by Robert Scott
InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515, 2011, 162 pages, $15.00.
—Reviewed by Gene Daniels, senior research associate, Fruitful Practice Research.
Robert Scott’s book, Questions Muslims Ask, is a welcome addition to the current encounter between evangelical Christians and Islam. It is a true apologetic—friendly, yet truth-bearing, offering theological depth while remaining very readable.
The “answers” Scott offers are applicable to any setting where Christians and Muslims are talking, yet his primary audience is those living on one of the new mission frontiers—cities like London, New York, and Frankfurt. These are places where many Christians are encountering Muslims for the first time—in their schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods—and therefore need a solid, yet neighborly apologetic.
Perhaps the first thing that drew my heart to the book was that it faintly reminds me of the first book I ever read about relating to Muslims, and still one of my favorites, Christian Witness Among Muslims. Both are short books that focus on slowly building a Muslim friend’s understanding of the gospel, and without polemics or an air of religious superiority.
One thing that marks this book as different from other contemporary offerings is that Scott is shy about using the Qur’an, in his words “too much.” Through the course of the text, he subtly makes the case that while it is certainly useful to be conversant with the Muslim holy book (as Scott obviously is), our focus should be on giving answers that are rooted in “our” book, not twisting “their” book to support our views.
I was also impressed by Scott’s grasp of the Islamic worldview, displayed by the way he frames his responses to typical Muslim questions. He offers explanations of what Christians believe that are structured so as to be “reasonable” to the Muslim mind, even though at times this may prove a bit challenging for some Christian readers.
Scott covers a wide range of Muslim objections, from the well-known accusation of tri-theism (chapter 5) and the corruption of the Bible (chapter 7), to the vexing contemporary issue of syncretism between Christianity and Western culture (chapter 6). His final chapter about assurance of salvation is the perfect closing touch which subtly and humbly brings all the discussions to a single point—that “Jesus the Messiah is the long-promised King who rescues his people from the dominion of sin, death, and Satan.”
This book should be put into the hands of others. The next thing I will do with my review copy will be to loan it to my 22-year-old daughter. She is currently building friendships with a couple of women at the mosque near her university and I am sure she will find this book very helpful.
Check this title:
African Christian Press. 1971. Christian Witness among Muslims: A Guide to Understanding the Muslim Religion through the Eyes of Jesus. Bartlesville, Okla.: Living Sacrifice Book Company.
EMQ, Vol. 48, No. 4, p. 508. Copyright © 2012 Evangelism and Missions Information Service (EMIS). All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or copied in any form without written permission from EMIS.