Skip to comments.Use the Quran to share Christ with Muslim, veteran missionary suggests
Posted on 01/04/2010 5:29:24 AM PST by Between the Lines
ANGLETON—Winning Muslim converts to Christianity is difficult, but veteran missionary Kevin Greeson knows a way—start with the Quran.
Greeson, who has served 16 years with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board working to start Christian movements among Muslims in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal, stressed the importance of spreading the good news of Christ with Muslims.
“The best way to fight terrorism is to share the gospel. And I believe that not because I want to fight terrorism, but because there are lost people,” he explained.
Debating religious tenets with Muslims is a waste of time, Greeson added. Muslims are taught to memorize the Quran in Arabic, not analyze it, he said.
“Even in Pakistan, where they speak Urdu, boys memorize the Quran in Arabic. They are not allowed to ask what anything means. They are told the words are too holy for them. Just memorize,” Greeson said.
Still, Christians must attempt to share the gospel with Muslims, Greeson insisted. But his goal focuses less on individual conversions and more on starting spiritual movements that will result in thousands of Muslims becoming followers of Christ.
“Our generation can’t afford to be satisfied or happy with winning one lost person to Christ. There are so many lost people, we can’t be happy with that,” he said.
And the tide is turning, Greeson said. “Almost every missionary serving now is seeing fruit among Muslims. Something is cooking out there. Something big is happening.”
Many thousands of Muslims are converting to Christianity on the Arab Peninsula and in Iran, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Indonesia, he said.
“Don’t think it’s limited to the other side of the world,” Gresson cautioned. “It can happen here. It’s got to happen here.”
But making it happen depends on finding a few key Muslims who can become the catalyst for a spiritual movement, he stressed.
“With a Muslim, you are always an outsider. Find that insider. You can’t get to all his relatives. You are an outsider. He has access,” he continued.
Greeson offered another word of caution. “When you find a person of peace, don’t make him join your church, comb his hair different and make him like you. Disciple him, but don’t make him go through an eight-month discipleship program. Messy people start movements. Don’t try to clean them up.”
Greeson’s first two years working with Muslims largely was unsuccessful, he admits. “Everything was thrown back at me.” They didn’t believe Jesus was the Son of God or that he died and rose again. They did not accept the Bible as authoritative, so quoting Scripture was useless. Greeson had to learn how to communicate with Muslims in ways that would not cause them immediately to shut down the conversation.
“Salaam-Alaikum” or “peace be to you” is a greeting that often lowers defenses, he suggested. Greeson then follows that up with the invitation: “Let’s read the Quran together about Jesus.”
Greeson discovered a Christian movement in a village where there were many conversions from Islam, and he asked about the catalyst for the transformation. The approach Greeson now teaches— “The Camel Method”—stems from that encounter.
The name of the method comes from an Arabic saying: Every good Muslim knows 99 names for Allah, but only the camel knows the 100th name. “We tell them we know the 100th name. It’s Jesus,” Greeson explained.
The Camel Method uses the Quran to establish three main points: ’Isa, or Jesus, is holy; ’Isa has power over death; and ’Isa knows the way to heaven.
Using selected verses from the Quran, the Camel Method doesn’t teach or lecture, but asks questions.
The 45th verse of Imran addresses Jesus as Masih ’Isa. “Ask them what does Masih ’Isa mean? Muslims know the meanings of their names. Names are important to them, but most won’t know this one,” Greeson said. “Then you can tell them that it means messiah or anointed one.”
Next, ask if any other of the 124,000 prophets the Muslims revere was given that designation, he instructed. None were. This demonstrates the uniqueness of Christ.
In the 47th verse of Imran, Mary the mother of Jesus testifies she never had been touched by a man. Ask if any other prophet was born without a father, and Muslims typically will answer, “Adam.” Let them tell the story of the Garden of Eden until the point where Adam is forced to leave paradise because of his sin.
Note all of Adam’s and Eve’s descendents likewise have been sinful, but Jesus wasn’t included in that line.
The 49th verse of Imran says ’Isa, or Jesus, has can “bring dead to life.”
“At this point, I say, ‘My greatest fear is death, and I’m grateful there is one who has power over it,” Greeson suggested.
Verse 54 of Imran says God has a plan, and verse 55 describes that plan. It says that Allah will cause ’Isa to die and then will exalt him. It goes on to say that those who deny the truth that ’Isa proclaims will be far below those who follow his truth.
Greeson suggests asking if any of the 124,000 can help a person get to heaven.
“I’ve never gotten any answer other than ’Isa,” he said.
At that time, a Muslim is prepared to hear the plan of salvation using verses 54 and 55—Korbani Plan of Salvation.
“Korbani” means sacrifice. The Quran points out a blood sacrifice is needed to cover sins, and Muslims go through a ritual every year where they slaughter an animal to cover their sins. That gives an opening to talk about Christ’s sacrifice, Greeson said.
Let them know Allah’s plan was for one perfect person to be sacrificed who would take all sin for all time.
Next, a Christian witness can talk about accepting Christ’s sacrifice. Greeson said to ask if a judge let a guilty man go if that would be justice, which will bring a negative answer, because a judge has to give punishment for wrongs.
“But ’Isa came and said, I have clean hands, put their judgment on me. That was God’s plan,” Greeson explains.
He acknowledged that the process takes time, and many fall away due to pressures from their society. But, he said, Christians must be diligent in telling the good news to Muslims because God already is preparing hearts to hear the gospel.
Great article. Ergun Caner speaks of simular conversations.
I’ll bear this in mind. Surrounded by Muslims here in the DC area. Praise God, there is a beautiful and very bright young Muslim girl in my RCIA wanna-be-a-Catholic class, just got baptized.
Thanks for this article. I work amongst Muslims and will soon be relocating to a predominately Muslim country. This should be helpful.
I’d have to disagree. While the Qur’an does say some things about Jesus that are true, it obviously also says quite a bit about him that is untrue - some of it nonsensically so (e.g. the story of the toddler Jesus bringing clay birds to life). Trying to use the Qur’an to turn Muslims onto Jesus is going to seem to them like you’re just picking and choosing, and I doubt that any serious Muslim would find it convincing.
How to reach Muslims? Use the Bible. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, to ALL who believe. The Bible is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. God has promised that His Word would not return void. Just use God’s Word and let IT do its work, instead of trying to rely on gimmicky little “evangelism tricks” like this article suggests.
My prayers for a safe journey and for your ministry.
Trying to use the Qur’an to turn Muslims onto Jesus is going to seem to them like you're just picking and choosing, and I doubt that any serious Muslim would find it convincing.
Every good Muslim knows 99 names for Allah, but only the camel knows the 100th name.
Tell me what is the difference between Paul's use of the unknown god and using the 100th name today?
Sorry guys, but youre wrong. The false prophet and Satans army are already here, and you are trying to convert them? LMAO! This would only work if Islam was a religion of peace. Instead, it gets its power from evil, death, destruction, and hate.
Trying to present the Gospel cannot include equating an Arabic moon god with the God of Abraham...
True....but the difference is that Paul preached to the Athenians the true God, without trying to syncretise Him with the conception that the Athenians already had. the reason the philosophers laughed was because Paul was presenting to them a radically different conception of deity from what they were used to. He didn't try to "weave" the God of Israel into the ideas that they already had about God - he clearly contradicted what they believed, and did so by presenting the Biblical view of God, and His promises concerning His Messiah and what the Messiah did.
Tell me what is the difference between Paul's use of the unknown god and using the 100th name today?
Well, one obvious difference would be that Allah and God are not the same being. Allah is a pre-Islamic moon god who was subsequently monotheised as Islam developed from its pagan Arabian origins. Per this development, Allah is also an apersonal deity that is quite conceptual different from the God of the Bible. Focusing on the simple idea of monotheism while ignoring the vast differences is misleading, at best, and damning at worst.
One major concern has to do with Christians using the name Allah for God. There are those who seem to think IMB missionaries who refer to God as “Allah” are affirming Muslim theology and endorsing the Muslim concept of Allah.
In response to those who hold to that view, Rankin stated, “Such a view is preposterous. In a cross-cultural witness you use the language of the people and you use whatever terminology they have for God. In reality Muslims cannot exclusively claim ‘Allah’ as their name for God. Although [Allah] has been adopted by the Qur’an and by Muslims, it actually pre-dates Muhammad and the religion he established.
“The Arab Christians used ‘Allah’ as their name for God in pre-Islamic days. Today ‘Allah’ is still the name used for God in many translations of the Bible where the Muslim religion predominates. For example, in the Indonesian Bible, ‘Allah’ is the name for God.”
Rankin continued, “What our missionaries are doing with The Camel is much like what Paul did when he went to Athens. He saw an altar ‘To The Unknown God’ and stated, ‘him declare I unto you.’ In seeking to reach the Muslims, you start with where they are and with their worldview and bring them to the bridge, to the passage in the Qur’an that speaks of Isa (Jesus) and then take them to the gospels. Of course, the Bible is the inspired Word of God and you pray and trust the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth about Christ to them.”
Ed Jump, director of missions for the Corpus Christi Baptist Association in Texas, had Greeson share his insights on reaching Muslims with some people in his association.
“I believe Christians sharing the gospel with Muslims is the most critical issue of our time,” Jump commented. “I was uncomfortable with the idea of referring to God as Allah, but Kevin gave the historical context for a Muslim background Christian referring to God as Allah. He told us that Arab Christians referred to God as Allah long before Islam was a religion.”
Greeson reminds us that no one should dare get his/her understanding of God from the Qur’an and that in the Camel Method of witnessing to Muslims it is just a bridge. “If our doctrines and understanding of God come from the Qur’an, then we will certainly not end up with a Christian view of God,” he adds. “If, on the other hand, our authoritative source about God is the Bible, then our doctrine of God will remain true, regardless of which language we use to call His name.”
Do you believe that the false prophet and Satan's army is more powerful that God or the Holy Spirit? With God all things are possible.
Yeah, I’ll use the quran alright....
Sorry, but this is unconvincing. Unknowledgeable people perpetuating error doesn’t substantiate that error.
I understand the argument. I don’t believe it is as effective as one might think.
It’s like treating cancer with poison...one guy seemed to cure his cancer by eating highly toxic peach seeds, but I wouldn’t do it. Too many people died hoping for the same cure that never comes because toxic seeds only add to their health problems.
Beyond the limitations of what verses can be used, it lends credibility to a demonic text. How will you convince them to ween away from it when it was used to bring them to a decision for Christ?
Imagine how shaken your faith would be if you were led to Christ through the Romans’ Road, and then someone brought proof that it was not really part of the legit Bible books, and was written by William Shakespeare. (It’s not, just using it as an example. It’s truly part of the Word of God.)
I have heard missionaries and evangelists advocating the use of the books a Mormn, the satnic bible, and Hindi holy verses to lead people to Christ. This will tend to create people, rather than accepting Christ as the one way to heaven, they instead accept Christianity along side whatever religion they had before.
The way to deal with them is to get them to be seekers of the truth. Once they genuinely desire the truth, show how their religious ideals and holy write are flawed. As the vacuum of truth is created, fill that vacuum with the infallibility of the Bible.
All are lost souls, and all are desired to be in Heaven by God, and we as Christians are supposed to witness and help lead the lost to Christ. Go ahead and LYAO, but that is our work.
It seems to me that the best opening might be discussing making sacrifices for sin. What happens if you make a sacrifice in good faith, but the animal is blemished?
FWIW, great thread.
Thanks for the ping! Very interesting article (and subsequent comments...)