Is Islam then an unstoppable juggernaut? Can the church of Jesus Christ reach the Muslims? The answer to these questions is that Islam's continued expansion is not inevitable: Muslims can be reached with the gospel. The fact is that "Muslims are not so resistant to God's love as they are neglected and uninformed!"62
The Christian church has never seriously attempted to reach the hundreds of millions who are Muslims. The great missionary Samuel Zwemer stated, "One might suppose that the church thought the Great Commission did not apply to Muslims."63
This is easily demonstrated by looking at some statistics concerning missions. Only one percent of the church's entire missionary force is ministering to Muslims. This means that there is about one Christian missionary for every one million Muslims. The church has more missionaries working among Alaska's 400,000 residents than in the entire Muslim world!
But even if we devoted more time and energy to reaching Muslims would they respond to the gospel? The answer is yes. Over the last few years the church has just begun to increase its work among Muslims. With this new attention more Muslims have become Christians over the last four years than during the previous 20 years.64
The "typical" Muslim is not an imposing, bearded sheik floating in oil, nor a militant, gun-toting terrorist, nor a modern-day "Sinbad the Sailor." Rather, he or she is usually a devout person, attempting to reach God through a man-made religious system, totally unaware of the grace available through Jesus Christ.
The apostle Paul's words echo down to us today with an unmitigated urgency:
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? (Rom. 10:14).
Joseph P. Gudel is a professor in the M.A. in Christian Apologetics program at the Simon Greenleaf School of Law in Anaheim, California.
NEXT ISSUE: An analysis of Islamic apologetics in the light of Christian apologetics.