by Fouad Masri
—Reviewed by Rev. Dr. Fred Farrokh, Muslim-background Christian; ordained missionary, Elim Fellowship
Do you believe in Jesus? Do you believe in God? Do you believe in the Day of Judgment?” When Christians ask Muslims these questions, they may be surprised to hear their Muslim friends respond wholeheartedly in the affirmative! Yet Muslims may associate different meanings with each of these names and terms.
Fouad Masri helps to bridge what he correctly describes as a “communication gap” between Christians and Muslims in Connecting with Muslims: A Guide to Communicating Effectively. Masri, a Lebanese Christian who directs the Crescent Project ministry, contributes a helpful guide on lifestyle evangelism among Muslims. This book provides a toolkit for Christians who would like to share Christ with a Muslim, but who may not know where to start. As such, this book is an excellent primer that introduces Christians to a process that can be both fun and frustrating.
As Masri himself states, “I have found it easy to open conversations with Muslims because…they are already talking about their religion” (p. 41). This can be a welcome relief in secularized countries where people are hesitant to talk about or share their faith.
As a Christian of Muslim background, I appreciate Masri’s call for “intentional engagement” (p. 14) in witness to Muslims. This emphasis is often overlooked in other how-to books. Muslims comprise a “hidden people” when it comes to the gospel, largely due to issues of persecution. Therefore, the Church must be intentional in reaching out to them.
Perhaps the one suggestion of Masri with which I would disagree is his statement that sometimes he tells Muslims that he himself is “a muslim through Jesus” (p. 83). Muslims will interpret this statement to mean such a person believes in Muhammad as the final prophet, a belief which Masri later states that he does not hold. This method, therefore, may inject some confusion into the minds of Muslims which the author otherwise does well to dispel.
In Part Two of the book, Masri equips Christians to handle seven spiritual questions Muslims are likely to ask, such as, “Hasn’t the Injeel [Bible] been corrupted?” Another common one is: “Don’t Christians worship three gods?” The author handles these questions capably. The book is made eminently readable through many personal anecdotes shared by the author. Connecting with Muslims is appropriate for Christians of any ethnic group ministering to Muslims in almost any context—at home or abroad. I applaud Masri’s efforts to empower Christians to fulfill God’s Great Commission to Muslims.
EMQ, Vol. 51, No. 2 pp. 228, 230. Copyright © 2015 Billy Graham Center for Evangelism. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or copied in any form without written permission from EMQ editors.