Muslims turning to Christianity at unprecedented rate, author says
Views 22 | Time to read: 3 minutes | Uploaded: 4 - 11 - 2017 | By: Thomas Range
Westmont students had the opportunity to hear from author David Garrison about his book, A Wind in the House of Islam on Thursday. Garrison spoke for a few hours, with breaks to receive questions from inquisitive faculty members and students. Through his slideshow, he delved into the various topics of the book, explaining how he had gotten his information and how it lead to his overall point.
Being an evangelical Baptist, Garrison was interested in studying the Middle-East and the recent surge of religious conversions. He gathered countless historians and topic specialists in looking into the past to see how Islam has interacted with Christianity, finding that very few mass conversions existed in the history of the Islamic world. However, within the past century, and specifically the past 17 years, his research found that there has been an incredible increase in Muslim-to-Christian conversions. Curious as to why this phenomenon existed, Garrison and a team traveled all throughout the Islamic world, to all “nine-rooms” of the “House of Islam”, as Garrison put it. This meant traveling to secret households in East Africa, to Christian communities in the Arab World, to places in Turkestan, South Asia, Persia, and many more.
He travelled with the hope of finding out why these conversions existed, and how they took shape. He went to recent converts, heads of churches, and every kind of person he could find in the communities he traveled to, asking questions like, “What happened that called you to Christ?”, and “Who is Jesus to you?” He found many interesting cases, as well as what he described as incredible and inexplicable faith. He also found that these movements were not happening in a centralized location, but all throughout the Islamic World. The explanation he gave for these movements, was what he called “A Wind in the House of Islam”.
The entire lecture was focused on what that “Wind” causing all of this was. The Bible verse he chose to be the flagship of his work was John 3:8, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” Garrison claimed that the Holy Spirit was travelling through multiple “bridges to faith,” some being prayer, some being scripture translation, and one even being Islam itself, pulling out what he thought pointed to Christianity. The ongoing translation of the Qur’an into different cultures within the Islamic world, alongside the ongoing education of people groups has helped lead to a development of “Christianity taking its own shape in Muslim countries.” In certain places, Christianity is taking shape in what the people are calling themselves: “Isahi Muslims.” The word “Muslim” means “having submitted to the will of God,” and the word “Isahi” means “Follower of Christ”.
The lecture that David Garrison gave was, no doubt, limited to his own research. However, it was still successful in providing a thought-provoking experience for the Westmont community. In a part of the world that is continually undergoing conflict and intrigue, it is a refreshing, powerful, and convicting experience hearing from an individual who has studied this recent phenomenon.