I should be catching up with my book reviews by reviewing a couple books I've had for weeks now. However, when Secret Believers arrived recently, I started to look through it that evening and I had a difficult time setting it aside! The same thing happened to my husband (who rarely reads any books I'm reviewing). He picked it up one afternoon from the coffee table where I had briefly set it aside and I didn't get it back until the next day. :)
The subtitle of this book is: What Happens When Muslims Believe in Christ. It is written by Brother Andrew (God's Smuggler) and Al Janssen. They give us the stories of various men and women who have become believers in Christ and what that conversion cost them. Most of the book is in the form of a novel even though the people and the stories are true. How this brings us into the lives of these brothers and sisters in Christ! One gets to know them personally and we obtain just a bit of insight into what their world is like.
I found myself becoming very emotional at times as I felt their fear, their confusion, their bravery, their betrayal, the horrors many of them suffered at the hands of family and friends. What an interesting idea to present their lives as Story... how it makes it possible for us to know this one, small group of people.
We (American) Christians have little idea of what costs others around the world pay to walk with Christ. What would we do, how would we react in our day to day activities if we knew we could lose our job, our homes, our business, our children, and most probably... our life, by accepting Jesus as the Son of God... Saviour.
The last few chapters are given over to teaching the Church how to pray and how to reach out to Muslims with the message of Christ. This is an extremely good book, one I'd recommend to anyone who wants to know more about how God is working in these countries. It would be excellent reading for high school age and up, even if some of the scenes portrayed are difficult to get out of our mind.
That is why it is a good book, we who see symbols of Christianity everywhere in our culture (including around the neck of rock stars whose lives show us they do not take faith in Christ seriously) need to understand what the reality of the Cross can mean to those who take it seriously in a culture where doing so can sign one's own death certificate. It's also a darn good read.