Why Do They Shout “Allahu Akbar”?

(Originally published at www.firstthings.com on September 20, 2016) On Saturday, September 17, Dahir A. Adan, an Islamic State “solider,” according to an ISIS media outlet, stabbed nine people in a Minnesota mall. Adan shouted “Allahu Akbar” and “asked at least one person if they were Muslim before he attacked.” In June, ISIS supporter Omar Mateen shouted “Allah Akbar” during his shooting … Continued

Muslim Scholars vs. ISIS

(Originally published at www.firstthings.com on October 3, 2014) On Wednesday, September 24, 2014, “More than 120 Muslim scholars from around the world joined an open letter to the ‘fighters and followers’ of the Islamic State.” The signees represent the Sunni branch of Islam (with the exception of one Sufi person), and include important Muslim figures … Continued

Eastern Christmas and Egypt’s President

(Originally published at www.firstthings.com on January 12, 2016) Egypt’s Coptic Christians follow the Julian calendar in celebrating Christmas on January 7th of each year. For the second consecutive year, Egyptian president Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi surprised them with an exceptionally kind gesture, once again personally attending their Coptic Christmas Eve mass and offering them his well-wishes. He is … Continued

Did Muhammad Perform Miracles?

(Originally published at www.firstthings.com) On Thursday, August 27, 2015, the first part of Iran’s most expensive movie trilogy, “Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah,” opened nationwide in Iran. It took more than eighty months for this movie to be completed. Its primary goal, according to its director Majid Majidi, “is to reclaim the rightful image of … Continued

Understanding Insider Movements

Given recent world events involving Islam, it appears Harley Talman and John Jay Travis (pen names) couldn’t have released their newest contribution at a better time. The collection of 64 (mostly) previously published articles is titled Understanding Insider Movements: Disciples of Jesus within Diverse Religious Communities. An “insider,” according to the book, is a person “from a non-Christian background who has … Continued

Why Did the ISIS Caliph Rape American Kayla Mueller?

(originally published at First Things on August 17, 2015) During her imprisonment, Kayla Mueller, 26-year-old humanitarian aid worker, was repeatedly raped by the leader of ISIS, Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, before she was killed last February. The news of al-Baghdadi’s serial assault habits came out last week. ISIS’s al-Baghdadi operates within a shame/honor paradigm, like most of … Continued

The Failures of Works-Righteousness

Post written by J.D. Greear One of my frustrations when sharing Christ with Muslims was that I had a hard time getting them to disagree with me that only God’s grace could save us. When I would say something like, “We can only be reconciled to God by his grace,” they would say, “That’s exactly what we … Continued