Host: Bojidar Marinov
So, is Islam taking over Europe? Or the world?
The answer is, it isn’t. It is in retreat on all fronts. It has failed to create a civilization to challenge Christendom, or even the apostate humanist Western civilization that still carries a lot of its historical Christian cultural legacy. It has failed to produce individual purpose and personal maturity and productivity – and without purpose and maturity Islam can not produce the type of man needed to build a civilization. Islam needs Christianity to survive – and every time it rebels against Christianity it only sinks deeper and deeper in the drain of history, and loses more and more ground to that very Christianity it rebels against. Islam cannot produce any of the advances of the Western civilization – whether technological or social or political or psychological.
The reactions of some radical groups against Christianity are simply the agony of a dying animal; the more violent those reactions are, the more energy is lost, and the nearer its death is. A few terrorists are not a cultural threat; and when we fret about those few terrorists, we are only declaring our own weakness and fear. But in reality, there is no reason for fear. And there is no reason for statist solutions and government enforced security and endless wars in the Middle East. A period of peace and evangelism will bring about the death of Islam faster than any government programs or defenses. The future, as Paul said in 1 Cor. 3:21-22, belongs to Christianity.
Assigned reading: Philip Jenkins, God’s Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe’s Religious Crisis.
Why Is Islam Taking Over Europe? Or, Is It?
Welcome to Episode 9 of Axe to the Root Podcast, part of the War Room Productions, I am Bo Marinov, and for the next 30 minutes we will be talking about Islam, Europe, and the reality of the situation with Islam there. And keep in mind, here at Axe to the Root we are looking at everything through covenantal eyes; which means ethical/judicial eyes. We don’t care about political motivations; we are studying politics through the eyes of God’s Covenant. We don’t care about alleged facts and numbers; we know from our studies of presuppositional epistemology that facts and numbers in themselves don’t have any recognizable meaning; facts and numbers must be read within the context of a covenantal philosophy in order to make any sense. We know that any commentator who claims to just look at the facts and the numbers without first explaining his philosophy of life and the world is either clueless, or is trying to deceive us about his real philosophy and his real motives. And keep in mind, when it comes to Islam and Europe, the last 10-15 years such commentators have been on a roll everywhere on the mainstream media and in internet blogs and websites, speaking of supposed facts and numbers and making conclusions out of them, and then trying to convince us to make practical steps – especially in voting and political support – based on those conclusions. And many Christians and Christians leaders who have no understanding of the presuppositional nature of all thought – because they think and reason and speak as pagans – have bought into the rhetoric of these commentators, and have adopted their conclusions, and have called for the same practical actions and voting and support by Christians.
Thus, by the end of today’s podcast, I will be in trouble with many of you all; because the avalanche of news and analyses and commentaries is so overwhelming, telling us how Europe has been overtaken by Islam, we have accepted it as almost an article of faith. And no, I am not kidding; in quite a few discussions where I expressed doubt about the numbers and the scary projections about the Muslim takeover of Europe, I was declared “not a Christian,” and may be even an atheist. This is as close as humanly possible to similar experiences I have had back in the 1990s, when dispensationalists thought I was not a Christian because I didn’t buy into their proclamations that the Antichrist had already been born and would reveal himself to the world any moment now; in fact, to add insult to the injury I didn’t even believe any Antichrist was coming, but that the word signified a spirit present in the church in the first century and throughout the whole history of the church. The spirit of pessimism and fear hasn’t changed; it’s the same today, and it continues to thrive on all kinds of bombastic scares. Pessimism sells; and fear sells even better. In fact, as we will see in another episode, fear not only sells well, it is the main merchandise of governments who are trying to convince their people into subjection. Fear, as I argue in my article, “Terrorism: Biblical Analysis and Solutions,” is a form of idolatry, and like any other idolatry, leads to tyranny. Thus, statists and would-be tyrants will always sell fear. And an idolatrous people will always buy it, to their own destruction.
So I will be in trouble with many of you all, for the simple reason that I don’t buy the currently widespread fear and panic of Islam, and I look at the situation through Biblical eyes, and I don’t see such growth or expansion of Islam in Europe as many commentators see. When I say “through Biblical eyes,” it is not to say that I ignore the facts and the numbers; in fact, as we will see, real facts and numbers actually confirm what I see through Biblical eyes. I will give examples of how the alleged facts and numbers of the fear-mongers are not real, and they are either deliberately wrong, or their interpretations are twisted through their pessimistic expectations of the future. And then we will talk about the real situation with Islam, and with its battle with Christianity for the fate of Europe. Be prepared for some surprises.
So, what is the commonly accepted narrative about Islam in Europe? It is this: Europe is overrun by Muslims. Most of those Muslims are of the religiously active part of Islam, and their explicit goal and purpose is to conquer Europe. There is no such thing as a moderate Muslim, they are all devoted to spread their religion, and they all have an optimistic eschatology about the future, and in their future they all see a world dominance of Islam. Europe already has a large percentage of Muslims in Europe, and the European governments support that large and growing minority, and in many places the European cities have no go zones where Christians can’t go, because those zones are controlled entirely by Muslims and even the cops can’t go in them. The growth of the Muslim populations in Europe also has lead to increased rape stats, with many more women being raped, and that mainly by Muslim immigrants. Sweden is reported to have their rape stats up by over 1,000% by some agencies. For some countries, like Norway, all the registered rapes are done by Muslims, or at least, as some say, “men of Middle Eastern descent.” In the last one year, there has been an influx of Syrian refugees, which made the situation even less tenable. And these Muslims can’t be integrated in any possible way, because they simply refuse, and they can’t even be converted. In Britain and in Belgium, for example, the most common name for newborn boys is Mohammed, in all its different spellings and versions. Etc., etc., etc.
This is what the news and the pundits say.
There is only one problem here: Most of it is not true or is exaggerated. Where the numbers or the facts are correct, they are not given in the context of the total numbers, so that their significance is seen in the context of the whole. Many of the reports are based on alleged personal testimonies which can’t be traced back to any reliable source. And in fact, when one goes to reliable sources, the picture is quite different.
Right here, I know, I am already defined and declared non-Christian by many of our listeners. Or at least clueless about reality. Or ignorant about Islam. Before I continue, let me say this: I know what Islam is, and I know it in detail, unlike many alleged experts on Islam in America. I come from the nation in Europe with the third highest share of its population being Muslim: Bulgaria, 14% Muslims. (Only Bosnia and Albania have a higher percentage.) I grew up among Muslims, in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood. When I became a Christian, I shared the Gospel with Muslims, and some were converted to Christ. Later, when I started my mission work, part of it was in predominantly Muslim neighborhoods, and I have preached to former and current Muslims. I have a few articles on Islam and Shariah – for example, find my article on “Civilization and Self-Control,” and another one, “Putting the Claim that Theonomy Is Like Shariah to Presuppositional Rest.” I am not a stranger to Islam, I understand it, I have studied it, I have fought it on the mission field. And I know what a dangerous and disgusting religion it is, ethically and culturally. And exactly because I know it, I am saying the things I am saying. So don’t condemn me yet, stay with me, for we will not only learn the truth about Islam in Europe, we will also learn the covenantal lessons from that truth.
Where do we start from? Let’s start from Sweden, the nation that has become a proverb in the mouths of all those who warn about the Muslim takeover of Europe.
Sweden has 9.5 million population. At the most, 451,000 of them, close to 5% of the population, are Muslims. This number is the highest available estimate, but where does it come from? It comes from a report by the PEW Research Center, which provides no clear methodology for this number. Swedish independent—and free-market-oriented—sources criticize this estimate noting that the PEW’s estimate for Sweden includes “people with roots in Muslim countries.” This, of course, is not a very reliable indicator, given the fact that Christians are disproportionally more represented among the immigrants from Muslim countries. For example, Arabic Christians in the US are 63% of the total Arabic population of the US, compared to 5.5% in the Arab countries. In Sweden, the largest immigrant community with “roots in Muslim countries” are the immigrants from Iraq, a total of 130,000 which would be included in the PEW’s report. But of these, 120,000 (92%) are Assyrians who are traditionally Christian, not Muslim. Right there, folks, 25% of the PEW Research number is not even Muslim, but comes from a community that has been traditionally Christian for longer than England has been England! The second largest immigrant community in Sweden “with roots in Muslim countries” is the Iranian community—about 68,000 people—but it is comprised mostly of dissidents and opponents to the Islamic regime in Tehran, and most of them profess to be secular and agnostic/atheist in their views. There is another 15% of PEW’s numbers that are wrong. The most realistic assessment about the number of people of Muslim background in Sweden, then, would be no more than 200,000, and by the assessment of Muslim scholars in Sweden, only 100,000 are “religious,” of which only 25,000 are “devout Muslims,” that is, practice their religion according to its rules. Which means, for Sweden, 1% religious Muslims, ¼ % practicing Muslims. Which is about the same percentage as for Houston Metropolitan Area, with its 60,000 practicing Muslims out of a population of a little over 6 million.
And yet, the Internet in the last several years is full with reports of how the Muslim immigrants of Sweden are taking over the country. The Swedish police reportedly has given up on maintaining order in 55 “no-go” zones throughout the country, which correspond to the areas with highest percentage of Muslim immigrants. There is an “explosion of rape in Sweden” which most observers connect to the Muslim presence in the country; and the government doesn’t seem capable of dealing with it. Anti-Muslim attitudes are on the rise in Sweden, as they are in all the other countries in the European Union.
All this because of 1% of the population.
What about France, which has the second highest percentage in the European Union of Muslim population? (The highest is Bulgaria with 14%.) The estimates, of course, are still not definitive, they vary from 5 to 10% (the highest figure is by the US Department of State, the lowest by the French government). There again, since the government census agencies can’t legally ask about religious adherence, the estimates are based on country of origin. The question of whether the person practices their religion or not is allowed, and only one-third of the immigrants from Muslim countries declared to be practicing their religion. Which, if one takes 6 million as the number of immigrants from Muslim countries, gives a total of 2 million practicing Muslims in France, or around 3% of the total population.
What is less known to the general public is that while the immigrant communities in France are blamed for the spread of Islam in France, the truth is that these immigrant communities have a thriving Christian, church-centered culture that is outpacing Islam on all fronts. For example, Greater Paris (4 départements) has about 75 mosques and prayer centers, the largest of which can take about 1,000 people; the estimated Muslim population of Greater Paris is 1.6 million. This is a very low number of mosques compared to Houston which has over 40 mosques and prayer centers for only 60,000 Muslims. To take the comparison back to Paris, only one of the Greater Paris’s départements, Seine-Saint-Denis, has over 250 evangelical churches—and that in a nation that is traditionally Roman Catholic and secular agnostic. Let me repeat the difference: All 4 departements (districts) of Paris have a total of 75 mosques and prayer centers. Only one of those departements has 250 Evangelical churches. The list of those only who have decided to register for the online catalog of churches far outnumbers the list of all mosques in Paris. The majority of these evangelical churches serve the immigrant community, and they are much more influential in both evangelism and in forming the culture of the immigrant community than anything Islam can offer. On that list, there is even a Portuguese Assembly of God, a Laotian Evangelical Church, several Cambodian evangelical churches, several Gypsy churches, etc.
And yet, France has become a proverb in the mouth of many French and foreign observers as a nation that has almost surrendered to Islam. The riots of several years back were widely reported as almost another French Revolution—or Muslim Revolution, if you wish. Just like Sweden, France is now reported to have 150 “no-go zones” where no European can go into, and the police are helpless.
All this because of 3% of the population.
Right here we need to stop and consider this important fact: these numbers about the two countries alleged to have the worst impact of Muslim immigration should be enough to make us doubt the narrative of the panickers. Do we have some reliable data, then? Yes, we do. Official, real, proven data: Switzerland
Let’s look at Switzerland. Unlike Sweden and France, the government agencies of the Helvetic Confederation not only can, but by law they do ask about the religious adherence of the population. The reason is simple: while there is no state church in Switzerland, most cantons tax the population to support the religious establishments, and the amount of support is based on the number of adherents. So, unlike Sweden and France, we don’t have to “guestimate” the percentage of Muslims in Switzerland: It is officially declared to be 4.9%. If we take the maximum estimates about Sweden, it’s about the same percentage as Sweden. If we take the realistic estimates about Sweden, Switzerland has 5 times as many Muslims as Sweden, percentage-wise. And about the same percent and France. Which is to be expected, given that Switzerland has the highest percentage of immigrants of all European countries, and it has kept its borders open to immigration. Unlike Sweden and France, the Muslim minority in Switzerland doesn’t seem plagued by economic discrimination and unemployment; to the contrary, Muslims are fairly middle-class in Switzerland. Given that Switzerland is a small country, with this high percentage of Muslims, one would expect that it will have the same problems with its Muslim population as France and Sweden.
Guess what. It doesn’t. There are no “no-go” zones, no increased crime due to Muslim immigration, no isolated communities, no burned cars nor raped local women. In fact, when in 2009 the Swiss voted in a national referendum in favor of a ban on the construction of minarets, the Swiss Muslim minority took it very calmly. And that despite the urging by political and religious leaders of Muslim countries to protest the decision. More than 400,000 Swiss Muslims went about their business without uttering anything more than regret for the results of the referendum. Quite a different picture from we are fed by the mainstream media, isn’t it?
But isn’t it true, after all, that the most common name for newborn boys in Britain, for example, is Mohammed? And if it is true, isn’t it a proof that Muslims are breeding by an alarming rate in Europe, showing that they want to take over the continent?
Yes, technically, it is true that Mohammed is the most common name for new-born boys in the UK: In all its spelling variations, in 2014 it reached the number 7,200. To compare, the second most common name is Oliver: about 6,600 boys were named Oliver in 2014, which is about 8% less than Mohammed. Of course, taking all the versions of Oliver – for example, Ollie – as we did for Mohammed, Oliver goes to the top with about 7,600, about 6% over Mohammed. But this contest of numbers is still misleading, for it fails to present a picture in the context of the whole. Given that the United Kingdom has about 800,000 live births every year, the name Mohammed accounts for less than 2% of all those newborn boys. While it is popular among Muslims – predictably – there is no name of such singular popularity among Christians, or nominal Christians. In fact, in general, the name catalog in most European nations is much longer and much more diverse than the name catalogs of Arabic or Urdu names. That one name is so marginally popular still doesn’t show the full picture.
All that it indicates is that there is a higher birth rate among the small Muslim minority in the UK. Of course, then, the question is, “What stops Christians in the UK from having a high birth rate?” But that’s a topic for another podcast.
But what about rape? Isn’t it true that rape is at historical highs in Europe, and all because of Muslim immigrants? Last year The New American Magazine reported – in all seriousness – that rape in Sweden has increased by 1,472% since 1975. But there is no statistics whatsoever to support such a number, and the number is completely fabricated. The real numbers are rather different. Sweden, indeed, has a rape rate much higher than the US – 5 times higher per capita – but then, this is the case in all of Europe, and this has been for a long time now, long before 1975. The reasons are obvious: gun control, not Muslims. In 1975 Swedish courts convicted 109 people of rape; Sweden then had about 8 million population. In 2014, with a population of 9 million (13 % increase), 195 people were convicted of the same crime. That is 79% increase in rape given 13% increase in population. That’s still a significant increase, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. The whole story is that rape remained at the same levels until 2005 when Swedish legislation broadened the definition of rape – that is, more things are classified as rape now than before, and also, what before would have been recorded as one case of rape, is now broken in many different court cases. Within a couple of months, the rape stats jumped up to the current levels, and remained stagnant until this day. This, of course, is convictions. Reported rapes have also increased, but again, it is rather because of the changed legal definition of rape – changed to the point that if a wife lived with her husband for a year before he was accused of domestic abuse, that would be reported on the books as 365 different instances of rape for the whole year.
The reports are similarly false for countries like Denmark, Norway, and Britain.
Germany is another major example where rape is blamed on the Muslim immigrants. Some declared that Muslims immigrants bring a culture of rape to Germany. But most people outside Germany are unaware of a dirty secret that German women know and most of the world doesn’t: the culture of rape has always existed in Germany, with or without Muslim men – in fact, perpetrated mostly by German men. A reported 7-10,000 women are raped every year in Germany – a percentage much higher per capita than the US – and German courts have always been astonishingly soft on rapists: only 10% conviction rate historically, which has even declined in the last 20 years. International human rights organizations have been criticizing Germany for decades now, on this particular issue. A study of the last 10 years showed than 35% of the women in Germany have suffered some grave form of sexual abuse – a percentage too high to be blamed on the Muslims, and high enough to rival places like Iran or India. Muslims may have some marginal share in this, but the reality is, gun control and the laws for self-defense – which place a liability on the victim if she harms her attacker – as well as the reluctance of the courts to convict rapists, are the real factors for the rape culture. True, Islam is a disgusting religion, but blaming Muslims for an ethical and judicial flaw of the German apostate state and culture only makes us as bad as Muslims. Our job is to take the beam out of our own eyes first.
There are many more real facts that show that the current fear campaign about Europe being taken over by Islam is rather manipulative. Given the sources where it comes from – neo-conservative warmongers – the purpose of the manipulation is clear: to keep the Western public sufficiently scared of Islam to support any kinds of wars in the Middle East.
But, wait. Manipulation requires two – a manipulator and a manipulated. How is it that these multitudes in the West have bought into this panic ideology and have accepted as true claims that are false? It’s not like the facts are hidden. We live in the age of the Internet, after all, everyone can easily check the facts and discover that the scare campaign about Europe and the supposed rise of Islam to dominance is based on total fabrications. Why are so many people buying into it? And, even worse, why are so many Christians so gullible? And even worse, why are so many Christians, when presented with the facts, eager and willing to ignore them and even condemn those who present the facts?
The answer is: presuppositions. Most Christians today have a presuppositional commitment to defeatism and despair. Such is their theology of the Gospel: that the Gospel is powerless in changing cultures and achieving total victory in history. Such is their eschatology, that is, their view of the future in history: they believe that history will degenerate towards worse and worse, until the church and the Gospel are limited to small spiritual ghettos, and then the end will come. Within this presuppositional framework, any optimistic belief in the victory of the Gospel, and any sober analysis of the weaknesses of the enemy and his religions and ideologies, are considered a grave impiety and heresy: “How dare you even suggest that Christ can conquer history, contrary to our beliefs that history leads to nothing better than total apostasy?” You know, that scary “triumphalism” of the postmillennialists. Within this framework, piety and faith are expressed in more and more despair about the salvation of the world; even when these same people quote John 3:16-17, where the focus is clearly the salvation of the world, and the saved individual souls are only a means towards that greater goal and purpose. Optimism and faith in the comprehensive power of the Gospel are considered “worldly”: the spiritual thing is to believe that the fallen heart of man can overcome the work of the Holy Spirit – and yes, even among the majority of the so-called “Reformed.” (In fact, especially among them.) When the church has made an ethical and presuppositional commitment to defeat, every false claim about defeat looks true, and every doubt and rejection of such defeatism looks detestable. Thus, no matter how much you try to present the real facts to American Christians, they will reject them. Presuppositions.
The truth about Islam is that it is a toothless dog. It cannot build a civilization, and it cannot maintain a civilization, on its own. And it can’t be a threat to any existing civilization except to those who have already lost the will to live and prosper. It is true that Islam started quite strong and within a short period of time conquered a significant part of the world. But those victories were due not to Islam’s inner strength but to a legacy of civilizational memory inherited from Christianity and Judaism. In its beginning, not being epistemologically self-conscious and consistent, Islamic culture was a mixture of Islamic political power, built on the pillars of a basically Christian civilization. For the first 600 years of its existence, until the end of the Crusades, the majority of the subjects of the Islamic Caliphates were Christians; Christians were not subject to forced conversion, and neither were Jews. Jews and Christians comprised the majority of the learned elite of the Caliphate in Baghdad; when St. Cyril (the creator of the Cyrillic alphabet) went to Baghdad in the first half of the 9th century to discuss the Trinity with Muslim theologians, the capital of the Caliphate was still predominantly Christian. In fact, as Phillip Jenkins shows in his book, The Next Christendom, before the 12th century, the bulk of the Christian population in the world lived not in Europe, in Christian lands, but under Muslim rulers. If we are to run an average profile of a Christian family of that period, the sparsely inhabited Europe would be an outlier; the average Christian family before the 12th century tilled a piece of land along the Nile or in Mesopotamia, not in Europe. Christians also supplied the technological base and development of the Muslim world; when in 1187 Saladin took Jerusalem, he spared the Christian population of the city; not because of some tolerance or mercy, as some imagine; Christians were needed for his new empire as tradesmen and specialists in fields where Muslims didn’t bother to develop any knowledge or skill. (That Saladin wasn’t awfully merciful is known by the fact that in his career he saw no problem with slaughtering tens of thousands of Muslims in order to establish his own power; he saw Muslims as useless compared to Christians.) So dependent was the Muslim world on Christian technology – and also, Jewish social theory and organization, for most of the political and social and medical advisers of the Caliphs were Jewish – that the siege of Constantinople in 1453 was successful only because of the services of a Hungarian (Christian) engineer who built the enormous guns needed to breach the walls of the city. For a Muslim civilization or society to survive, it needs to feed off a Christian base and a Christian worldview. Muslims depend for their survival and their prosperity on a thriving Christian civilization. Even a civilization that is apostate from Christianity and still carries the cultural influence of Christianity is much better than anything the Muslim world can muster; and Muslims depend on it. They cannot challenge the European culture in any possible way.
Since its early days, Islam has become epistemologically more conscious – just as Christianity has become so as well. Thus, if in its early stages Islam had the cultural inertia to adopt many Christian values in its culture, over the last century, especially, the committed adherents to the Muslim religion have become more and more self-conscious of the purity of their faith. Saudi Arabia’s Wahabbism and ISIS and other radical movements are a rather novel development in the Muslim world; they are simply a sign of the epistemological consistency that is growing among Muslims. But as it is with all anti-Christian religions, intellectual consistency is deadly and suicidal; only orthodox, Trinitarian, covenantal, potmillennial, theonomic Christianity can afford to stay consistent with its presuppositions without borrowing from other religions or ideologies. As Cornelius Van Til taught us, any non-Trinitarian religion has to borrow presuppositions from Christianity in order to stand on its feet. Any non-Christian religion, therefore, faces a grave dichotomy: become intellectually consistent with itself and die; or, continue lingering by adopting more and more of Christianity’s presuppositions. But adopting Christianity’s presuppositions only prolongs the agony; it doesn’t prevent death. Every religion or ideology lives with the life of its believers. Eventually, those believers see its schizophrenic character and begin abandoning it.
And contrary to the claims about some civilizational strength of Islam which threatens Christianity, the reports from the mission fields both in Europe and in Muslim lands are quite positive. Muslims are converting to Christianity in great numbers. Churches in Germany and Britain report of an increased number of newly baptized former Muslims among the refugees from Syria. Concerning France, Muslim sources themselves admit that 15,000 Muslims a year defect to Christianity, especially in its Protestant and Evangelical varieties. Spain has a community of Pentecostal and Baptist churches of Moroccan immigrants. On the Balkans – where the traditional bulk of European Muslims live, Evangelical missions are especially active in places like Albania, Bosnia (both traditionally Muslim), and in Bulgaria (and I had the personal privilege to take part in that activity). In the Middle East, Christianity is in decline only where the US has invaded – in Afghanistan and Iraq. In Syria – and especially among the Kurds and other populations, Christian missions report astounding successes. In fact, the atrocities of the Islamic State were the main reason for certain formerly Muslim groups to turn to Christianity. The same situation is reported in Indonesia – the most populous Muslim country in the world – and in all of Northern and Western Africa. Islam is far from advancing; if anything, it’s losing ground everywhere, and the only culture threatened by it is that humanistic apostate culture in Western Europe which has lost the will to live anyway. Why would Muslims have a higher birth rate than European atheists and nominal Christians? Isn’t it because Europeans have lost their optimism for the future?
And, contrary to many claims and fake photos on the Internet, Islam doesn’t have any optimism for the future and doesn’t have any plans to conquer the world. Islamist eschatology is not even close to Christian postmillennialism; it is in fact an almost exact copy of historic premillennialism. It believes in general apostasy from Islam in the last days, it believes in the rise of a political figure, the False Messiah, the counterpart of the premillennial Antichrist. The Beast, and Gog and Magog will also appear. It believes in a final physical battle between the Redeemer and the False Messiah. There are 66 signs that will point to the end, and all of them are pessimistic and apocalyptic – apostasy, sin, pestilences, disasters, etc. Islam’s eschatology is premillennialism on steroids, and there is nothing optimistic about history in it. Muslims do not expect Islam to conquer the world; to the contrary, they expect its influence to wane.
So, is Islam taking over Europe? Or the world?
The answer is, it isn’t. It is in retreat on all fronts. It has failed to create a civilization to challenge Christendom, or even the apostate humanist Western civilization that still carries a lot of its historical Christian cultural legacy. It has failed to produce individual purpose and personal maturity and productivity – and without purpose and maturity Islam can not produce the type of man needed to build a civilization. Islam needs Christianity to survive – and every time it rebels against Christianity it only sinks deeper and deeper in the drain of history, and loses more and more ground to that very Christianity it rebels against. Islam cannot produce any of the advances of the Western civilization – whether technological or social or political or psychological. The reactions of some radical groups against Christianity are simply the agony of a dying animal; the more violent those reactions are, the more energy is lost, and the nearer its death is. A few terrorists are not a cultural threat; and when we fret about those few terrorists, we are only declaring our own weakness and fear. But in reality, there is no reason for fear. And there is no reason for statist solutions and government enforced security and endless wars in the Middle East. A period of peace and evangelism will bring about the death of Islam faster than any government programs or defenses. The future, as Paul said in 1 Cor. 3:21-22, belongs to Christianity.
The book I will assign for reading today is God’s Continent by Philip Jenkins. Jenkins is a well known myth-buster, and in this book, he busts the myth of Europe taken over by Islam. To the contrary, he carefully documents numbers and facts, and he shows that if there’s a religion thriving and expanding in Europe, it is Biblical Christianity. Not the dead religion of the traditional Romish and state churches in Europe, but the living, vibrant, optimistic, expanding Christianity of the new movements, very often below the radar in many countries, but real and active, especially among the immigrant communities. What about Islam? Not so much. It’s growth has stagnated, and even where Islam doesn’t lose against Christianity, Muslim children surrender to the secular humanistic culture. It’s a toothless dog.
I have seen it myself. And I have preached among Muslims, and I have seen many converts from the Muslim religion, and we continue working among Muslims in Bulgaria. So, as always, I will ask you all to visit BulgarianReformation.com and prayerfully consider supporting our work in Bulgaria. There’s a fertile field, and a little seed can produce abundantly. And no, we don’t expect defeat. We are planning for victory.