Jesus revealed himself to a young, brash, Pakistani Muslim. But he didn’t just reveal himself; he turned Naeem Fazal’s world upside down.
Moving from Kuwait to Charleston, South Carolina, had been an adventure. Surrendering his life to Jesus Christ was actual treason. And yet, Jesus brought Fazal the most powerful peace he had ever experienced: “It filled the room. It grew roots in my heart and in my soul. It intoxicated me.”
In this riveting memoir, Fazal describes how God used extraordinary means to bring a young, underachieving, Muslim immigrant through Desert Storm, across the oceans, into college, and ultimately to pastor a Christian church in North Carolina. He demonstrates that no character flaw, no distance, no cultural chasm is too great for Jesus to reach across.
Fazal is candid about his shortcomings, practical about the challenges of cross-cultural engagement, and ultimately inspiring that God is capable of far more than we have grown to expect. He says, “Jesus consistently, stubbornly refuses to limit himself to my expectations. Which makes getting to know him an unfolding adventure of epic proportions.”
Whether you are a Muslim, Christian, or neither, Ex-Muslim makes a compelling case that life with Jesus Christ is a true adventure.
|Contributor(s)||Naeem Fazal , Kitti Murray , Erwin Raphael McManus|
|About the Contributor(s)||Naeem Fazal
Naeem Fazal was born and raised as a Muslim in Kuwait. He came to the United States shortly after the Gulf War of 1990. In 1992, he had a supernatural experience with Christ that changed the course of his life. He was ordained in 2001 at Seacoast Church. In 2006, with the help of Seacoast Church, the ARC, and Mosaic LA, he planted Mosaic Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Naeem has been featured inRelevant magazine, Leadership Journal, and Charlottemagazine.
Kitti Murray and her husband, Bill, are part of an urban church plant network in Downtown Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood, where they also live. Kitti is a mother of four grown sons, three daughters-in-law, and two beautiful grandkids. When not writing, planning events for Apartment Life, or watching her grandbabies, Kitti can be found biking to her favorite coffee shop.
Erwin Raphael McManus
Erwin R. McManus (BA, University of North Carolina; MDiv, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) serves as lead pastor and cultural architect of Mosaic, a diverse, multi-ethnic church based in Los Angeles, California. As founder of Awaken, an entrepreneurial community, Erwin collaborates with a team of dreamers and innovators who specialize in the field of developing and unleashing personal and organizational creativity. A national and international consultant on culture, change, leadership, and creativity, he partners with Bethel Theological Seminary as a futurist and distinguished lecturer. He is the author of the ECPA Silver Medallion Award-winning book, An Unstoppable Force, and Seizing Your Divine Moment, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul, and The Barbarian Way.
|Release Date||Jun 10, 2014|
- Review by Jeanie
Yes, this book is nothing special. The nearing 90-day time limit and the promise of getting a new book are all that made me crack this one at all. (And yes, I did read all of it but for a few pages that I didn't consider necessary at the end.) Plus I thought I might submit this review for the parish newsletter.
Fazal is not Catholic but that won't keep it from the parish library shelf. There was nothing to offend a Catholic, but nothing to edify one either. Some concepts are foreign to us, such as "church planting" - an individual deciding to open a new church where he wants. Fazal spends at least half the book on how he started his church. Sometimes he doesn't go as far as he needs to on this subject though, and not because a Catholic wants to learn about it. Fazal can be like the teacher you had in high school who answered students' questions with, "We'll cover that later in the semester." Bafflingly, Fazal says on at least two occasions, "That's a story for another book." He has our attention. And he's gone through the trouble of writing a book at all (with Kitti Murray). Why not write the few extra paragraphs or even pages? He'd really rather write a whole new book expanding on what he's already describing? One wonders about his effectiveness as a pastor. But his passion is less in doubt.
Before he writes about that, Fazal of course describes his own conversion story, which, despite the (dubious) supernatural element, I suspect he thinks is more exciting or helpful than it actually is.
For now, I'm craving fiction and will probably choose it for the first time, not counting the few I've done for http://catholicfiction.net.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” (Posted on 8/13/2014)
- Review by Simply Healthy Mama
An experience one night led him to call out Jesus' name. Soon after, Naeem converted to Christianity and has since led countless others to Christ. I love how he pointed out all the things that led to his conversion to Christianity. For example, if the Gulf War did not happen, he would not have come to America and he likely would have never become a Christian. It's a great example of how God is always working behind the scenes to lead people to Him even when we don't realize what He is up to!
I enjoyed reading about his experiences in various American churches and how he came to where he is now--the evangelist at Mosaic, a large and growing church in Charlotte, NC. From a Muslim to the pastor of a large Church--Jesus' grace never ceases to amaze me!
You will not be disappointed by this book. It will cause you to smile, to laugh and maybe to shed a few tears! (Posted on 6/6/2014)