Wednesday, February 12, 2014

“A Wind in the House of Islam” Released

Put this on your list of must-reads: A Wind in the House of Islam, by David Garrison. ( Here is some text from the press release:

For the past three years, Dr. David Garrison, PhD University of Chicago, has been traveling throughout the Muslim world exploring the recent turning of Muslims to faith in Jesus Christ. What he discovered is the largest turning of Muslims to Christ in history.

A 25‐year veteran of ministry to Muslims, David Garrison ventured into every corner of the Muslim world gathering more than a thousand interviews from Muslim‐background followers of Jesus Christ to hear in their own words the answer to his fundamental question: What did God use to bring you to faith in Jesus Christ? Tell me your story. The result is an unprecedented insight into God's work in the Muslim world.

A Wind in the House of Islam provides us with a historic look at how God is drawing more Muslims to Christ today than at any time in the 14‐century interchange between Christianity and Islam.

    • 328 pages complete with index, bibliography, endnotes, and glossary.
    • Hundreds of personal stories of Muslim conversions to Jesus Christ drawn from 45 Muslim movements to Christ in 33 Muslim people groups in 14 countries.
    • Small group discussion questions at the end of each chapter to facilitate conversation and self‐discovery.
    • 46 photos and illustrations with 11 maps depicting the "Nine Rooms" in the House of Islam.
    • Data tables of Muslim people groups spread across nine distinct geo‐cultural "Rooms" in the House of Islam.
    • The culmination of a journey of a quarter‐million miles from West Africa to Indonesia and everywhere in between.
    • Collaboration with academics, on‐field practitioners, and Muslim‐background informants.
    • Though informed by the latest scholarly research, the book is intensely readable and inspiring for anyone wanting to understand God's heart for Muslims.
    • This book will serve as a classic in its field. Anyone interested in God's work in the Muslim world needs to read this book.
    • Learn more at the book's website: [Lots of stuff to look at here, including videos and a blog.]

Kindle edition to be released later this spring, unfortunately.

Here is a review from Marti Wade:

In more than 14 centuries of Muslim-Christian relations, tens of millions of Christians have been assimilated into the Muslim religion. During this same time period, we can document only 82 Muslim movements to Christ.

What’s most remarkable about this, says researcher and strategist David Garrison, is that 69 of history’s 82 movements have occurred in the past two decades alone. “We are living in the midst of the greatest turning of Muslims to Christ in history.”

To better understand and respond to this phenomenon, Garrison and his collaborators traveled to each corner of the Muslim world (which Garrison calls the nine rooms in the house of Islam) and conducted interviews with more than 1,000 former Muslims who have come to faith in Jesus within 45 of these movements. Garrison’s definition of a movement is a fairly modest one: at least 1,000 baptisms or 100 church starts among a Muslim people over a two-decade period.

The book includes a strong emphasis on context. It includes an extensive introduction and explanation of research methods and a historic survey of Christian outreach and Muslim response to the gospel both globally and in each of nine world regions. Details of each region’s history, peoples, religion, and political dynamics provide a backdrop for the stories of the Muslim-background believers who emerged from such contexts.

The book concludes with a tentative but insightful list of ten “bridges of God” (ways God is working among Muslims today) and five barriers to seeing movements like these flourish, along with five practical steps we can take right now that will align us with God’s redemptive activity among Muslims.

I finished this book somewhat disappointed, primarily because though the history was helpful, I was left wanting more: more quotes and contemporary stories, analysis of what God is using to reach Muslims today, and suggestions for the response of the global church. If the movements Garrison describes continue to grow and multiply, however, this will certainly not be the last we hear of them.

This was a huge project, and Garrison is just getting started.  I’m told there are two more phases to reporting on the 1,000 interviews.  The first might be a “In Their Own Words” which includes more of the actual interviews.  And a second project would be a deeper missiological reflection. In any case, this is one of the largest missiological projects on mission in the Muslim world ever undertaken, and I’m sure it’ll be talked about for years to come.

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