Building Bridges: Christianity and Islam by Fouad Elias Accad (Book Summary)

 

 

 

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Written on December 1, 2009 at 2:16 pm by Samuel

 Submitters Note

The submitter is NOT a “religious evangelist” (but is “a spiritual human being“), who wants to try to convert people to his brand of faith. But as he learns himself about different religions, he merely wants readers to think about these “rather heavy” matters, if that is their interest. In addition, the submitter strives to attempt in some small way to dispel major misunderstanding …and in sharing he too learns about these two (enough “toos”there) great religions..

And in so doing his own truths and beliefs are validated

I understand that many Muslims, not having access to, nor having read the Bible are fascinated by the figure of Jesus. Perhaps in sharing these words of Fouad Elias Accad , my wish, my fervent hope, is that both Christians and Muslims will have the authority and eternal presence of Jesus Christ elevated and perhaps even feel the living presence, the Spirit of Christ himself

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Reaching Out to Muslims

There is a growing Muslim population in North American and many Christ followers may feel intimidated or ignorant in knowing how to engage with this population regarding matters of life and faith. Following is some advice and suggestions in beginning and maintaining this dialogue.

Much of this material is adapted from a excellent book by Fouad Elias Accad entitled Building Bridges: Christianity and Islam. When I first picked up this book I was apprehensive – wondering if it would stay true to a fundamental evangelical approach to missions and evangelism. In my opinion, there is no compromise in truth that salvation is through Christ alone by grace through faith. Mr. Accad merely gives us methods, reminders and cautions, so that this message may be received by Muslims. Remember their intimidation may be greater than yours.

Relationships, Relationships, Relationships.

If the Muslim has not had time to develop respect for a Christian friend and vice versa, most conversations are always futile. But if the Christian has worked on building a close relationship and understanding his Muslim friend for a good period of time, there will be an immensely different Response (Accad, pg. 31).

Learn from the person.

Towrah = Old Testament, Zabur = Psalms and Injeel = New Testament.

Koran consists of one book with a different title for each of its 114 chapters.

Establish common ground where there is.

Muslim means “surrendered to God”. As Christ followers we can agree with this – we are surrendered to God through the sacrifice of Messiah Isa (Christ).

Some of us conclude that other people have worthless religious practices. The fact is, we have failed to realize that those people only do these things in an effort to please God, whom they appreciate and revere about everything else. Think of sincere Muslims. They give to the poor. They fast from dawn to sundown for a whole month every year. They stop whatever they are doing five times a day to pray (Accad, pg. 21).

Of the four gospels Matthew seems to be the most appropriate for Muslims to being reading

(Accad, pg. 73).Using the Koran successfully, to help Muslims journey towards Christ, hinges on being able to show that its real intention was pro-Bible, pro-Christ and pro-Christian. Most translations of the Koran add traditional Muslim interpretations, injecting what Muslim scholars have taught over the years. A biased translation/interpretation of the Koran will only obscure this, be much less useless (Accad, pg. 61) and make this method difficult for the uninformed Christ follower.

Caution: Be wise as serpents – harmless as doves.

If we’re going to building bridges to Christ for the worldwide Muslim population, we desperately need to use a method that taps into their very real desire to please God

Saying “God’s Son” (eg. John 3:16) without explanation – when a Muslim hears that he assumes that you mean that God had intercourse with a woman who might happen to have Mary, Jesus’ mother (Accad, pg. 9).

Muslims believe there is one way – God’s way. So if someone comes saying “Islam is wrong. ‘Allah is not God’. You have to accept Jesus, God’s Son. He’s the only way to God.” A Muslim turns him off at once, because he is contradicting what the Muslim has been taught as God’s holy truth. (Accad, pg.

Do you believe that Mohammad was a prophet? Answer: If you mean ‘Do I believe that Muhammad is a prophet like ________ believe it? Then my answer is no. But if you mean, ‘Do I believe that his was a prophet like the verse in the Koran says he was?’ then my answer is yes. See Poets 26:194-195 – “It says he was a warner in a clear Arabic tongue”. This approach uses a Muslims immense respect for Koran to move them to the point of being willing to study the Bible and eventually present a more accurate and appealing profile of Jesus Christ. (Accad, pg. 38)

Isaac or Ishmael: The only passage in the Koran that talks of this is Rangers 37:101-109. Note that the son is not named.

Baptism

…. But unfortunately our methods of communicating these truths in the past have so offended the vast majority of Muslims that they totally close their minds and become hostile to us. (Accad, pg. 11). It is important not to violate their high regard for Islam or the Koran. Even though you may make it quite clear that you love God, if you state reservations about either Islam or the Koran you are automatically suspect, and others will probably not open themselves up to your friendship. (Accad, pg. 36).Follow the Seven Principles.

This is a radically different, scriptural means of telling Muslims who Christ actually is and why he occupies such a prominent place in their Koran – without alienating them from their native culture

Reminders in using the Exposure to all the information from the 7 principles at once could turn someone against the individual ideas contained in them. Go through them one at time – don’t move onto the next one until your Muslim has fully understand and agreed with you on the current one.

The 7 Principles

:. (Accad, pg. 11).i. God has a purpose for your life.
ii. Sin separates us from God.
iii. We can’t save ourselves
iv. The cross is the bridge to life
v. God’s provision is a person
vi. Making Him ours
vii. What to Expect when we accept God’s Gift.

* Accad, Fouad Elias. Building Bridges: Christianity and Islam. Nav Press, Colorado Springs, CO 1997.

Description:

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Islam is a growing religion in America with 5-8 million adherents here. Some sources say that it is the second biggest religion in the United States behind Christianity. That is why I believe we need resources as Christians to help us understand Muslims and how to reach out to them. This is where Building Bridges comes in very useful.

Accad shows Christians how to use the Qur’an as a bridge to the Bible and to faith in Jesus Christ in a short and concise way. The book is less than 160 pages and most chapters are around 10-12 pages in length. One can easily read a chapter a day. .

Accad gives the reader seven principles to share with Muslims. These include: God has a purpose for our lives, sin separates us from God, we can’t save ourselves, and four other principles. Accad also includes a very important and useful chapter dealing with the question of whether the Qur’an supports the Crucifixion of Christ.

Just to let readers know, this is not an in depth look at Islamic theology or history. There are other places to go look for that., In fact, if you are interested, you can email me about places to find that information. Building Bridges is a great introduction on how to share ones faith with a Muslim.’

St Francis Magazine Nr. 1 Vol. II (June 2006)

St Francis Magazine is published by Interserve and Arab Vision

http://www.stfrancismagazine.infohttp://www.interserve.org

www.arabvision.org 

* *

The Gospel, the Quran and You

Khal

īl ‘Abd al-Nūr1Have you ever listened to a recitation of the Quran and been amazed at its beauty and

majesty, wondered at its abiding grip on the hearts and minds of Muslims? Have you

watched as those who love this book kiss its cover and touch it to their foreheads, carry it

elevated above other books and never dare set it on the floor? Maybe you have felt

yourself entranced by its poetry and absorbed by its fluidity.

Or maybe you fall on the other side of the Quranic divide. Perhaps you are one

who finds no intrinsic beauty in the book and certainly nothing that would merit being

called a miracle. Your emotions toward those who blindly adhere to its doctrines could

be better described as pity. You wonder how this book could have grown to such a lofty

level of influence in Islamic society and long for the day when the doctrines the Quran

espouses will be displaced by the doctrines of grace.

Whatever your perspective on the Quran, we cannot deny that it is a book that

commands the reverence and obedience of millions of Muslims. It is the single most

pervasive and influential piece of literature in the Muslim world. Its proverbs and

sayings are known to literate and illiterate alike. It commands a respect in Islamic

society.

So it is only natural that those who wish to commend Christ to Muslims would

look to the Quran in an attempt to discover there elements that buttress their

understanding of the gospel.

Surely there is a Biblical precedent for this. The apostlePaul felt at liberty to quote the Greek poets. He had no qualms about using lines from

poetry and then radically interpreting them making application to the gospel. Even John

the apostle utilized the Greek “logos” in order to present Christ. It was a concept that

would have been familiar to some Jews of his time as Philo of Alexandria had

incorporated it in his writings in some detail.2 So, why should we not find in the Quran

anything that would further our ends of making Christ known and then use it liberally?

The argument makes sense.

Two works which advocate a liberal use of the Quran in evangelism are CAMEL

(an evangelistic methodology based on a few verses from Sura Al Imraan) and Building

Bridges written by Fouad Elias Accad. Both pieces have much to commend them and

this writer does not wish to dispute the fact that a multiplicity of approaches can be

effective in evangelism. However, I would like to sound a warning that while the Quran

can be a great friend in communicating the truth, it can also be an immense stumbling

block. Those who use the Quran masterfully (and they are few) will reap the rewards

while those who use it in ignorance may be shooting themselves in the foot!

This is the pseudonym for a North American missionary who served in the Arab World for two decades.

“The Word of God [logos theou] is above all the world; and it is the oldest and most original [genitatatos] of what has been made.” (Philo, Allegorical Interpretation 3.175)

St Francis Magazine is published by Interserve and Arab Vision

http://www.stfrancismagazine.infohttp://www.interserve.org

www.arabvision.org 

*

Shared by craig

About the submitter:
In his various writings, little by little, one mind, one heart, one soul at a time, Craig strives to break down and economic, social, cultural and religious barriers. Craig believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share in the form of our common humanity is way more important than what divides us.

He is currently “writing” ‘Jesus Meets Muhammad’.

The submitter’s blog (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) is at http://en.search.wordpress.com/?q=%22craig+lock%22&t=post and http://craiglock.wordpress.com

“What we believe is not nearly as important as how we relate, interact with each other… and how we live. Only when we can say, ‘I am first and foremost a human being, and second a Jew, Muslim, Shi’ite, a Sunni, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu ,or a Sikh…’ will we progress and break down barriers between peoples, nations and cultures, both east and west. Let not our beliefs , but our shared humanity (ALL of us) define who we really are. “

– craig

Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let’s plant the seeds, the hope of a better and brighter future.

 

Building Bridges provides personal experiences based on a lifetime of understanding the Arab world as well as research and analysis of the texts of the Qur’an and the Bible to show the similarities between the two.

This book supplies the information, concrete examples, and insights necessary when dialoguing with Muslims. http://wisdomafrica.com/building-bridges-christianity-and-islam-book-summaryFouad Elias Accad , books, religion, faithBuilding Bridges: Christianity and Islam by Fouad Elias Accad  (Book Summary)

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4 Responses to “Building Bridges: Christianity and Islam by Fouad Elias Accad (Book Summary)”

  1. Rose Says:

    Hey, great post. Great blog. It is fresh and to the point. I just read literally dozens of blogs, because I can’t sleep, and yours is by far the best quality. You know it is rare to find decent content on these things… Most of them are cheap and spammy.

  2. craiglock Says:

    Reblogged this on WHO IS THE "REAL, THE TRUE, THE LIVING" JESUS?.

  3. gold account Says:

    i. God has a purpose for your life. ii. Sin separates us from God. iii. We can’t save ourselves iv. The cross is the bridge to life v. God’s provision is a person vi. Making Him ours vii. What to Expect when we accept God’s Gift.

  4. craiglock Says:

    Hi
    CAN’T KEEP UP…BUT THANKS FOR THE “THANX”
    MANY MORE COMMENTS OVERNIGHT (many, already on this blog (together with hundreds of thousands on my various other blogs…true!) …so hope it’s not slowing down your loading speed!). Am really pleased you are enjoying my writings, as the reason I write is to share.
    Am having to remove many and so sorry can’t reply individually, but DO try to read as many as possible daily
    so “thanks for the thanx”
    “As we live and move and have our being, so from this vision, we create heaven in our own lives… and perhaps even heaven on earth.”
    – craig (as inspired by Acts 17:28 and the words of Felicia Searcy)
    “Aim at the earth and you may not get off the ground.
    “Aim at the stars and you may reach the moon.”
    “Aim at heaven and you’ll have earth thrown in…
    and you may even hit the stars.”
    – craig (as inspired by the famous quote by CS Lewis – 24th May 2012)
    “When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
    – Leonardo da Vinci
    http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html
    “If a man is called to be a street-sweeper,
    he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted,
    or Beethoven composed music, or
    Shakespeare wrote poetry.
    He should sweep streets so well
    that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say,
    here lived a great street sweeper
    who did his job well.”
    – Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.
    http://peacepursuit.wordpress.com/
    http://breakdownwalls.wordpress.com/
    The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4
    All proceeds go to needy and underprivileged children –
    MINE!
    PPS
    Instead of trying to reply to each one of you, I’ll just keep on writing
    “If the doctor told me I had six minutes to live, I’d type a little faster.”
    http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 and and http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html

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