A Review of Islam And The Cross: Selections From "The Apostle to Islam"

By Byron Snapp
December 04, 2002

Samuel Zwemer was brought up in a Reformed home. God gave him a passion and compassion for the Muslim world. He served as a missionary to the Islamic world from 1890 to 1929 when he accepted the position as professor of missions at Princeton Theological Seminary. His outreach included evangelism, teaching, and writing.

He authored more than fifty books. The editor has compiled a number of his best chapters from Zwemer's out-of-print writings. They are grouped under "Islam and Christianity" and "Islam and Animism." Within his writing, Zwemer employs a number of poems and quotations that give the reader a better insight into Islamic thinking. Zwemer's familiarity with Muslim thought and writing, as a result of his having lived among them for so many years, is an asset to this volume. The volume closes with a chapter Zwemer penned on the importance of prayer for the conversion of multitudes in the Islamic world. He warns against the false hope of gaining Muslims by compromising basic doctrines of the Christian faith. Instead he writes with the presupposition that the sovereign God, not compromise, opens the eyes and hearts of those who are blind to the truth of Christianity. Prayer is to be accompanied by deeds of love toward Muslims. God may well use such deeds to open doors for conversation regarding Jesus Christ.

Throughout these chapters Zwemer writes with an understanding of the covenant and the reality that the descendants of Ishmael are essentially from the covenant home of Abraham. They have rejected the covenant and need to be continually pointed to the true and only covenant keeper — Jesus Christ.

Although these chapters were written decades ago, they remain important reading for our day. They provide insight into Muslim thought and treat Muslim thought with respect. A man who had a passion to see Muslims saved wrote these chapters.

In his helpful introduction, the editor allows the reader to learn about Zwemer by providing an overview of his life.

This volume is a fine aid for all Christians today who desire to better understand Islamic thought and who desire to minister for God's glory to adherents of such thinking. The book will also help readers to correct false concepts of Islam that may come up in daily conversation with others.

Topics: Biology, Church History

Byron Snapp

Byron Snapp is a graduate of King College (B.A.) and Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div.). He was Associate Pastor at Calvary Reformed Presbyterian Church, Hampton, Virginia, from 1994 until his retirement in December 2014. He is a native of Marion, Virginia.  He has had pastorates in Leakesville, Mississippi, and Gaffney, South Carolina.  He served as Assistant Pastor in Cedar Bluff, Virginia prior to his ministry at Calvary Reformed. He has served as editor of the Presbyterian Witness and was a contributor to A Comprehensive Faith and Election Day Sermons. He is currently a member of Westminster Presbytery in the PCA. He and his wife Janey have 3 children and several grandchildren. 

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