I went to boarding school with two young men who were devout Muslims and whose father helped lead the Algerian revolt against France. I used to smoke cigs with them after ordering a half pepperoni-half cheese pizza from the local Dominos in San Marino, California. We were good friends but I had no idea what they believed or why.
I became a Christian in 1997 and apologetics saved my faith after a journey through the emergent church movement between 1998-2006. I have read widely in apologetics but have shamefully fallen short when it comes to understanding Islam. I am thankful that God has used Nabeel Qureshi to teach me and millions of others about how one can prayerfully lead a committed muslim to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Dr. Qureshi’s book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity (Zondervan 2014) is a compelling and necessary read for every committed Christian. Nabeel, a medical doctor with masters degrees in religion and apologetics, has penned an apologetic, spiritual autobiography that is as much an intellectual challenge as an emotional roller coaster, which is a rare feat.
Querishi was raised in a loving, muslim family with a father that served faithfully in the U.S. Navy. His family sacrificed to send him to fine universities and challenged him to think critically. He befriended a committed Christian who had a series of graceful evangelistic discussions over many years. His friend eventually introduced him to scholars Mike Licona and Gary Habermas who helped plant intellectual seeds that would eventually sprout into a faith that is shaking pillars around the world.
I recently spoke to a small private Christian school in Kentucky about growing up as a pastor’s kid who became an atheist who ran away from home to Hollywood at 16 and eventually became a Christian apologist. They hung on every word and asked dozens of great questions. It helped confirm my suspicion that the future of apologetics is one where good arguments are interwoven within a narrative.
My story, however, is nothing compared to the one presented in “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus.” Dr. Qureshi’s life is so well told that I found myself sneaking pages at every opportunity whether it be standing in line at the grocery store or waiting on that mysterious person who inexplicably spends ten minutes pounding buttons at the ATM (are they trying to take out a second mortgage on their house?). I have even bought copies to give away to friends, which is something I have only done with Grek Koukl’s Tactics, Lee Strobel’s Case for a Creator and Det. J. Warner Wallace’s Cold-Case Christianity.
Dr. Qureshi, who now works for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, has written the book that is easily the best of the year so far. It is also a fine example of the power of combining story (a potent tool with postmoderns) with strong arguments. I highly recommend it. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy ASAP.
Tune in next week for my 7 favorite books of 2014 along with an updated copy of my 2014 Booklist. Until then, grace and peace.