Worshiping Jesus in the Mosque
Muslims believe there is a Creator of heaven and earth, and his name is Allah. If you tell a Muslim about the Creator of heaven and earth, but say that the Creator is not Allah, the Muslim will be very confused. What you are telling him is not good news.
If you believe that even Muslims have received general revelation, then you have to start there. If you don't believe this, you don't believe your own [evangelical] theology. But if you come to them with good news, [to] restore their relationship with the Creator God, then you have to receive the name they have for him, Allah. If we say that the one they know as Allah is not God, we are not [speaking] against the religion of Islam, or Muhammad or Qur'an, but against the doctrine of general revelation. The missionary must first receive the name of the Creator God from the people, and then they have heavenly authority to give the people the name of the Savior, Isa al Masih.
How is this different from simply believing in the Muslim prophet Isa, as in the Qur'an?
Muslims believe that Isa is a prophet and messenger of Allah, but that he is superseded by Muhammad, the prophet of Islam. According to Islam, salvation is based on the teaching of Muhammad. But you still have something to start with in Islam. You start with their limited Christology and Christ's role in the kingdom of God, mainly his role in the Day of Judgment. Muslims start to think from Islamic Christology, but they end up with Isa [as the one] who overcame the power of death. They progressively understand him, from prophet and messenger to Savior and then to Lord. But this takes time and the Holy Spirit, as it also did for Peter.
But while they are slowly coming to understand who Jesus is, why don't you also slowly bring them into the Christian church?
It is possible for Muslim-background believers to join the existing church. But the evangelical church in my country represents a mixture of two religious forms, the Coptic Church and traditional religion.
If I say to Muslims, "Come to this church with me," I am inviting them to a very strange thing. Also, this is saying to them that they do not deserve a church that connects with their community. This is why we need a Muslim-focused church-planting strategy, because it will produce a church that uses the terms and forms from their Muslim community, not something from other religious communities.
Many Christians in the West would agree that Muslim-focused evangelistic strategy is needed. But many of them also feel that a Muslim-focused church is going too far.
Why is it too far? All people have a church-planting strategy that fits their religious context. Why is there a [problem] when we come to Islam? So we ask, "Do Muslims deserve a church that fits their cultural context?" We are not trying to bring them into the already [existing] evangelical church. They should have a church that reflects their culture. Then we can say that we have an indigenous church, one that grows from the soil of the Muslim community. To "hook" one person into the evangelical church is possible. But the question is how we can fish with a net.