In this week’s Muslim Connect I chat with long-time friend, James Wright, an author, academic and cross-cultural practitioner, who’s lived most of the past 30 years among Muslims in various countries. He’s smart, edgy and a little prophetic. His latest book is “A Christian Reads The Quran.”
Tell me about your background professionally and academically.
When Germans smashed the Berlin Wall in 1989, they also sparked radical change in my life. Collapsing Communist regimes opened access to many Muslim peoples. Our young family moved to Kazakhstan to plant churches. Circumstances made us relocate, first to Cyprus then 16 years in Turkey. Over the years I finished a missiology PhD at Concordia Seminary, Fort Wayne. This is my sixth book.
Why did you feel it was important to for there to be another book about the Quran written by a Christian?
I’ve never seen a book about the Qur’an speaking mainly to Muslims. Sprinkling in fresh dialogue and stories, I write to Muslims primarily. I simply read and respond to the Qur’an from Surah 1-114, letting the Qur’an guide our discussion. I ask honest questions without attacking.
How will it help Christians relate to Muslims?
It made me more compassionate and patient when I realized, “My Muslim friends aren’t just being stubborn or difficult. This stuff is all they know. It’s deep in their bones.” My book shows how to introduce Muslims to Jesus through Bible characters they already know from the Qur’an.
How does it help Muslims understand Christians?
Muslims seem particularly misinformed about the nature of Jesus. In addition to correcting caricatures of our faith, I’m hoping that Muslims can sense God’s love and ours as we take time to respectfully read their book and listen to their questions.
What have you heard from Muslims about the book so far?
A North African Arab artist wrote, “I like the conclusions especially the ultimate one in chapter 55. I would say, ‘Yes it’s perfect for the audience…’”
Please go to Amazon and get a copy of James’s book. (The Kindle version is a steal at $.99!) It will enlighten and encourage you and help you connect with Muslims. Plus, your buying a copy will facilitate books being given to Muslims who lack the resources to get their own. Contact James for more information and bulk discounts.