Muslims and Christians: A History of Conflict and Conversion



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The editors of Christian History & Biography

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The daily news reminds us of the ongoing conflict between Muslims and Christians across the world, especially in places like Indonesia and Sudan. Even in America, where freedom of religion is a cardinal virtue, many Christians are increasingly anxious about a growing Muslim presence. But this is not a new tension; it stretches back to the seventh century. This eBook is an attempt to give a highlight reel of that history to help us gain perspective on the conflict today.


Given the amount of hostility and misinformation in this discussion, it is vital to get the history and facts straight. There are conflicts that will never go away, of course; there are irreconcilable theological differences between Christianity and Islam. But conflicts based on poor historical understanding—well, the world is too dangerous a place to keep fostering those. And we will only be successful at reaching out to our Muslim neighbors with the love of Christ when we come in both grace and truth.


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Table of Contents


Introduction – Mark Galli

Chapter 1:
A Confused and Violent Beginning – James A. Beverley Islam 101

Chapter 2:
How Early Muslims Treated Their Christian Subjects – Christopher Armstrong The Pact of Umar

Chapter 3:
The Crusades: A Deadly Give and Take – Paul Crawford The Battle of Tours, 732: Two Divergent Views

Chapter 4:
How Martin Luther Shaped Our View of Islam – Gregory Miller Four Medieval Missionaries to Islam

Chapter 5:
Jihad: Is Islam a Religion of Violence? – Mateen A. Elass

Chapter 6:
How to Do Muslim Apologetics: Two Classic Christian Models – Samuel Hugh Moffett

Chapter 7:
How Muslims View Us – J. Dudley Woodberry


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