Post Tagged as ‘evangelism’

What is Evangelism?

by Mike Miller [Note: Scroll to the bottom for the next edition of our Firm in Faith series of collected articles.] Before I start defining Evangelism, I think a story may help us to begin thinking about evangelism. I want to introduce a man named Brenden. He worked for a campus ministry at a university in the Midwest. During the spring semester, he took the time to meet once a week with an overzealous freshman after a mutual friend connected them. They spent an entire semester going through the Old Testament looking for Christ, but by the end of the […]

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Presenting the Gospel to Muslims: Key Biblical Concepts

In engaging Muslims with the good news of who Jesus is and what He has done on behalf of sinners, it is helpful to have some background information about the Islamic faith, but it is crucial to understand sound biblical doctrine. Specific Bible teachings that the Christian must understand and be able to present to his or her Muslim friends are: the Trinity, the Person of Christ, the Cross, the Trustworthiness of Scripture, and the Imputed Righteousness of Christ. The Trinity Muslims may misunderstand the Christian affirmation of the Trinity, thinking that Christians affirm three gods. Christians must be very […]

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Presenting the Gospel to Muslims: Key Biblical Concepts

In engaging Muslims with the good news of who Jesus is and what He has done on behalf of sinners, it is helpful to have some background information about the Islamic faith, but it is crucial to understand sound biblical doctrine. Specific Bible teachings that the Christian must understand and be able to present to his or her Muslim friends are: the Trinity, the Person of Christ, the Cross, the Trustworthiness of Scripture, and the Imputed Righteousness of Christ.

The Trinity

Muslims may misunderstand the Christian affirmation of the Trinity, thinking that Christians affirm three gods. Christians must be very clear that there is only one God (Deut 6:4). But we also must proclaim the truth that within the one being that is God, there exists eternally three co-equal and co-eternal Persons: namely, the Father (Matt 6:9), the Word or Son (John 1:1-2; 17:5; Col 2:9), and the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; 15:26; Acts 8:29; 13:2), each with distinct personal attributes (Isa 48:16; Matt 3:16-17; Rom 8:26-27; Heb 9:13-14), but without division of nature, essence or being (John 10:30; 14:9; Acts 5:39). We must readily admit: exactly how the trinity works may be beyond our comprehension, and we must admit that a denial of the trinity may be simpler. But we must challenge our Muslim friends with the question: why should God be so simple that we can completely understand Him?

The Person of Christ

Muslims agree with Christians that Jesus is sinless and that He was sent from God. But Christians must boldly proclaim the truth that Muslims deny: that Jesus Himself claimed to be God (John 10:30). Furthermore, Jesus’ earliest followers claimed that He is God (John 1:1) who took on flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14) for the purpose of our salvation.

The Cross

The earliest Christians were eyewitnesses to Jesus’ death (and resurrection), as seen in John 19:32-35, Luke 1:1-4, and 1 Corinthians 15:1-7. Even enemies of Christianity testify to the death of Christ. The earliest Jewish opponents of Christianity did not claim that Jesus had not been crucified (and they admitted that His tomb was empty): Matthew 28:11-15; Josephus, Antiquities, AD 63-64. The earliest Roman opponents of Christianity did not claim that Jesus had not been crucified: Tacitus, AD 115. Modern non-Christian historians do not claim that Jesus was not crucified; Bart Ehrman, who is openly hostile to Christianity, yet stated: “One of the most certain facts of history is that Jesus was crucified on the orders of the Roman prefect of Judea, Pontius Pilate.” Furthermore, the Qur’an itself speaks of the death of Christ in Surah 19:33, though it seems to specifically deny the crucifixion in Surah 4:156-158. Though Muslims deny the crucifixion based on Surah 4:156-158, they do so in contradiction to the eyewitness testimony of the earliest Christians, the testimony of the earliest opponents of Christianity, all sound non-Muslim historical scholarship, and even claims of the Qur’an itself, such as that seen in Surah 19:33.

The Trustworthiness of Scripture

Though Muslim apologists today commonly question the trustworthiness of Christian Scripture, the Qur’an itself, in Surah 10:94, commands Muhammad to “ask those who have been reading Scripture before you” in order that he might relieve his doubts. In context, this Surah is referring to the “Scripture”- the Christian and Jewish Scripture- that came before the giving of the Qur’an. The words of the Qur’an assume, rather than deny, the trustworthiness of Christian Scripture. Christian Scripture is built on eyewitness testimony (see the above in the section on “The Cross”). Christian Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16).

The Imputed Righteousness of Christ

Surah 53:38 asserts: “That no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another.” This assertion is contradicted by Isaiah 53:4-6, in which the Messiah is proclaimed to be One who bears our griefs, sorrows, afflictions, iniquities, and punishment, being “pierced for our transgressions,” bringing healing to us all. Islam presents an irresolvable problem concerning the justice of God, for how can a holy and righteous God justify the ungodly? This problem is the reason that many Muslims believe that all people spend at least a little time in Hell having their sins burned away before they can enter Heaven. According to the good news of Jesus, this problem is addressed in Romans 3:21-26. God never neglects perfect justice: every sin is paid for, either by the sinner in Hell or by Jesus, in the place of the sinner, upon the Cross. Salvation from sin, death, and Hell is by grace alone through the imputed righteousness of Christ: the one who trusts in Christ is counted righteousness in Christ. Just as Jesus took our sins on Himself while dying on the Cross, the believing sinner takes on the righteousness of the resurrected Christ. This good news of salvation- accomplished by God in Christ on the Cross- glorifies God alone as the only Savior (something that should resonate with our Muslim friends, who say that they are jealous to glorify God alone). The good news of Jesus Christ is summarized in 2 Corinthians 5:21: God made the one who did not know sin [that is, Jesus] to be sin for us, so that in Him we would become the righteousness of God. (NET)

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A Selection from Dr. James R. White’s What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

[The entire following post is an excerpt from a crucial portion of Dr. James R. White’s book What Every Christian Need to Know About the Qur’an (Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2013), 185-186.] Every Christian should read and understand [Surah 5:47] “Let the People of the Gospel judge by that which Allah had revealed therein. Whoever judges not by that which Allah has revealed; such are the corrupt.” Here the Ahl al-Injil [“People of the Gospel”] are addressed directly, given a command right in the text: “judge by that which Allah had revealed therein.” Therein, in the Arabic, refers to […]

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Muslim Apologetics: Does God Preserve His Word?

The Qur’an declares: “No change can there be in the words of Allah” (10:64); “No one can change His words” (18:27); “There is nothing that can change His words.” (6:115) On what basis, then, do Muslim apologists constantly repeat the charge that the Bible- which they acknowledge as originally coming from God- has been corrupted? When mentioning this quandary on Facebook, my friend Jeremy Sells helpfully noted: They [that is, the Muslim apologists with whom Jeremy has interacted] claim there was a gospel given to Jesus that was not corrupt or corruptible that speaks of Muhammad. This gospel (which is […]

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not just a river in Egypt

“Imagine there’s no heaven, It’s easy if you try, No hell below us, Above us only sky, Imagine all the people living for today…” from John Lennon, “Imagine”

Perhaps someone would view the blog entry posted last Tuesday [1/3/13] and think of an objection- Perhaps someone could be surfing the ‘net and somehow come across this blog who considers themself to be an atheist or agnostic, or perhaps someone reading this blog knows someone who claims to deny the existence of God. In this case the question would be, ‘how can you claim to speak to everyone in that last entry? certainly an atheist or agnostic cannot be thought of as a theologian!’ But it is my assertion that there is no one who can honestly say that they are an atheist or agnostic. That is, anyone claiming to be an atheist or agnostic is committing an act of intellectual dishonesty. How so? Because the complexity and beauty of nature testify to the Sovereign Creator. Because of the fact that there is a knowledge of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ inherent to every individual to the extent that even the most outspoke professor of moral relativism will have situations in which they tell people what they ‘should’ and ‘should not’ do, and this fact testifies to the reality of the Holy Lawgiver. These matters are perfectly explained in the Bible, in Romans chapters 1 and 2.

So why are there people who claim to be atheists or agnostics?

The Bible gives us a clear answer to this question as explained well by Peter Masters, the pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, in his book Biblical Strategies for Witness:

The root cause of atheism is expressed by the Lord in John 3:19-20: “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” (KJV).
Three crucial facts are taught in these words:
1. Sin is the basis of atheism.
2. The fear of reproof leads people to [deny their belief in] God. They cannot stand the pangs of conscience.
3. Proud independence hates light (that is, instruction and guidance from outside self).


Love of sin, then, is the prime motive for adopting atheistic views. People reject the existence of God because they want to indulge their pride and be free to do what they like. The atheist [or agnostic] gains (so he thinks) tremendous liberation the moment he repudiates the restraints of a God-ordained moral system.
Here is the real motive underlying the attitude of the atheist [or the agnostic]. First and foremost he is determined to be unhindered in the conduct of his life. He wants to be morally free to follow the dictates of his heart, his ambitions, his opinions, and his whims. He may well adopt some cultural refinements and a moral system of his own if it suits his purpose. But all his intellectual objections to God are produced from a mind acting under orders from the heart, where lusts reign.

The second fact taught in Christ’s words is that the atheist [or agnostic] has come to his position because he hates the pangs of conscience. He positions himself as far away from God-given standards as he can because he cannot bear the stab of shame, accusation, or awareness of his fallen ways. One of the chief purposes of his [agnosticism] is to protect himself from the movings of conscience.
The third fact taught by the Lord about the atheist [or agnostic] is that he is proud, and does not want to be dependent upon God for anything. He does not want to feel indebted to God for life, help or grace, nor does he want to obey him in anything. He likes to think that he is competent, self-sufficient, and capable. The idea of being a dependent being offends his ego. He wants to be the master of his life; the captain of his ship. He will not be a mere servant of God.
These three factors are all matters of the heart rather than of the head, and while the atheist must have his intellectual unbelief challenged, his real problem is a moral one: namely, rebellion. And the rebellion is seen in the three symptoms described by the Lord: sinful behavior, hatred of conscience, and pride.

IF YOU have happened upon this blog and have claimed to be an atheist or agnostic, then these are the facts you must deal with before God. (YOU ARE a theologian.)

If you are a Christian, then the truth presented above is crucial to your witness, for there are so many people today claiming to be agnostics. Their problem is not one of intellect: it is one of sin. You must be faithful to point this out and to declare their need for repentance and faith in the Savior.

[This was originally published on 6/9/05; some of the formatting has been changed.]

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