International (MNN) — Next, bestselling authors Ted Dekker and Carl Medearis traveled all over the Middle East to write a book to help people better understand Muslims.
"We traveled the Middle East over a few weeks," says Medearis, "and went to 7 Middle Eastern countries. We met with the top leaders in those countries: political leaders, religious leaders, social leaders; we met with musicians, with movie stars, people like that. But specifically we met with leaders of the bad guys: leaders of the Hezbollah, leaders of the Hamas."
Medearis says, "We met with Osama bin Laden’s brothers in Saudi Arabia. We met with muftis, imams, the top sheiks, royal family members, and we interviewed them–about 30 different people, and we wrote this book around those interviews. We interviewed them with personal questions. We tried to humanize them."
According to Medearis, "If we perceive Muslims to be our enemies, if we’re afraid of them, it actually stops us from taking the Good News of Jesus Christ to the Muslim people. So we actually wrote the book to dispel the fear that we have particularly of Arab Muslims. "
Medearis says Christians should share the Gospel with Muslims, not fear them. "Even if they are our enemies, Jesus commands us to do something very specific with our enemies, which we're not always very good at doing, but that's to love them. You can't love somebody you don't know. So we're just trying to help the West understand these people, and that's the point of the book."
Muslims are regular people. There are approximately 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, second to Christians at two billion. According to Medearis, that includes all Christians. He says, "We have to see them just exactly like we see ourselves. There are some in that group that are nutty, that want to do crazy things, just like we’ve had people in our religious systems over the years that have been a little bit kooky, as well."
Many Muslims like to talk about Jesus. Jesus is mentioned nearly 80 times in the Quran. And Medearis says that's a great witnessing tool. "Muslims are very faith-filled people. They definitely believe. You don't have to convince them that there is a God, that there is a person named Jesus of Nazareth. They believe that, so just focus on Him."
Medearis and Dekker are holding a webinar January 28 at 6:00 (mst). At least 10,000 people have already signed up for the event.