Muslims and the Holiness of God
Take time to talk about the holiness of God to communicate the seriousness of sin. Muslims generally have a low view of sin compared with the biblical view. In theory, in Islam any sin against Allah is worthy of punishment, perhaps even hellfire for a time. But in practice, sin is often explained away or excused as ignorance, weakness, or external temptation—a satanic temptation. What Muslims need as much as anything is to understand the sheer holiness of God and the infinite offense of every sin as an act of cosmic rebellion.
Several years ago, I attended a Christian conference and had the opportunity to go out for a lunch with some old friends of mine. We went some distance from the conference, and we decided to get a taxi back to the conference center. As we were in the taxi, one of us who was sitting up front struck up a conversation with the taxi driver, who turned out to be a Muslim. I think he was from Egypt. In the backseat, some of us were thinking, “What can we leave with him that would have the gospel message?” To our shame, none of us had a copy of one of the gospels or a gospel tract. But one of us, it turned out, had a bag full of free books from the conference. It was one of those conferences that gives away free books, and he had a bag full. So we were going through this bag to think which of these books we could give away. Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church? No, that’s not really going to work. Well, at the bottom of the bag, what did we find? A copy of Dr. Sproul’s The Holiness of God. We gave it to that taxi driver, and we left it with him. I didn’t realize back then just how appropriate that would be.