Oh that's easy . . .
Dr. Mateen Elass was raised in Saudi Arabia. He studied Christian theology and after several years of pastoral work he returned to school earning a Ph.D. in New Testament Studies from Durham University in England, studying under the world-renowned NT scholar James D. G. Dunn.
He sounds like someone who might have some insight and he has indeed got some excellent ideas. I excerpt a portion of his blog post below. Do read the whole thing HERE.
Can Islam be defeated?
... Islam is the perfect religion of the flesh, even if it does promote the death of its followers. Death is only the gateway to infinite enjoyment of carnal pleasures.
Can such a religion be defeated? The answer, of course, is yes. But can Islam be defeated by Western civilization as it now stands? I’m afraid the answer to that is no. The post-Christian West has lost the compelling reason for its existence. We still enjoy many of the fruits of the biblical worldview that inspired the fundamentals of Western thought: the notion that all human beings are created in the image of God and therefore of equal value and dignity, and imbued with certain inalienable rights, things we today call “human rights.”
Yet as Western civilization has become increasingly secular in the last two hundred years, we have consciously undermined the metaphysical framework on which our freedoms and successes were built, and assumed that the structure would remain standing. We want to enjoy the good values and practices we have, but can no longer find the deep justifications for why they must exist.
We are like the inhabitants of a great tree that is dying, still enjoying the dwindling fruit that remain on its branches, wondering why the tree is so sickly as all the while we are chopping away at the base of the trunk in the desire to gather wood for our huts in the branches. We have mindlessly cut ourselves off from the life-giving roots of our majestic tree, but continue to pick the diminishing fruit and hope vainly that the tree will somehow regain her strength.
So, can Western civilization defeat Islam? Hardly. It is having a hard enough time standing on its own two feet to resist a secular worldview intent on knocking it over. Certainly, the Western world has enough military power and political resources to restrain the world of Muslim nations and radical jihadi groups, but mere force cannot destroy Islam as an ideology or worldview. Secular humanism is a lightweight against the juggernaut of Islam, which is not just a set of religious beliefs but an all-encompassing worldview, informing the whole of life for its adherents.
What is needed to defeat Islam is exactly what the West has jettisoned — an embrace of the worldview of Christianity.
To defeat a strong worldview necessitates an even stronger one.
What is stronger than a god of hate if not a God of love?
What is better than a god who uses and commands brutal force than a God who exhibits and commands self-sacrifice?
What is stronger, a god who harnesses the power of temptation to advance his cause, or a God who defeats the power of sin so as to rescue human beings for a higher calling?
What is stronger, a god who promises to reward those who kill and are killed in his name, or a God who conquers death by His own death, in order to offer eternal life as a gift to those who come in gratitude?
What is a greater worldview: one that commands love for Muslims and hatred for infidels, or one that commands love for all neighbors, including enemies?
Only the Church has the message that sounds the death knell of Islam — but it won’t happen primarily by a frontal attack on its tenets and practices. It will come about by the conversions of massive numbers of Muslims who discover that the message of the gospel shines with a light and love and truth which Islam has never been able to match, for all its efforts.
Already, over the last forty years Muslims have been leaving Islam in droves. Many turn first to atheism, thinking that if the “final religion given to man” has proven untenable, then no religion can be true. But thousands upon thousands are being exposed to the gospel for the first time in their lives, and discovering to their irrepressible joy that the Arabian prophet cannot hold a candle to the Son of God.
Can Islam be defeated? Yes, and it will be, but only when the Church wakes up once again to her true Love, and lives out her mission with a passion to love and reach the lost, including 1.6 billion Muslims! If the last forty years are indicative of what God holds for the future, the tide is already turning.
It is not only among Muslims that this stronger idea is taking hold.
I was delighted to watch this video of an Irish atheist (with nearly 400,000 You Tube subscribers) who was raised a Roman Catholic but very early in life jettisoned his faith for atheism. It was fascinating to see that the route that brought him back to Christ was the realisation that our civilisation needs a sound basis for its existence. The value of each individual, mercy, justice, forgiveness - all those things necessary for a worthwhile life and a healthy culture are to be found, he discovered, in exactly the place Dr Elass cites: the amazing life & teachings of Jesus.
Below is a very encouraging video from David Wood in which he just scratches the surface on the influence and the ability of what C.S. Lewis referred to as "mere Christianity" (that link is to a very useful little video too) to change the lives of Muslims.
As always - the way to defeat a bad idea is with a better idea.
I know, I know - I am of course, biased... but, as the prominent atheist thinker Sam Harris noted, Islam is the "mother lode of bad ideas".
I simply haven't encountered any stronger idea to defeat it.
Ex-Muslims are everywhere, and the population is rapidly growing. To illustrate this fact, I go through the comments section of one recent video and show how many ex-Muslims are sharing their decision to leave Islam. If we're hearing from this many former Muslims in the comments section of a single video, how many are out there?