Many reports suggest that God is spreading His gospel abroad in the Islamic world to an extent unknown in the history of Islam. Bill Musk shares how Christians can understand and be part of the movement in the second edition of Touching the Soul of Islam.
He discusses eight themes that demonstrate the tensions within Islamic cultures: male and female, family versus individual, honor and shame, hospitality and violence, time and space, language and silence, brotherhood and rivalry, and lastly, resignation and manipulation. He then explores these values as they manifest themselves in Muslim cultures, in the world of the Bible, and in relationships of non-Muslims with Muslims.
Drawing on his own numerous encounters in Islam, his extensive research, and even fiction written by Muslims, Musk explains the values that motivate Muslims. He sees not only the problems that many of us see, but the positives, and the areas in which Muslims live closer to the world of the Bible than we do, such as the understanding of the importance of personal honor and the reality of the spiritual world. Some of his insights into Scripture, which come out of his association with Arab thinking, enlighten the reader in scriptural meaning.
Musk includes extensive aids for study: illustrations, diagrams, study questions, a glossary, notes, a bibliography, and an index.
The book is both thought-provoking and fascinating. In the early pages he refers to a lack of interest in justice for Arabs in the West, without going into his precise meaning. I'm not sure what justice he wants that he feels Arabs are not getting. He does seem to oppose the efforts to remove Saddam Hussein. Other than those tiny touches on the political, I can think of nothing but praise for Touching the Soul of Islam. Musk is definitely one author who ought to be read by those who minister to Muslims. – Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com
Bill Musk brings a first-hand view of the issues underlying the divide between the culture of Islam and the worldview of the West. Relying on his encyclopedic knowledge of the Muslim people and mindset, he compares and contrasts for the English-speaking world these often competing cutural models, shedding light on a somewhat isolated and (more often than not) misunderstood people-group.
Enduring themes of family and familial ties, gender, and the tension between honor and shame are brought to the fore and given the proper context for those unfamiliar with the subject. Stories and tales illustrate the themes and bring more understanding than the average comparative text. Although the separation of our cultures will probably exist for the forseeable future, Musk has laid the groundwork for understanding and healing to take seed.