After our return from N. Africa, I decided to pay a visit to
Dr. David Garrison, a respected mission researcher, in his Colorado home. I shared how we had seen many Muslim sheiks come to follow Jesus without joining official Christianity or
existing national churches. I was pleasantly surprised by his positive reaction, since some years earlier he had been rather critical of insider movements [i.e., where people become disciples of Jesus without leaving their religious
affiliation and community, but remain legally, culturally and socially Muslim or Hindu, etc.].
It is evident from his recent book, /A Wind in the House of Islam/, that Garrison now recognizes and embraces insider movements as one of the many ways that God is leading Muslims into his kingdom. He documents how the Spirit of God is moving powerfully in every geographic area of the majority Muslim world. For over 13 centuries, there was not one movement to Christ in the Muslim world, but now there are many. The Wind of the Spirit is blowing!
The book is a rapid-read with lots of stories and testimonies. My favorite one is where Garrison shares how surprised he was to learn that it was through the witness of the Qur’an that many Muslims came to place their faith in Christ—who then led them to the Bible for a clearer understanding. For example, a man named Amid who had been challenged to stop reciting the Qur’an in Arabic (which he did not understand) and to read a translation in his mother tongue testified:
The first thing I noticed was that there were many stories in the Qur’an that were at variance with what I had heard from the mawlanas, the Islamic teachers in the mosque. I searched the Qur’an to understand more about Muhammad, but instead, I found Isa, and this disturbed me. . . .
In the Qur’an…I found no titles of honor for Muhammad, but 23 honorable titles that Allah gave to Isa. I saw that Muhammad is not with Allah now, but Isa is in heaven with Allah now. Muhammad is not coming again, but Isa is coming again. Muhammad will not be at the Last Judgment Day, but Isa will be at the Last Judgment Day. Muhammad is dead, but Isa is alive. Only four times does the Qur’an speak of Muhammad, and yet 97 times it talks about Isa. Muhammad is not a savior, according to the Qur’an, but Isa’s very name means ‘Savior.’ Muhammad is only a messenger, but Isa is called Ruhallah, the Spirit of Allah.
Amid concluded that either the Qur’an is correct and Isa is the savior, or else the mawlanas are right and Muslims should follow Muhammad. He challenged the Islamic teachers to obey the Qur’an and follow Jesus! Some scoffed, but others admitted he was right and counseled him to find out more about Jesus from the Christian community. Amid obtained a Bible, learned more of Christ, and was baptized. Those in his large movement demonstrate to other Muslims from the Qur’an that Jesus is the savior and baptize them. Then they disciple them from the Bible (Garrison, A Wind in the House of Islam, WIGTake Resources, 117-118 Available at www.windinthehouse.org/ ).
Bill Van Horn
9491 South Johnson Court
Littleton, CO 80127
USAFA Class of '74 - published a book of our experiences for our 40th reunion!