who lives in us. This is not who the Muslim God is, and it is not what the Muslim God does. Truly, Tawhid is antithetical to the Trinity, fundamentally incompatible and only similar superficially and semantically. Muslims and Christians do not worship the same God.”

“The warfare the Quran commands is not due to any evil action, but rather due to the beliefs of non-Muslims, such as the Christian belief that Jesus is the Son of God (9:29, 30).”

“Warfare in the Old Testament is not about subjugating inferior peoples. Yahweh does not promise the Jews that they are the best of people and that their enemies are less than they are. He makes this quite clear in Deuteronomy 9:4-6. … The Quran, by contrast, envisions Muslims as the best people: ‘You are the best of all people, evolved for mankind’ (3:110). It teaches that Jews and Christians who do not convert to Islam are the worst of all creation: ‘Those who do not believe [in Islam] from among the Jews and Christians and the idolaters will go to hell. They are the worst of creatures’ (98:6; see 98:1-5 for context). This is why the Quran in 9:33 commands Muslims to fight Jews and Christians, so that Allah may cause Islam ‘to prevail over all religions.’”

“Muhammad’s life moved from peaceful to violent in a crescendo, reflecting the trajectory of the Quran, and he died just after conquering the Arabian Peninsula. His words in the canonical collections were, ‘I have been ordered by Allah to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshiped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s messenger. … [O]nly then will they save their lives and property from me’ (Sahih Bukhara 1.2.25). Muslims are commanded to follow Muhammad’s example, and his example was jihad.

“By contrast, the stories in the Old Testament do not enjoin Jews or Christians to fight today. Though commands to fight are recorded in the text, no Jew or Christian is commanded to memorialize these battles as ongoing conduct. They were a part of the history of Israel, certainly, not a mandate or continuing command going forward.”

“Violence has a very different place in Islam and Christianity’s theological frameworks. The final marching order of Islam is jihad. The final marching orders of Christians are grace and love.”

But I especially love this thought from Nabeel: “One can both love Muslims and insist that the God they worship is not the same as the Christian God.” Amen!

Other quotes from Answering Jihad are here and here.

Additional quotes from Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus are here.

10 More Quotes From “Answering Jihad”

Answering JihadNabeel Qureshi has given us a very timely book in Answering Jihad. He cuts through the confusion and misinformation to give us an informed, clear look at the teachings of Islam in regard to jihad.

I already shared one set of quotes from this book (which you can read here). Here is the next set of quotes I found eye-opening.

“At the risk of over-generalizing, this common understanding of Islam boils down to this: True obedience to Allah will result in Muslim dominance.”

“I have heard many people, frustrated by the increasing frequency and scale of Islamist terrorism, suggest that Islam needs a reformation. What they may not realize is that radical Islam is the Islamic reformation. This might sound shocking, but consider: Just as the Protestant Reformation was an attempt to raze centuries of Catholic tradition and return to the canonical texts, so radical Islam is an attempt to raze centuries of traditions of various schools of Islamic thought and return to the canonical texts of the Quran and Muhammad’s life.”

“Violent expressions of Islam adhere more consistently and more literally to the foundational texts of the Islamic faith, the Quran and the hadith. Peaceful versions of Islam must reinvent traditions from Muhammad’s life in order to be internally consistent, or they must ignore them outright.”

“Instead of fearing Muslim immigrants, we should embrace them and be the element of change we wish to see. … I suggest friendship rather than fear has a better way forward.”

“Christians believe Jesus is God, but the Quran is so opposed to this belief that it condemns Jesus worshipers to hell (5:72).”

“According to Jesus, God is our Father, yet the Quran very specifically denies that God is a father (112:1-4).”

“Islam roundly condemns worship of the Trinity (5:73), establishing in contrast its own core principle of Tawhid, the absolute oneness of God. Tawhid emphatically denies the Trinity, so much so that it is safe to say the doctrine of God in Islam is antithetical to the doctrine of God and Christianity. … The Trinity teaches that God is not a person, but three Persons: Father, Son, and Spirit. To assert that the God of Islam is the same person as the God of Christianity becomes almost nonsensical at this point, as the Christian God is tripersonal, two persons of Islam specifically denies in the Quran.”

“One can both love Muslims and insist that the God they worship is not the same as the Christian God.”

“In the Christian worldview, the exemplar for followers of God is no mere man but God Himself. Since God cares for those who are His enemies, even blessing them with rain, Christians ought to love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them, so that they can follow God’s example. This contrasts with the teaching of the Quran, where Allah tells Muslims, ‘O you who believe! Do not take my enemies or your enemies as allies, offering them your friendship when they do not believe’ (60:1). Of course, that is not to condemn the Quran, as it is counterintuitive to love one’s enemy. The Christian command may make little earthly sense, but it is the explicit teaching of Jesus.” 

“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 Muhammad in the Quran calls 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.”

Be sure to check out my review of Answering Jihad, and then pick up a copy for yourself.

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