Engaging with Muslims by John Klaassen
A great introduction for anyone trying to learn more about their Muslim neighbour, outlining key areas for understanding Islamic beliefs
Engaging with Muslims: understanding their world and sharing good news
By John Klaassen
The Good Book Company UK & USA
ISBN 978-1-90991-911-2 (UK)
Reviewer: Phil Elam
John Klaassen’s short read is a great introduction for anyone trying to learn more about their Muslim neighbour. Drawing from nearly twenty years’ of experience of living and serving in North Africa, Klaassen outlines key areas for understanding Islamic beliefs, values and practical advice for engagement.
His purpose is to equip the reader to better relate with their Muslim friends. With opportunities for personal reflection and summaries after each chapter, Klaassen communicates in a clear and informal manner. Throughout the book, he demonstrates his passion for relationships and the gospel.
The book is in two parts, ‘Understanding Muslims’ and ‘Engaging with Muslims’. The first part helps communicate everyday norms for a Muslim, helping the reader to understand Muslim views of honour and shame culture, sin and hospitality. This is followed by a brief outline of the major tenets or pillars of Islam. These chapters help to build a basic understanding of Muslim people, whilst also acknowledging the diversity of Muslim peoples across the world.
The rubber hits the road in the second section as Klaassen outlines key areas for engaging fruitfully with Muslims. He unpacks in detail some good practices for sharing the gospel, with useful examples of Bible passages that will resonate more easily with someone from a Muslim background. His ‘bridges to the gospel’ equip the reader to share the gospel at opportune times in a respectful and effective way.
The book’s final chapter offers help to the local church. It is aimed at enabling leaders and their fellowships to engage with this subject and think about how to introduce these ideas in teaching and practice.
Klaassen’s relational approach coupled with his conviction that everyone should be equipped for personal witness with Muslims makes this a good read. This introduction will deepen the knowledge and passion for all those keen to develop meaningful friendships with Muslim neighbours, and share a desire to impact them spiritually through the good news of Jesus.
Phil Elam is Communications Manager of AWM (Arab World Ministry of Pioneers), where this review first appeared. It is republished with permission. Contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01509 239 525 if you would like further information on resources to equip you or your church in this area.