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Christians with whom Muhammad

was in contact prayed six times a day,


For 500 years before Muhammad was born every four hours. Muhammad thought
Christians speaking Arabic used “Allah” for that was a good idea but eliminated
the midnight prayer time.
God. It is not an ideal word for God except
7. Why is a world movement like Islam
that no word in any language is ideal. important just because within it fami-
lies with six children are very common?
Ralph D. Winter f In the wealthier parts of the world
new births alone do not usually
maintain the population. It takes an
Dear Reader, average of 2.1 children per family to
After the Crusades Muslims took that sustain a population even without any
Here are a few interesting questions. passage in the Qur’an to mean that increase. In Japan, Germany, USA,
(This is not a quiz!) Christians were wrong. etc., if it were not for constant immi-
1. Why did Muhammad reject the 3. What person in the Qur’an has the gration, the overall population would
concept of the Trinity held by the attributes of Divinity? be shrinking.
Christians he knew? Clearly, Jesus. That’s why quite a few Amazingly, in the USA, the Anglo
2. Why did he come up with the Muslims who understand the Qur’an population is way below the 2.1 level
idea that Jesus did not die on the have become full believers in Jesus. By (which barely keeps up). It is only 1.6
Cross? the way, very, very few Muslims can children per family. Miami is now a
3. What person in the Qur’an has understand it (even scholars) due to largely Spanish-speaking city. Los
the attributes of Divinity? its ancient Arabic—and even if they Angeles is fast moving in that same
4. Why do 30 million Christians in memorize it in its entirety, which mil- direction. Other cities will follow.
the world today pray to “Allah” and lions do!
read that same word for God in 4. Why do 30 million Christians in the Spiritual Indigestion?
their Bibles? world today pray to “Allah” and read Once before in history our country
that same word for God in their Bibles? was deluged with newcomers who
5. Why do some Muslims mutilate did not share the dominant spiritual
the genitals of young women? For 500 years before Muhammad values. That was roughly 1870-1920,
6. Why do many Muslims pray five was born Christians speaking Arabic when our population quintupled and
times a day? used “Allah” for God. It is not an ideal cultural and spiritual indigestion
word for God except that no word resulted.
7. Why is a world movement like Is- in any language is ideal. The English
lam important just because within use of “GOD,” which has a pagan But within 50 years many of these
it families with six children are background, turns out all right once it newcomers were won to Christ
very common? is in the Bible. through the ministry of D. L. Moody
Okay, and other forces.
Missionaries have employed hundreds
1. Why did Muhammad reject the of words for God, all of them with Today we are coping with millions of
concept of the Trinity held by the original pagan meanings. people crossing a border we cannot
Christians he knew? control, leaving their families behind,
5. Why do some Muslims mutilate the and becoming a USA sub-population
Answer: Those particular Christians genitals of young women?
had the wrong view of the Trinity, far more difficult to assimilate.
One hundred and forty million women Meanwhile the rest of the world is
one that Christians today would also in Africa have suffered this barbarism.
reject. getting larger rapidly while the West is
However, it is a grotesque, horrible cus- shrinking—apart from immigration.
2. Why did he come up with the idea tom that Islam inherited in one area, just
that Jesus did not die on the Cross? as the even more horrible custom that Can We, Must We,
Many scholars believe that he was Christians inherited was burning people Digest Islam?
reacting against Jews who claimed tied to a stake—Christianity eventu- Potentially a major counterforce on
Jesus was nobody because they were ally eliminated it. (Note that a form of the global level is the ongoing win-
able to kill him. execution was more readily defeated ning to Christian faith of millions
than something that happens to every upon millions of people. This is clearly
woman.) the last best hope. But, how likely will
Ralph D. Winter is There is nothing in the Qur’an or this work?
editor of Mission the Bible about either of these pagan Much of contemporary Christian-
Frontiers and the customs.
General Director of ity—everywhere in the world—is
6. Why do many Muslims pray five disturbingly superficial. We have de-
the Frontier Mission times a day?
Fellowship. veloped a simplification of the Gospel

4 July-August 2008 Mission Frontiers USCWM • 1605 E. Elizabeth St. • Pasadena, CA 91104 • 626-797-1111
It is no more likely that huge percentages of Muslims will become known as “Christians” than
huge percentages of Greek Orthodox will become Evangelicals.

to the point where people are raising percentages of Greek Orthodox will But when we run into stable, ordered
their hands to “get saved” without become Evangelicals. And it is very ways of life like many of the huge va-
ever knowing much about Who obvious that Muslim countries are rieties of Hindu and Muslim cultures
is saving them, or for what God- outgrowing Christian countries. we have to do like the Apostle Paul—
honoring good works they are saved. What we can at least work for, and we have to let Greek pagans become
This brings far less “salt and light” hope for, is that Jesus will reign in the Greek followers of Jesus Christ. They
results than might be expected. hearts of millions more Hindus and don’t have to wear our cultural cloth-
By contrast, and normally invisible Muslims. That’s right—whether we ing. They can believe while still wear-
to the eyes of Western Evangelicals, saw this coming or not—the number ing their own cultural clothing.
are the good works of Muslims (we of devout, Bible-reading people who If you find that hard to understand,
tend to look for the bad). I think of are still culturally Hindu and Muslim the true stories you will find in this
the ambulance and school service for far exceeds the number of Hindus issue of Mission Frontiers will be a
new mothers which is nationwide in and Muslims who have opted out of big help.
Pakistan. I think of the superb small their cultural background to take on The lead article this time comes
loan organization in Bangladesh that a culturally Christian way of life. And from the book described on page
has brought a Nobel prize to the those that do often regret it. 29. The editor of that book, Dudley
Muslim behind it. As we have been saying in issue after Woodberry, Harvard Ph.D., former
In this issue of Mission Frontiers the issue of Mission Frontiers, our calling missionary in the Middle East, and
concept is probed of “Christian faith” is to preach Christ, not Christianity. former dean of the Fuller School of
growing within Islam. Christianity can readily continue to World Mission, is arguably the most
It is no more likely that huge per- absorb many of the world’s poor and highly qualified Evangelical scholar of
centages of Muslims will become uneducated—those who have little to Islam in the world today.f
known as “Christians” than huge lose in giving up their way of life.

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