I have mixed feelings about Erwin Lutzer’s (with Steve Miller) “The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent: an Informed Response to Islam’s War with Christianity” (Harvest House Publishers, 2013).
On the one hand, this is a very well thought out and well researched work. It has a compelling message for the Christian Church, one that needs to be heard and heeded. The author presents a problem and offers suggestions as to how the Church should deal with those problems; he offers background information to make his points, and his research closely aligns with what many others are saying. He juxtaposes his thoughts on the situation under consideration with a discussion of the Seven Churches mentioned in the book of Revelation. The author makes a point early on of saying that he does not intend to teach ways of sharing Christ with Muslims since there are other resources available for those who are interested in pursuing that train of thought.
Despite his expressed intention to not go for the emotions, at times I felt that the book was rather inflammatory in nature, and instead of dealing with Islam’s war with Christianity, that I was reading about Christianity’s war with Islam.
Emotional tone aside, there are some very good points made about the desire for Sharia law to be established wherever there are Muslim conclaves, even when Sharia Law conflicts with the law of the land, in this particular case the Constitution of the United States.
Another point he makes is that the extremists have the advantage: if any moderate Muslim dares to disagree with them, they are seen to be treating Sharia Law, and thus the Quran lightly, or disrespectfully, and that subjects them to censure and punishment. Those who disagree with the more radical statements are often reluctant to express their disagreement lest they or their family come under attack.
As I was reading this, I was reminded again and again of the seeming injustices in today’s society. Someone from a minority group can express any opinion he or she wants with seeming impunity: it’s my right – its freedom of speech. But that same person proclaiming his right to free speech doesn’t want anyone to disagree with him. if you disagree you’re prejudiced, your speech is a hate crime and must be prosecuted.
Given the recent events in the Middle East, this book is particularly timely and should be read by teachers, politicians, pastors, and others interested in learning more about how to respond to Islam’s war on Christianity.
I imagine that I will be able to use this book as a resource in an upcoming class dealing with world religions.