Keys to Reaching Your Muslim Neighbour
A DVD resource available at www.truthunlocked.org.
Truth Unlocked: Keys to Reaching your Muslim Neighbour is an excellent resource for churches who desire to cultivate relationships with Muslims in informed and sensitive ways. Of all the resources on Islam that I have reviewed, this is the most practical, accessible and impacting set of videos that I have seen for churches who desire initial guidance in bridging the gap with their Muslim neighbour. All the participants interviewed are knowledgeable and experienced with an evident love for the Muslim people.
Each of the six sessions is well constructed and divided into 10 minute segments with a bullet point summary at the end of each segment. This format facilitates group discussion without overwhelming viewers with too much information. The interview segments in each of the sessions are balanced between the insider viewpoints of the four presenters who are former Muslims, and the perspectives afforded by Christian scholars in Islamic Studies.
The initial session, Introduction to Islam, avoids a dry repetition of Islamic history and instead provides insight into the forces that shape Muslim perspectives today. This includes, for example, the priority given to submission to God in all aspects of life, a viewpoint that challenges western assumptions concerning the separation of church and state.
Islam in North America considers how Muslims are learning to express their faith on a continent where Islam is in a minority position. It explores the way Muslims face the challenges of language, economic disparity, rampant secularism and the fears they have concerning the way the North American culture will affect their children. The insider descriptions of the clash of values experienced by immigrants are especially insightful.
The session titled Beliefs corrects two extreme and largely misinformed positions that westerners can have about Islam. On the one hand, some people are afraid and view Muslims as dangerous fanatics, and on the other hand, some look at the beliefs in one God, Scripture and Jesus and assume that the differences are superficial. In contrast, the presenters provide helpful insights concerning Muslim beliefs explaining how they affect interfaith interactions. In particular, some common misconceptions that Muslims have about Christianity are addressed.
Roadblocks to Witnessing focuses on objections that Muslims have to the Christian faith. This includes cultural as well as theological issues. For example, the way one shows honour and respect will greatly affect the impact of the message. Of particular value are the suggestions given to overcome these roadblocks, with anecdotes of how this can be done, even when mistakes have been made.
The discussion about sharing your faith emphasizes the importance of understanding the Muslim mindset in order to shape the story of the cross in a way that will resonate with Muslims. An attitude of respect and humility requires us to be sensitive to the beliefs and values of those with whom we speak. All the participants affirm that the bottom line is to share Jesus in action and words.
Dreams, Risks and Discipleship looks at the common phenomenon of how God has used dreams to bring people to faith in Christ across the Muslim world. The presenters also speak to the risk of addressing Muslims about faith. While we cannot reach Muslims without a willingness to sacrifice, they affirm that there is little risk if done with respect and love.