Muslims, Magic, and the Kingdom of God

I picked up an amazing book this last week while at the Missions Conference:  Muslims, Magic, and the Kingdom of God by Rick Love.

While I have not completed the book yet, I have read enough to recommend it to anyone interested in ministering to Muslims – or anyone outside of their cultural.

Dr. Love (yelp, he holds a D.Min and a Ph.D.) is the International Director of Frontiers (an organization dedicated to loving Muslims).

In this book, Dr. Love draws out the difference between formal Islam and folk Islam (read an excert here). Basically, to the majority of Muslims in the world, the formal religion of Islam answers all the ‘hard’ questions of heaven, hell and where we come from.[@more@]

But if they want their crops to grow good, find a job, or overcome a disease – they turn to the spiritual world around them (ie. the trees, ancestors, charms, etc). It is this folk Islam that really runs the show – not the formal religion.

This makes me wonder how many “Christians” are really folk Christians… They may confess a belief in Jesus, but when it comes down to the day-to-day struggles and happenings, how many people turn to charms, favorite prayers or rituals to gain God’s favor?

Formal Islam

  • Cognitive, Truth -oriented
  • Legalistic
  • Ultimate Issues of Life: Origins, heaven, hell, purpose
  • The Quran
  • Sacred Traditions
  • Institutional
  • Supplicative


Folk Islam

  • Heart-felt, Emotional
  • Mystical
  • Everyday Concerns: health, guidance, success, prosperity
  • Spiritual Revelation
  • Inspirational
  • Manipulative

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