“For the sake of clarity and consistency, let’s define a movement of Muslims to Christ to be at least 100 new church starts or 1,000 baptisms that occur over a two-decade period. Today, in more than 70 separate locations in 29 nations, new movements of Muslim-background followers of Christ are taking place. Each of these movements have crossed the threshold of at least 100 new church starts or 1,000 baptized believers, all of whom have come to Christ over the past two decades. In some countries the numbers within these new movements have grown to tens of thousands. (pg. 5)”
A friend says, “We need to tell better stories.” On social media, there isn’t a day when someone is reporting (real or fake) memes that are anti-Muslim. News stories celebrate when Jihad happens, but do little to show much else, like how most Muslims think the Jihadists are crazy. A Wind in the House of Islam breaks down the history of Christian movements and exhaustively goes through each of the nine houses of Islam.
Contained in this book are in-depth histories and details of each house and how God is working to reach Muslims through amazing dreams, and using new believers from Muslim-backgrounds to share their faith with other Muslims. One Muslim-background believer had amazing talent as a musician, but God was less concerned about his ability to become famous as He was about this young man’s use of his talent. While in his country, this young man uses musicals to tell the story of Christ to his neighbors while raising his family.
Largely emphasized in this book is the use of radio, satellite, film, and the internet in reaching Muslims. As we close on the end of the book, the author breaks down why Christians should pay attention and why it matters what we say, where we say it, and why we should get involved.
“A missionary couple who served for many years in the Muslim world were on home assignment in the U.S. for a few months and used the opportunity to speak to churches about God’s love for Muslims. After speaking in a local church, the couple accepted an invitation to lunch from one of the church deacons. On the way to the restaurant, the deacon spoke candidly, “I hear what you’re saying,” he said, “about how God loves the Muslims and all, but let me be honest: I think we should just bomb them all. (pg. 247)”
While people have the right of self-defense, Jim Elliot taught us what fighting without man-made weapons did to end the perpetual cycle of bloody revenge that would have wiped out an Amazonian race. Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection taught us we are to expect trouble, but the cross is the most important message we can deliver through relationship and the time that we invest in others. The book itself breaks down what Muslims find offensive and points out how only Muslim-background believers can say what’s wrong with the Qu’ran and Muhammed. Most of the successes, the book says, come from shadow pastors and indigenous Muslim-background followers of Christ.
How Does It Apply to My Life?
First, read the entire book before investing time starting with page 246 where the author breaks down the “Five Barriers to Movements,” including “contentious Christians” needing to be right, “fear and hatred,” and other sobering reminders that Christians have helped make the Islamic movement successful through capitulation and in response to oppressive religious movements. If we wish to see this movement to Christ thrive, church people need to find cross-cultural ways to communicate the Gospel to Muslims seeking Jesus, watch how they represent themselves online, and be aware of possible cultural insults that would put a stumbling block to a Muslim coming to Christ. The bold believers in Muslim countries deserve our respect, love, and most importantly, our prayers and support. As Americans, we could learn a few things from our brothers and sisters from Muslim-backgrounds.
Muslims live in America. They go to our universities. The top country sending students to our universities is Saudi Arabia. God brought Muslims here. How will you live your faith? Will we learn how to share our faith with Muslims or continue to play it safe because it’s more comfortable that way? Are we willing to change the way we interact online and live more intentionally so we can participate in what God is doing among the Muslim people? Every church-going American should read this book. It’s worth it.
Cultural Nuances to Adhere To When Wanting to Build Trust:
- Shake with your right hand only. The left hand is dirty.
- Put your hand over your heart and bow slightly in greeting.
- Women wear long sleeves for modesty.
- Take off your shoes when you enter a house and wear their sandals.
- Don’t serve pork.