What do I think of Nabeel Qureshi’s book published by Zondervan? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Imagine growing up a Muslim all your life and being taught Muslim beliefs all your life and having that thoroughly interwoven with your family life. Your family wants you to grow up to be a good Muslim and one who will share the perceived truth of Islam. This was Nabeel Qureshi’s life until he went on a trip once and met a friend who happened to be reading the Bible and for the first time, he encountered someone who actually could give some pushback to what he said. Nabeel began a quest to show his friend the truth of Islam. Instead, as the book title shows, he ended up bowing his knee to Jesus Christ.
I wish to give a disclaimer at the start. While I do seek to avoid bias in a work, I know many of the people involved in this book. I consider Nabeel a friend of mine. I know David Wood as well and consider him a friend and I know his wife too. (I know Nabeel’s wife too, but she isn’t mentioned much in the book as his wedding is more part of an epilogue, but she is a wonderful woman.) Nabeel also shares about his time that he spent with Mike Licona and Gary Habermas. Licona I am related to by marriage and Habermas is a friend of ours as well having introduced me to Mike’s daughter and then having married us. I ask the reader to know I am striving to go by content.
Nabeel’s book is just a fascinating book to read as it is full of good information, but it is also written in an exciting story fashion. Nabeel draws you into his family life and how he grew up and he explains Muslim terminology along the way. Nabeel grew up in a family that had great respect for religion and at the same time, they were a family that many of us would not mind having as neighbors. They were grieved by the actions of 9/11 and often were just trying to raise up their children in the Islamic faith out of their great devotion to it, including Nabeel’s Dad going with him to a church play when a friend invited him and joining him for a dialogue with Licona and Habermas. The family was one with great love for Nabeel.
Nabeel then goes on a trip and meets a friend there who his mother can tell is a good young man Nabeel should spend time with. That friend turns out to be David Wood and that is where the story really kicks off. When the two friends got to their hotel room, Nabeel saw David reading the Bible. Nabeel was quite stunned seeing as he’d never seen someone read the Bible as it were, for fun. (How many of our lives could be different if some people saw us reading the Bible?) This led to Nabeel going to his evangelism to try to convince David that the Bible had been changed. The problem for Nabeel was that this time, it didn’t work. David had his answers ready asking Nabeel where he heard that claim before and if he could give examples.
Still despite their religious disagreements, the two managed to maintain a strong friendship. Nabeel saw this as absolutely essential for his conversion. It was the kindness that David showed him in powerfully, yet gently, answering his questions and asking good ones of his own that got him thinking. David eventually invited Nabeel to join him to meet Mike Licona and Gary Habermas for a dream team meeting to discuss the historical Jesus. Nabeel brought his dad for the first one he went to and his dad presented the swoon theory. Nabeel saw his Dad as one of the most powerful debaters he knew.
And his star fell that night.
This started Nabeel looking at the data for Christianity and he had to admit it was convincing. The evidence for the resurrection is especially powerful, but Nabeel is not convinced as he tells David. Islam has much better evidence. David’s up for the challenge and says there’s another meeting of minds at Mike’s house before too long and it’s not just Christians, but seekers of all paths that are there. Why not come? In fact, Nabeel can come and give a case for Islam. Nabeel is thrilled with this and goes to give his presentation only to find out that his case doesn’t really stand up with Mike asking Nabeel how he knows the stories about Muhammad are accurate.
So Nabeel goes back to his studies again and this time decides to study Muhammad. He does not like what he sees and this from Muslim sources! When he looks at modern sources, they ignore these problematic passages and looking online doesn’t provide him much comfort either. Maybe the Koran can stand up better. Turns out for Nabeel, it didn’t. This left him in a tailspin wondering what exactly he should do.
That’s when he prays for God to show him what to do and as commonly happens in the Muslim world, Nabeel gets dreams. These dreams are incredibly convincing and end up with Nabeel finally converting.
You might think I’ve told you everything. I really haven’t. The content of the book and watching how the dialogues take place are everything. This is a book that is one that you do not want to put down. The chapters are brief enough that you could read one in a small sitting and then save another one for later. You will also not get bogged down by a lot of complex terminology. There is also a lot of good humor thrown in. I read some of the book in a very public place and as it turns out, started laughing out loud at a number of parts.
Most importantly, Nabeel ends with a real look at grace and what it means for evangelism and this is something I know he lives out. He also shows the pain that this had on his family to which we should all seek to pray for Nabeel’s family that they might come to see that God has revealed Himself in Jesus. Knowing Nabeel personally, I know that he prays for those who are outside the fold, including people in ISIS, and there can be no doubt that his family is on that list. Reading the book in the end will give you a greater wonder and appreciation of the grace of God, which I’m sure would please Nabeel.
In the end, there are also several smaller chapters written by people like Mike, David, Gary, and others. These give the reader a little bit more information and insight into Nabeel.
I cannot recommend this book enough. It is an excellent, enjoyable, and informative read. Why not pick it up from our Estore today?