Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Of Conversions From Islam

Having just enjoyed an evening's discussion over Ayaan Hirsi Ali's riveting book, Infidel, I have been thinking about the challenge of presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ to Muslims. Indeed, all of us gathered last night for the Vital Signs Ministries Book It! discussion (John, Quint, Matt, Allen, Cindy, and Claire and I) spoke about that challenge at some length. For although Hirsi Ali's horrible experiences as a Somali Muslim woman and the brave, honest vision she applied to Islamic teaching caused her to reject the religion, her "liberation" came not by embracing Christianity but what she called the "alternative moral systems" of Freud, Spinoza, Voltaire, Darwin and other materialists.

As a Christian reader of her fascinating book, I thought it proper to write Ms. Hirsi Ali, expressing my deepest thanks for her book even as I encouraged her to now take that same sharpness of mind to the material world view she has adopted. So I did that this morning; specifically asking her to please look carefully at the intelligent design of the universe, the reality of human sin (it's not just bad religion from whence evil comes), and the intellectual and ethical evidences for Christianity. I explained how I loved her enthusiasm when she first entered an American bookstore, gathering books by the box full in her first few weeks here. And so I suggested that perhaps among her reading she might pick up some C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Francis Schaeffer, Nancy Pearcey, Malcolm Muggeridge, or Chuck Colson.

Let's hope she gives these guys a try.

My thoughts about converts from Islam to Christianity were continuing this morning as we prepare to launch onto the internet the short documentary film we made in Burkina Faso a few years ago. That film, "Come to the Light, " tells the story of Colonel Saye Zerbo, a former president of the country who was thrown out of office and into a prison cell by a socialist coup. While in prison, the Koranic-educated Muslim began to have dreams that he could find no explanation for and doubts about the efficacy of his religion. His subsequent searching for answers led him to the Bible and the acceptance of Jesus Christ as his Savior.

And then, to extend my meditations on this critically-important subject, a link on The Pearcey Report led me to this Fox News interview with Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of one of the most influential leaders of Hamas, who has converted to Christianity. It's a fascinating, wonderful story. And, like Colonel Zerbo, it's a great encouragement for believers in Jesus to keep seeking to gently, intelligently persuade people of all (or no) religious attachments of the truths of Christianity.