by Tom Doyle
Thomas Nelson, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville TN 37214, 288 pages, 2012, $15.99.
—Reviewed by Scott Hedley, a research associate in Asia.
As a researcher working with a Muslim language group in Asia, I was very interested in the subject of this book since I have personally met Muslims who have become more interested in Jesus as a result of dreams. Let me tell you of a dream one of my friends had. In my friend’s dream, he was walking down a dark tunnel. There was a light in the tunnel shining on Noah. Silently, Noah pointed for my friend to go further up the tunnel. My friend walked further. Then the light shone on Moses. Silently, Moses pointed for my friend to go further up the tunnel. My friend walked further. This same thing happened with David and Mohammad. Finally, my friend saw Jesus at the end. It was as though all the previous prophets, including Mohammad, were pointing my friend toward Jesus. This made my friend curious to know more about Jesus.
I made an observation about dreams back then and Tom Doyle’s book supports this observation: God doesn’t lead Muslims to a saving knowledge of him through dreams alone; God uses dreams to make Muslims more curious about Jesus. Then, God leads each Muslim to a believer in Christ who will then help him or her come to the point of following Jesus as Lord and Savior. This was true in Doyle’s first chapter, “Friday at the Khan.” God spoke to Noor, a Muslim woman, through a dream, but God also showed her that she needed to meet Kamal, who would explain the way of God more clearly.
Doyle’s book is broken down into twenty-three short chapters. Almost every chapter contains one or more dreams from countries in the Middle East and North Africa and beyond.
I was especially encouraged by Doyle’s second chapter, “The Imam and the Gun,” in which he reveals that there are several imams (Muslim religious leaders) who have become followers of Christ in a certain Middle Eastern country. Chapter twelve shows how a new believer survived a hostile police interrogation about his faith in Christ.
However, there were a few details that left me wanting. First, one dream in chapter four was a bit hard to accept. Doyle writes about a young Saudi Arabian girl named Nasreen who got married at age 16 and had children to take care of at a young age. Doyle says that she “drank in sermons posted by American preachers” (p. 49), but I wonder how that could be since we can assume that her mother tongue was Arabic and she most likely didn’t have any time to learn English. How many Saudi Arabian teenage moms have a high fluency in English? Second, Doyle talks about a certain survey (p. 127), but doesn’t provide any reference or publication information about that survey. Finally, Doyle states that about 10% of all Muslims are Jihadi terrorists (p. 244), but doesn’t give a reference for this number. My inclination is that this number is actually much lower.
These things aside, I would recommend Dreams and Visions as a good introduction on dreams in the Muslim World. The book ends with an idea we can use to share the good news with Muslims: Consider an advertisement that reads, “Have you seen a man in a white robe in a dream? If so, call this number…”
EMQ, Vol. 49, No. 2, pp. 369-371. Copyright © 2013 Billy Graham Center. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or copied in any form without written permission from EMIS.