NEW ORLEANS (BP)–A “Christian Koran” offers great promise for reaching Muslims with the gospel of Jesus Christ, Southern Baptist evangelist Anis Shorrosh told the SBC Pastors’ Conference June 11.
“For the first time in history we have a book to challenge the Muslim world with the truth of the gospel written in the same style and methodology [of the Koran],” Shorrosh told the pastors’ gathering in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.
“The True Furqan” was written in classical Arabic, “mirroring the Koran in style and substance,” Shorrosh said in describing the resource. (“Furqan” is synonymous with “Koran” or “Qu’ran.”) It was written by an anonymous Christian poet in seven days and later translated into English over a seven-year period. Both languages appear side by side in the book, published in 1999.
Just like the Koran, The True Furqan contains 77 chapters on various subjects relevant to life, such as love, peace, women, marriage and prayer.
With 6 million Muslims in America and 1 billion worldwide, Shorrosh believes the book can prove to be “a powerful tool to reach millions.”
He added that the book comes at a time when more Muslims are coming to Christ than at any other time in history. “We have 17 million Arab Christian people who are now part of the kingdom of God,” he said.
Shorrosh, originally from Nazareth, Israel, and now from Fairhope, Ala., also talked briefly about “Islam Revealed: An Arab Christian’s View of Islam,” a book he wrote to help Christians understand Islam and how to witness to Muslims.
Shorrosh said he is excited about the twofold significance of the release of The True Furqan. First, it answers the challenge of the Koran, the holy book of the Muslim world, which says in Surah 17:88, “If the whole of mankind … were to gather together to produce the like of this Koran they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed each other with help and support.”
The True Furqan answers the Koran’s 1,400-year-old challenge by being written in perfect classical Arabic, “the language Muslims revere,” Al-Mahdy, an executive committee member of Project Omega 2001, the group that produced the book, was quoted as saying in a May 1999 Baptist Press story.
Since the “quality and style of language is a source of pride for Arabic people,” Al-Mahdy said, previous translations of the Bible for Muslims have been rebuffed because those translations used Arabic spoken language, which Muslims consider to be of inferior quality.
Secondly, The True Furqan presents the gospel message at the same time it challenges the teachings and divine authority Muslims claim for the Koran.
“The purpose of The True Furqan is a tool of evangelism because so far we have not found a breakthrough way to reach the Muslim world for Christ,” Al-Mahdy said.
Through the release of The True Furqan around the world, Al-Mahdy and his group are hoping to “provide substantial evidence for the authenticity of the Bible and raise significant questions regarding the authenticity of the Koran.”
Added information about The True Furqan can be viewed on such Internet book sites as Amazon.com. It is available during the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting at the LifeWay Christian Resources bookstore.