Diaspora Missions

Resource Review: Islam and North America

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In Islam and North America: Loving our Muslim Neighbors, Micah Fries and Keith Whitfield consider the reality of a growing Islamic presence in North America as an opportunity for us as North American Christians to share the gospel with our Muslim neighbors despite cultural and theological differences between us. There are three central concepts discussed throughout their book. First, the growing Muslim population in North America is generating fear, especially amongst Christians. Second, this fear is rooted in the significant cultural and religious differences that exist between Muslims and Christians, but it is not entirely valid. Third, we as North American Christians have a responsibility to let go of our fear and engage the expanding Muslim presence with the gospel, despite the differences between us.

The first four chapters of Islam and North America address the reality of the changing North American demographic and the fear it tends to provoke. As Ed Stetzer puts it, “Christianity is no longer the prevailing religious voice of North America.” Instead, a multiplicity of religious views competes throughout North America, and Islam is steadily gaining the upper hand. Many people are left frustrated and fearful by this situation, especially Christians. While it is not wrong to reminisce on Christianity’s past popularity, it is irresponsible and non-biblical to allow reminiscence to halt Great Commission efforts. But nostalgia is not the only issue. Acts of terrorism, the implementation of sharia law into North American politics, and cultural differences leave many Christians afraid of the potential implications linked to Muslim migration.

The Islamic presence in North America presents a unique opportunity for gospel expansion, if we are willing to act upon it and remain faithful to fulfilling the Great Commission.

In the following three chapters, the authors analyze the religious and cultural differences between Muslims and Christians to dismantle the fear and stereotypes surrounding Islam. First, it is a common misconception that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. The authors clearly demonstrate that there are differences between the Allah of Islam and the Yahweh of Christianity, pinpointing the Christian doctrine of the Trinity as the most important one. To put it plainly, “The Christian view of the Trinity does not fit the mold of any other religion’s understanding of God” (pg. 74). Although this significant difference exists, it should only motivate us further to share the truth of the gospel rather than fuel an unwillingness to interact. Second, the Islamic teachings on violence and jihad are not as clear-cut as typically assumed. While previous acts of terrorism committed in the name of Islam and their lingering stain cannot be ignored, the authors argue that most North American Muslims are not actually looking to destroy their new homeland or fellow inhabitants (pg. 87). Third, as North American Muslims do not intend harm to their non-Muslim neighbors, most are also not eager to integrate sharia law into North American politics (pg. 101). Instead, migrant Muslims intend to preserve the freedoms and political systems that incentivized their initial move to North America.

Finally, in the remaining five chapters of Islam and North America, Fries and Whitfield charge all North American Christians to respond to the growing Muslim population with a desire to reach them with the gospel regardless of the existing differences between us and fear we may have. “As we pray for Muslims, get to know them, welcome them, and serve them, doors will be opened to have conversations with them about the most important thing in life” (pg. 162). The Islamic presence in North America presents a unique opportunity for gospel expansion, if we are willing to act upon it and remain faithful to fulfilling the Great Commission.

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  • Great Commission
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Audrey McGrail

Audrey McGrail (Kreiss) is a senior at The College at Southeastern pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies. She is originally from Salisbury, NC, but currently resides with her husband, Mark, in La Paz, Bolivia. They have served as missionaries in La Paz through the Network of International Christian Schools since 2020.

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