Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pulpit Review: Truth in Love

Ehlke, Roland Cap. Speaking the Truth in Love to Muslims. Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 2004. 219 Pages. Paper. $17.50. (P) 

Islam. Talk about a timely topic. Do you want to understand what a Caliphate is/was/could be? Why don't Sunnis (dominant in Egypt) get along with Shiites (dominant in Iran)? What do Muslims believe, teach and confess?

The title Speaking the Truth in Love to Muslims reminded me of one of my favorite books (a favorite because of its clarity, faithfulness, and conciseness).  Speaking the Truth in Love to Mormons is a Godsend to those who live among the LDS. Yes, there are striking similarities between Islam and Mormonism. And, both books have a similar pastoral approach. We are given to share Christ out of a motivation of love and in a loving way.

Highlights of this volume include:
  • The explanation of Mohammed's world includes the helpful insight that he likely only met monophysite Christians/Christianity (12, cf. 66). In other words, he did not hear of Jesus Christ as 100% True God and 100% true man.
  • Readers may be to surprised to learn that Luther wrote about Muslims and Islam, including republishing a book on the topic, and that he thought that Islam was a derivative of Arian Christianity (85ff, 35ff, 116, et al).
  • Christians need to know what "dhimmis" are and what it means to be a second-class resident of a Muslim-dominated country (110ff).
  • The Koran/Quran has changed. For information on the revision of Uthman, see 25ff.  For an explanation of the famous book The Satanic Verses and the abrogated or replaced portions of the Quran, see 128ff.
  • Not all Arabs are descended from Ishmael (7).
 Appendices include Discussion Questions and a Glossary.
Across the globe, Islam is thriving; it is one of the fastest growing religions in America. Muslims can be your neighbors, coworkers, store owners, or friends. So how do you approach Muslims with the gospel? How are Islam and Christianity different? How do Muslims view the Bible and Christ? In this insightful book, learn more about Muslims and their religion, as well as how to witness to them. This book provides a concise summary of the Lutheran law and gospel approach to dealing with Islam. This is a great resource for personal or group Bible study. Questions are included to ponder or stimulate discussion. Size 6" x 9". Papercover. 221 pages. Published 2004. This product is eligible for quantity discounts. (Publisher's website)
An unfortunate and irrelevant reference to Christian worship wars finds its way onto page 102. One small recommended update for a second edition would be to speak of the formation of the new nation of Southern Sudan (114) as we continue to pray for the persecuted Church there and around the world. 

Speaking the Truth in Love to Muslims will help you understand the differences between Biblical Christianity and Quranic Islam. Muslims believe some surprising things about Jesus. Helpful outreach tips begin on 171. Ask Muslims if they believe the Quran is correct about the Bible. Then ask them if they know what the Bible says about Jesus/Isa. If they are interested, present the Gospel from Scripture. And then pray (cf. 125ff).

For your edification, I recommend three brief resources on Islam for your edification:
  1. Ehlke, Roland Cap. Speaking the Truth in Love to Muslims.  NPH
  2. Spencer, Robert.The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (And the Crusades). Regnery
  3. Veith, Gene Edward. Christianity in an Age of Terrorism. Concordia

The Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School, a member of the Board of Directors of The Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education, Wyoming District Worship Chairman, and Editor of QBR.