“…as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring’.” – Acts 17:28
There is a contemporary praise song with these words that the Apostle Paul spoke to the Athenians during his second missionary journey. Surprisingly, Paul is not quoting the words of Jesus or from the Old Testament, but from a Greek poem about Zeus, the father of Greek gods.
I think it’s fair to say that Paul was familiar with Greek literature, and what they believed about God. So, does this mean we should do the same? Should we, for example, study the Quran in order to better witness to the Muslim?
The answer would depend on a few things. Are you having a serious conversation with a devout Muslim? Is this person willing to read your Bible (rather than just trying to convert you)? Do you have the time, the motivation and the ability to read portions of the Quran?
If the answer to all of these is yes, then I would say be careful, but give it a try. Read a few passages, assign a few Bible passages to your Muslim friend, and discuss it. When we show interest in someone else’s beliefs they are more likely to listen to ours.
If the answer to any of these is no, then I would strongly advise against picking up a copy of the Quran. All Christians are called to share the Gospel with everyone, including Muslims. Not everyone is called to engage Muslims at this level. In this case, trying to do this will not make you a more credible witness. In fact, this could harm your witness and your soul.
(Next Post: What Must We Know About Islam?)