WOODBERRY, Dudley & SHUBIN, Russell G. "Muslims Tell: Why I chose Jesus: A look at the leading reasons why Muslims have come to Christ."   Urbana Mission Frontiers, 2001

by Robert Brow   (www.brow.on.ca)

Woodberry and Shubin report that "Islam's growth rate of 2.15 percent annually does exceed Christianity's rate of 1.45 percent." But "96 per cent of the growth of Islam is attributable to biological growthchildren born into Muslim families" (I suspect these figures will apply to the growing Muslim communities of North America). The rate of actual conversions from one religion to the other is very much in favor of Christian faith. As a result of hundreds of interviews with converts the seven main reasons given are as follows (and I add my comments in brackets as they relate to what we need to proclaim in our churches and wherever else we can get a hearing).

1 A SURE SALVATION (There is no assurance possible apart from the love of God, and the imparting of this assurance is a large part of our good news, see 1 John).

2 THE PERSON OF JESUS (Preaching from the Gospels to picture the life and character of the Son of God as he lived among us is powerfully effective).

3 THE BIBLE (When Muslims actually get to read the Bible, they find it presents a vast compelling picture. Getting people to read the Bible for themselves is a high priority for us).

4 TRUTH (The inner logic of Trinitarian Theism appeals to people looking for answers).

5 DREAMS AND VISIONS (Huge numbers are being converted through these. Though we cannot induce these by church programs, we can allow people to express what they have seen without embarrassment).

6 THE POWER OF LOVE (The love of God needs to be made visible in our communities of the Spirit as we welcome outsiders and avoid divisive bickering among ourselves).

7 A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD (Muslims are astonished at the very idea of knowing God in a personal way. People need to know how they can Experience God as a loving parent, talk to the Son of God as a friend, and be inspired by the Holy Spirit as our coach).

That gives us an exciting agenda for our post-Easter preaching.

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