by Nicole Hackett, Student Public Relations Writer
The pandemic has presented many challenges, but it has also offered opportunities, especially for those who find themselves spending more time at home and ready for a change from TV and on-demand movies. A good book is a fruitful option.
Dr. Matthew Bennett, assistant professor of missions and theology at Cedarville University, has written “40 Questions About Islam,” which released this spring.
Bennett’s book serves as a primer to Islam by answering questions about the faith. Each question explains the Islamic theology behind the question and how to practically have discussions about faith.
— Matthew Bennett
“My deepest heart’s desire when writing this book was to engender a sense of neighbor-love that is informed but that is also willing to engage over issues where we differ,” Bennett said.
After spending seven years serving as a missionary in North Africa, Bennett noticed a tendency in America to view Muslims in a way that prohibits Americans from loving them.
“I long for someone who picks up this book, to read this out of a desire to connect the Gospel to the heart, mind and soul of their Muslim neighbors,” he said.
Bennett also hopes his book will fill a gap in current books published about Islam. He found either they were antagonistic, describing how Islam is going to erode the very foundation of Western society, or they were open-armed acceptance without a critical recognition of Islam’s differences.
“Particularly for Christians, I think we need to be cautious to walk a middle road,” said Bennett. “If we are seeking to share the Gospel with real people who are being affected by different worldviews, then we should desire to understand them so that then we can present them a more compelling narrative and a more satisfying way of viewing the world that accords with what God has done in Christ.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,380 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including its Master of Divinity program, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.