We Are Always Free to Follow Christ

This week’s installment from J. D. Greear comes from Chris Pappalardo, who shares an excerpt from Nik Ripken’s Insanity of God. Here’s an excerpt of Chris’s post, which introduces the lengthy excerpt from Ripken.

Years ago, while living in an overwhelmingly Muslim country, I (Chris) was privileged to hear a talk from Nik Ripken about the persecuted church throughout the world. That talk was both challenging and encouraging, and kept me hopeful during some dark trials of faith.


Ripken has shared many of those stories in his Insanity of Godan appropriately named title for some of the downright crazy things God is doing today. One theme that comes up—again and again and again—is the possibility of freedom even in the midst of persecution. We are always free to follow Christ. That’s a lesson we need to cling to, even here in the United States.

Read the full post here.

Three Christian Misconceptions about Muslims

Last week, J. D. Greear wrote about three Muslim misconceptions about Christians. This week, he turns the debate (or misconceptions) to the other side of the table: Christian misconceptions about Muslims. Here’s an excerpt:

Misconception 1: Most Muslims Support Terrorism.

Christians won’t usually come out and say that they think all Muslims are terrorists. But many do assume that the majority of Muslims support terrorism, albeit quietly. Much has been written about how Islam was established “by the sword,” or how Muslims engaging in terrorist activity are simply obeying what the Qur’an tells them to do. It is certainly easy to find Muslims using the Qur’an to justify violence. Even when you give the Qur’an a charitable reading, asking “What would Muhammad do?” will lead to a very different place than “What would Jesus do?”

Read the full post here.

Three Muslim Misconceptions About Christians

Recently, J. D. Greear discussed the way Muslims view Christians, and how some of those views are misconceptions. Here’s an excerpt: 

Misconception 1: Christians worship three gods.

This one took me by surprise. I knew that the doctrine of the Trinity was difficult for Muslims (as it is for most Christians). But I never fully realized how badly Muslims misunderstood it and how offensive it was to them.

Several Muslims asked me how I could believe that God could have had sex with the Virgin Mary to conceive Jesus. Christians are blasphemous, I was told, because they worship three gods: god the father, god the son, and god the mother. This was news to me, of course, so I asked where they learned it. They told me: from their local imam, the Muslim religious leader.

Of course, Christians find this depiction of the Trinity just as offensive as Muslims do. And this is a good place to start. The idea of Jesus as a result of copulation between God and Mary is blasphemous, and we should feel free to express our disgust and outrage at the “trinity” as it is thus wrongfully described. Monotheism is central to Christianity, just as it is to Islam. So Christians can wholeheartedly agree with Muslims that there is only one God worthy of worship. Our conception of him is dramatically different…but the offense here is usually misplaced.

Read the full post here. Check back next week for three Christian misconceptions about Islam.