This dissertation argues that the single greatest hindrance to Christian witness amongst Muslims in Europe is fear. A short course was developed in order to help Christians overcome their fear of Islam and Muslims and to encourage Christians to share their lives with Muslims and the truth of the Gospel with the purpose of attracting them to Christ.
Many European Christians share a widespread fear of Islam, termed Islamophobia. They fear that Europe will gradually turn into Eurabia, or Islamic domination of Europe, and they ignore the efforts of Muslims to adapt to the European context, while not necessarily giving up their faith developments, a situation pointing to a future scenario of Euro-Islam, or Islam being Europeanized.
When one looks at fear theologically, that fear is rooted in the fallen condition of man and involves a tendency to exclude anybody that threatens one’s identity. On the other side, the more thoughts, attitude, and behavior are guided by God’s self-giving love manifested at the cross of Golgotha, the more one will be able to respond in grace towards Muslims. While this change of attitude from fear to grace is a key requirement for Christians to share their lives with Muslims, many books and courses that have been developed to help Christians relate to Muslims do not explicitly deal with this but concentrate on providing information about Islam and skills to help share the Gospel with
Consequently, a new course entitled Sharing Lives has been developed. The testing of this course has shown it results in a changed attitude towards Islam and Muslims and a commitment to establishing contact with Muslims. With some further changes to diminish the course’s weaknesses and make better use of its strengths, this course could become an instrument in God’s hand to encourage Christians in Europe to
share their lives with Muslims.