How shall they hear?
E. M. Hicham
Ambassador Publications; 322 pages; £9.00; ISBN: 978-184030-215-8
E. M. Hicham’s engaging mix of anecdote, cultural observation and biblical application will doubtless make this a ‘standard text’ for witnessing to Muslims. The book’s readability and depth of insight make it helpful for everyone from teenagers with Muslim friends to church-planting missionaries.
Part 1 gives an uncomplicated yet ample overview of Islam. Part 2 builds on that to observe Islamic culture in the West (particularly the UK). The appealing narrative style succeeds where other overviews pale into dullness.
New Christian workers are given an easily digestible introduction, while seasoned witnesses to Muslims will discover fresh angles on Islam. Part 3’s biblical advice contains much wise counsel about starting outreach to Muslims. The many practical hints do not obscure the need for prayerful, bold and loving witness. The sense of dependency is refreshingly God-honouring.
Part 4 accurately analyses conflicts in Christian-Muslim theology while remaining on-point with the gospel. Its excellent treatment of sin and the crucifixion gives helpful and straightforward responses to the ‘chestnuts’ Muslims raise. Part 5’s superb Q&A approach covers much ground, giving pithy gospel answers to Muslim questions.
Part 6 could have been longer. It tackles the crucial issue of bringing Muslim converts into Christian fellowship, but only briefly addresses the challenges, frustrations and responsibilities. Still, its biblical trajectory is in the right direction.
There are handy appendices on the Trinity, the Messiah, online resources and Islamic terms, as well as a booklist to round off a thoroughly useful book.
Today, immigration and globalisation are used by God to bring Islam within the gospel’s reach; never before have western Christians had so much opportunity coupled with responsibility.