BOOK REVIEW – Dear Abdullah

‘This book is for the Abdullahs, the men and women who share our communities, our lectures and halls of residence, our offices and blocks of flats. These are the people of peace whom Jesus the Messiah told his disciples to look for… These are people who are genuinely interested in understanding who the Christ of the Christian message really is. This book begins to address their real questions, objections and confusion concerning our message.’

The right types of questions

Robert Scott starts his book, Dear Abdullah, with story of how he met Abdullah, the man to whom this book is written. Abdullah heard Scott talk at an event at his mosque and was genuinely interested in hearing more about his faith. Unlike Abdullah’s friend Yusuf, whose questions to Scott were a long list of concerns about Christianity, not stopping to hear Scott’s answers, and probably uninterested in them anyway, Abdullah’s concerns were things he really wanted to be addressed.

In the following chapters, Scott answers eight common questions Muslims have for Christians:

  1. How can we know an incomprehensible God?
  2. Don’t Christians only do Sundays?
  3. What sort of God can be murdered?
  4. What sort of God can be born as a baby?
  5. But don’t Christians worship three Gods?
  6. Where does Christianity end and Western culture begin?
  7. Hasn’t the Bible been corrupted?
  8. How can we be sure about God?

How to find the right answers

These questions have been asked by many Muslims to many Christians over many years. You may feel entirely confident to answer these questions to your Muslim friends. But I would imagine you’re more like me. I’ve been a Christian my whole life, but if a Muslim friend asked me these questions I’m not sure where I’d know where to start.

Scott beautifully writes Dear Abdullah to two audiences. One, to our Muslim friends who are asking these questions. And two, to Christians, so that we can know where to start when talking to our friends about their struggles with Christianity.

Each chapter explains the answer to each question in clear language, making reference to passages in both the Bible and the Qur’an where appropriate. The key points are summarised at the end of each chapter, alongside further questions for both Muslim and Christian readers to consider.

In answering each of the eight main questions, Scott is seeking to explain these queries in a way that will be understood by Muslim people, taking into account their background and readings of the Qur’an. But they go beyond that. The answers are also helpful for Christians who want to find out more about their God.

I would thoroughly recommend this book. Read it and learn, not just more about the views and questions our Muslim friends have, but also more about who our God is. Share this book with all of your Muslim friends and explore these themes with them.

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