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The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent: An Informed Response to Islam’s War with Christianity

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Islam is on the rise all over the West, including America. In this compelling new book, bestselling author Erwin Lutzer urges Christians to see this as both an opportunity to share the gospel and a reason for concern. We have now reached a tipping point—the spread of Islam is rapidly altering the way we live. These changes are cause for alarm, for they endanger our freedoms Islam is on the rise all over the West, including America. In this compelling new book, bestselling author Erwin Lutzer urges Christians to see this as both an opportunity to share the gospel and a reason for concern. We have now reached a tipping point—the spread of Islam is rapidly altering the way we live. These changes are cause for alarm, for they endanger our freedoms of speech and religion. At the same time, this opens an incredible door of ministry for Christians, for Muslims normally do not have access to the gospel in their own lands. In The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent, readers will discover helpful answers to these questions and more: How does Islam’s growing influence affect me personally? In what ways are our freedoms of speech and religion in danger? How can I extend Christ’s love to Muslims around me? A sensitive, responsible, and highly informative must-read!


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Islam is on the rise all over the West, including America. In this compelling new book, bestselling author Erwin Lutzer urges Christians to see this as both an opportunity to share the gospel and a reason for concern. We have now reached a tipping point—the spread of Islam is rapidly altering the way we live. These changes are cause for alarm, for they endanger our freedoms Islam is on the rise all over the West, including America. In this compelling new book, bestselling author Erwin Lutzer urges Christians to see this as both an opportunity to share the gospel and a reason for concern. We have now reached a tipping point—the spread of Islam is rapidly altering the way we live. These changes are cause for alarm, for they endanger our freedoms of speech and religion. At the same time, this opens an incredible door of ministry for Christians, for Muslims normally do not have access to the gospel in their own lands. In The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent, readers will discover helpful answers to these questions and more: How does Islam’s growing influence affect me personally? In what ways are our freedoms of speech and religion in danger? How can I extend Christ’s love to Muslims around me? A sensitive, responsible, and highly informative must-read!

30 review for The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent: An Informed Response to Islam’s War with Christianity

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    This book is a must read. If even half of what Lutzer says is true, we need to be prepared for the subtle rise of Islam all in the name of "tolerance". America is in trouble. Believers need not wait for the oncoming battle to start.... it has already started. As I said before... you HAVE to read this book and be prepared. This book is a must read. If even half of what Lutzer says is true, we need to be prepared for the subtle rise of Islam all in the name of "tolerance". America is in trouble. Believers need not wait for the oncoming battle to start.... it has already started. As I said before... you HAVE to read this book and be prepared.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Johnny

    There is a belief among many well-meaning people that if free societies are open and tolerant, we will combine our differences and create a stronger society. Yet, a portion of The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent’s message is that this will not occur because certain basic principles of Islam will not mix. To be fair, Pastor Erwin W. Lutzer cites a quotation from the Saudi Gazette to support his warning. Yusuf al-Quradawi wrote: “As Islam is a comprehensive system of worship (Ibadah) and legis There is a belief among many well-meaning people that if free societies are open and tolerant, we will combine our differences and create a stronger society. Yet, a portion of The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent’s message is that this will not occur because certain basic principles of Islam will not mix. To be fair, Pastor Erwin W. Lutzer cites a quotation from the Saudi Gazette to support his warning. Yusuf al-Quradawi wrote: “As Islam is a comprehensive system of worship (Ibadah) and legislation (Shari’ah), the acceptance of secularism means abandonment of Shari’ah, a denial of divine guidance and a rejection of Allah’s injunctions….For this reason the call for secularism among Muslims is atheism and a rejection of Islam.” (quoted on p. 35) Those who rightly observe that this is only one perspective among Muslims should consider that its implications will speak to a number from that population. And among that number, there can be no compromise with the beliefs of infidels. There is much of value in this, admitted, biased look at Islam through the microscope of Christianity. I believe Lutzer has a valuable insight when he suggests that the trend of turning churches into mosques has become a symbol of Islam conquering Christianity (p. 49). However, the book is disappointing because this insight doesn’t come directly from a Muslim source; it is second-hand from a book called The Mosque Exposed. That’s not exactly a title that suggests an objective view, even though one of its co-writers converted from Islam. And though there are interesting ideas in this book, it’s a lot like Wikipedia in that it is only a springboard for me doing my own research because not all of the sources are reliable. Of course, The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent is most valuable for the challenge it offers to Christians themselves. Dr. Larry Poston is a Religion professor at a Christian college in New York (Nyack College). A vibrant quotation from this evangelism and mission specialist reads: “When a Muslim views a Christian, he sees a person who wears his Christianity like a casual garment, useful for show on certain occasions but tossed aside when not needed.” (quoted on p. 56) Another chapter does a better job of documenting the dhimma in historic Islam where Christians and Jews were part of a protected community under Islamic rule. Citations about the jizyah tax paid by non-Muslims and certain conventions about deferring to Muslims are taken from the Quran itself. Lutzer correctly identifies both the good and the bad of living under this type of Muslim rule, but he also points out the destruction and desecration of Christian churches and the persecution (and killing) of Christians by fundamentalist groups today and in history. This is an interesting and valuable chapter—though it isn’t all documented as well as the section on We all know that Islam recognizes the historical Jesus as a prophet, but did you know that there is a verse in the Quran that states that Jesus wasn’t actually crucified but an individual who resembled him was crucified in Jesus’ place (Surah 4:157)? The good news is that the book points one to this truth (pp. 98-99) but the bad news is that Lutzer obviously took the information from a secondary source because he emphasizes that Muslim interpreters say this when verse 157 literally says, “…but [another] was made to resemble him to them.” There’s no need for interpretation here. Of course, Lutzer does a fine job of showing how this makes Islam incompatible with the gospel of Jesus Christ and belief that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of all (p. 107). Another interesting section of the book involved a claim of “legal jihad” or “Islamic lawfare” (p. 157). Several shocking incidents are cited, but the argument is weakened by the title of the secondary source, Stop the Islamization of America. Better documented, Lutzer warns the church to be prepared or trained for martyrdom. Then, citing from the Quran itself, he indicates that Islamic martyrdom may be a ticket to Paradise (p. 166), but Christian martyrdom is no guarantee (p. 167). At this point, we get to the thesis point of this section where Lutzer warns the Christian church: “Islam’s growing influence can either weaken or strengthen our resolve; we can either be petrified or purified.” (p. 170) In spite of all the negatives in this book, Lutzer does have good intentions. His major action point is to show Christlike love to Muslims. When I first started reading this book, I thought it was going to be a tremendous help to me. It actually has been, but I can only recommend it with very ambivalent feelings because so much of the documentation is second-hand and often in books whose very title suggests an Islamic threat. While there is concern about Islam and its relationship to Christianity and vice-versa, as well as Shariah law and the U.S. legal system, it would be better to use more neutral sources.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Shank

    This may sound harsh. The summary of this book shows how stupid some Christians can be. I'm a Christian, though definitely more realist than optimistic. Yes, you can live in a spurious utopia and think the rise of Islam would be the perfect time to talk about Christ, but frankly, Muslims will kill you if you don't convert. You can't just stop Islam and Sharia by praying for them (Muslims) or trying to convert them and thinking it'll be fine and dandy. You can't try to reason your faith (or anyth This may sound harsh. The summary of this book shows how stupid some Christians can be. I'm a Christian, though definitely more realist than optimistic. Yes, you can live in a spurious utopia and think the rise of Islam would be the perfect time to talk about Christ, but frankly, Muslims will kill you if you don't convert. You can't just stop Islam and Sharia by praying for them (Muslims) or trying to convert them and thinking it'll be fine and dandy. You can't try to reason your faith (or anything else) with somebody that wants to kill you. Can you imagine a Jew in the 1940s to try to convert an Aryan to Judaism? Are all Muslims bad? Certainly no. Believing talking about Christ's love to Muslims will make them convert? Unrealistic and naive.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Jasper

    A must read for believers A eye opening reminder of where we're at and how best to behave, act and motivate others going forward! The time is now and our Lord showed us how! A must read for believers A eye opening reminder of where we're at and how best to behave, act and motivate others going forward! The time is now and our Lord showed us how!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    An interesting read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    ACS Book-finder

    Review: The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent by Erwin W. Lutzer is a very encouraging and balanced viewpoint of how Christians can engage instead of fear Muslims. Most Muslims in the U.S. and around the world are not radicals, but the fundamentalist Muslims (Islamists) are pushing an agenda to Islamize America. Lutzer gives lessons for today's churches and ends each chapter with a salvation testimony from a Muslim. The book is very positive in assessing that Christ and the church will triumph Review: The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent by Erwin W. Lutzer is a very encouraging and balanced viewpoint of how Christians can engage instead of fear Muslims. Most Muslims in the U.S. and around the world are not radicals, but the fundamentalist Muslims (Islamists) are pushing an agenda to Islamize America. Lutzer gives lessons for today's churches and ends each chapter with a salvation testimony from a Muslim. The book is very positive in assessing that Christ and the church will triumph in the end. However, the church needs to busily engage Muslims with the gospel by showing our love, compassion, and boldness in the Scriptures. Jesus Christ is the Messiah and has not been superseded by Muhammed. Allah and God of the Bible are very different. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is concerned about our churches and tolerance of Islam in our schools' textbooks and guidelines. Lutzer gives examples from European history how accepting and conforming to those who are intolerant of other religions only promotes intolerance and persecution. My only constructive criticism is for Lutzer to include the historical section of Islam's conquest of the 7th century to an earlier chapter. He doesn't include much history until the seventh chapter. Chapter ten was very enlightening; Lutzer gave many positive and practical suggestions detailing how Christians can grow in their awareness of the spiritual conflict and what they can do to stem the tide of Islamic inroads into our nation. (reviewed by M.Reynolds) About the author: Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer, senior pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago since 1980, is an award-winning author of more than 30 books including Life-Changing Bible Verses You Should Know. A celebrated international conference speaker and the featured speaker on three radio programs heard worldwide, he and his wife, Rebecca, have been married nearly 45 years. They have three married children and eight grandchildren. DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of The Cross and the Crescent was provided by Harvest House Publishers for the purpose of review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer. No compensation was received for this review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bob

    Dr. Lutzer brings a fascinating look at the history & expansion of Islam through the centuries. And now, with the alarming growth of Islam in the UK, throughout Europe & Canada in itself, the trend is surely enough to cause alarm & fear when one considers the possibility of this happening in America (more accurately that it is happening). It's simply astounding to learn how much Europe and American has gone to accommodate Muslims, in public schools, work places, etc. This book explains the Islami Dr. Lutzer brings a fascinating look at the history & expansion of Islam through the centuries. And now, with the alarming growth of Islam in the UK, throughout Europe & Canada in itself, the trend is surely enough to cause alarm & fear when one considers the possibility of this happening in America (more accurately that it is happening). It's simply astounding to learn how much Europe and American has gone to accommodate Muslims, in public schools, work places, etc. This book explains the Islamic threat to Christianity in America. Dr. Lutzer correctly points out "that the greatest challenge we face might be within the church itself - the dimness of our light is just as much a problem as the depth of the world's darkness." Here he explains the churches ignorance & indifference to the threat of Islam being the likely result of not being serious about our own Christian faith. The author reveals the true story of Islam's agenda in America, & how we need to be aware of it before it is too late. Reading this book makes you realize that difficult times are ahead of us. Learning from history & today makes you aware of the war that is on the way, & in fact may already be here. A very important portion of this book is dedicated to addressing "Chris-lam," a merger of Islam and Christianity. It is difficult to believe there are those who think that this is a good idea, & the idea is deadly. Churches within the US have fallen into it however, with Qurans in the pews & guest Imams speaking to a Biblically illiterate membership. It has been predicted that very Liberal Protestants & Muslims will coalesce as they promote Chris-lam. A good, solid, informative read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Schmidt

    I will use quotes: "After the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic cooperation (OIC)is the largest inter-governmental body in the world, overseeing 57 Muslim member countries. ... In 1990, this body adopted the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, "which officially exempted all Muslim countries from compliance with the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights and replaced it with Islamic law (shariah)." Very simply, the Cairo Declaration states that in the Muslim countries, "Sharia I will use quotes: "After the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic cooperation (OIC)is the largest inter-governmental body in the world, overseeing 57 Muslim member countries. ... In 1990, this body adopted the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, "which officially exempted all Muslim countries from compliance with the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights and replaced it with Islamic law (shariah)." Very simply, the Cairo Declaration states that in the Muslim countries, "Sharia is the govering rule, and other human rights principles must yield to it." - p. 31-2 One definition of shariah offered on page 32: Translated as "the path," shariah is a comprehensive legal and political framework. Though it certainly has spiritual elements, it would be a mistake to think of shariah as a 'religious' code in the Western sense because it seeks to regulate all manner of behavior in the secular sphere - economic, social, military, legal, and political." This book is scary because our country's laws are being used against us - to abuse Christianity,undermine our constitution, infiltrate our government and spread propaganda in schools and media. The worst is they believe that there is no Trinity, that Christ was not resurrected from the dead, that the Bible was written by man while the Koran was written by God. Lutzer clearly states all Muslims are not radicals or part of the Muslim Brotherhood but it is a must read for every person not only in the United States but worldwide as our European allies face the same challenges.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sagely

    I don't have time or space to address the many shortcomings of The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent: An Informed Response to Islam's War with Christianity. When I lived in Chicago, I occasionally heard Erwin Lutzer's preaching on the radio. He's not my favorite preacher, but I bore him no particular dislike. But even with only our limited interaction, I expected better from Pastor Lutzer than this poorly-conceived, poorly-researched alarmist screed. Never trust a book when all of its sources I don't have time or space to address the many shortcomings of The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent: An Informed Response to Islam's War with Christianity. When I lived in Chicago, I occasionally heard Erwin Lutzer's preaching on the radio. He's not my favorite preacher, but I bore him no particular dislike. But even with only our limited interaction, I expected better from Pastor Lutzer than this poorly-conceived, poorly-researched alarmist screed. Never trust a book when all of its sources advocate for its own point of view or course of action. It's the job of church leaders, especially high-profile church leaders, to be circumspect. Doing otherwise is an embarrassment to believers everywhere. The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent fails to do good biblical exegesis when it refers to the seven letters of Rev 2-3. It fails to represent the history of the churches in Asia Minor accurately; neither does it provide a coherent narrative of the history of Islam's interaction with Europe. Finally, it fails to do good cultural exegesis, to read the signs of the times in light of the gospel--precisely what it sets out to do. Please do not read this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Faire

    Excellent book grounded in conservative evangelical theology (almost apologetic for God using dreams in reaching to Muslims :)), based on letters sent by Jesus to churches in Revelation. Very readable, lot of interesting information about tactics Islamists use to expand the are ruled by Sharia, their goals, development in last years, possible problems in future, all underlined by biblical analysis of contemporary church, it's most significant problems and proper way to solve them. I would say tha Excellent book grounded in conservative evangelical theology (almost apologetic for God using dreams in reaching to Muslims :)), based on letters sent by Jesus to churches in Revelation. Very readable, lot of interesting information about tactics Islamists use to expand the are ruled by Sharia, their goals, development in last years, possible problems in future, all underlined by biblical analysis of contemporary church, it's most significant problems and proper way to solve them. I would say that this is excellent introduction book for people who are interested in expansion of Islam in western countries.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Some of this book was actually helpful. The early chapters where Lutzer deals with what Muslims believe is quite good and was very useful. However as the book went on, the focus seemed to shift from how to relate to and share Christianity with Muslims and onto the state of the Church in America. Which is fine, but out of place in a book that purports to be about Christianity relating to Islam.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Leigh Ann

    This is a well-written but disturbing non-fiction read by the Pastor of Moody Bible Church. This book talks about Islam and how it is coming into the U.S. and how it has over-taken other countries. This book gives a lot of information on Islam and the threat to Christianity in our country without sending everyone running for cover or putting us in a panic. Very informative.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ranoordam

    A must read. Clear communication how Islam is spreading in the west. The silence in the news about persecuted Christians in Muslim countries. We need to know the truth and stand up for it. We also need to communicate Christ's love to our Muslim neighbour. A must read. Clear communication how Islam is spreading in the west. The silence in the news about persecuted Christians in Muslim countries. We need to know the truth and stand up for it. We also need to communicate Christ's love to our Muslim neighbour.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn

    Sobering. A wake up call to America to understand what political correctness is doing to pave the way to sharia law and to muzzle Christians. It's already happening in Europe and Asia. It's reassuring to know that Christ will have the last victorious word. Sobering. A wake up call to America to understand what political correctness is doing to pave the way to sharia law and to muzzle Christians. It's already happening in Europe and Asia. It's reassuring to know that Christ will have the last victorious word.

  15. 4 out of 5

    John

    A must read for any American Christian - it informs of the belief of Muslims and their actions to dominate civil governments since the 700's. Well document, reasoned, and a warning of the need to be courageous. Highly recommend. A must read for any American Christian - it informs of the belief of Muslims and their actions to dominate civil governments since the 700's. Well document, reasoned, and a warning of the need to be courageous. Highly recommend.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lee Anne

    Our in-home book discussion for Sept.4th. Join us?!?!? Very sobering must-read for believers. A wake-up call to get your history straight & to be alert on a very important issue.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Clara Roberts

    This was a fascinating and well researched book. In light of current events the book meets a need for people to be well informed. This is a book I will reread in the future.

  18. 5 out of 5

    James Owen

    It is a book for all Americans to read and has good info.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Danny Proffitt

    A superb book to pick up. He very detailed at explaining the difficult life for christians in the Middle East.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jarm Boccio

    It's clear that Islam and Christianity can never blend or intersect. So how do we related to those who desperately need the Gospel? Erwin Lutzer shares his knowledge and wisdom on this topic. It's clear that Islam and Christianity can never blend or intersect. So how do we related to those who desperately need the Gospel? Erwin Lutzer shares his knowledge and wisdom on this topic.

  21. 5 out of 5

    David

    This is an excellent book; I highly recommend reading it. Lutzer provides both the problem with and solution to Islam and how Christians can take action before it is too late.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Julie Jackson

    This was very informative. Great eye opener and sound advice. I loved the historical information on the subject. A bit redundant but good.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Scott Whiting

    Extremely valuable for the Christian who wishes to understand the goals of Islam and be engaged in protecting the freedoms we enjoy as Americans.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Eye opening and challenging to be more engaged in community, public policy, and working to better understand the beliefs of others who I live and work with.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jane Glen

    An outstanding book. Thoughtful, honest, well-researched, this is a must-read for anyone who wished to understand the differences between Christianity and Islam.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Pete

    well written, eye opening book about the Islam agenda and how our best defense is to show our Muslem friends the love and hope of Jesus

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jameson

  28. 5 out of 5

    Suzetta Manhart

  29. 4 out of 5

    RMichael Small

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sally A Norrid

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