Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
JOTGES 32:63 (Autumn 2019) p. 81
Muslim Conversions to Christ: A Critique of Insider Movements in Islamic Contexts. Edited by Ayman S. Ibrahim and Ant Greenham. New York, NY: Peter Lang, 2018. 532 pp. Hardcover, $77.17.
Ibrahim was raised in Egypt and is a professor of Islamic studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Greenham is a professor of missions and Islamic studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. The book contains 31 articles by various experts in missions and evangelism towards Muslims. They provide a wide range of views about how Muslims who convert to Christianity should live out their faith.
Insider movements encourage new Muslim converts to Christianity to keep their Muslim identity and embrace syncretistic practices. As a general rule, the scholars in this book argue against such movements and say that such compromise will cause difficulty in spiritual growth. The book relies heavily on the testimonies of BMB (believers from Muslim backgrounds). Those critical of the insider movements say that the Qur’an is not a guide for Muslims to follow after they become believers.
The book relates reports of many Muslims coming to faith. It does not really address the gospel and certainly does not present the case for a Free Grace gospel. It assumes that many Muslims are coming to faith. This includes some coming to faith as the result of dreams and visions about Jesus.
There are disagreements between the different contributors. Harley Talman (a pseudonym) writes in his article, “Muslim Followers of Jesus, Muhammad, and the Qur’an,” that insiders are still a part of the Muslim community, and they try to evangelize within that community (p. 125). All insiders honor Muhammad and the Qur’an, but in different ways (pp. 123–25). He sees this as a good thing and says that this is what Paul did in Acts 17. When Paul preached to unbelievers, he did not denigrate the pagan beliefs of the hearers. Some
JOTGES 32:63 (Autumn 2019) p. 82
insiders reject Muhammad as a prophet, while others do not. Those who do reject Muhammad do not do it publicly (p. 129).
Talman supports a kind of double speak for Christian Muslims. If such believers are asked if Muhammad is a prophet, a correct answer is, “he is a prophet of Islam.” One Muslim was on trial for blaspheming Muhammad. He was found innocent because he said that Muhammad was sent by God, and Muhammad turned people away from idolatry to serve the Creator (p. 130). It is both wise and honors God if Muslim Christians avoid speaking ill of the Muslim prophet.
According to Talman, God is at work in the Muslim world through dreams...
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