One needn’t be a newshound to experience a daily bombardment of negative news from the Middle East. Suicide bombings, riots, armed rebellion; these are only some of the aspects that contribute to the seemingly interminable conflicts between Muslims and Jews. There is however a growing, untold story of hope to be found in the midst of the pain and conflict. A story that revolves around the Prince of Peace, and the work that He is accomplishing in the hearts of the adherents of two warring religions.
As the Middle East director for e3 Partners (a global church planting ministry, you may have seen their EvangeCubes), this unfolding story is one that author Tom Doyle is quite familiar with. Yet despite growing numbers of Muslims and Jews coming to faith in Jesus and putting aside their hatred and fear, Doyle's seen the mainstream media remain completely quiet on the topic. Many in the western church are largely unaware of the growth of a thriving, vibrant, and often persecuted church in the Middle East.
In Breakthrough: The Return of Hope to the Middle East Doyle brings the amazing stories of the immense increase of believers in the region by focusing in on the personal testimonies of many who are now serving in ministry. The book's main thrust highlights Muslim-background-believers, interspersing their stories with the history and tenets of Islam and comparing its beliefs with Christianity.
A single chapter is devoted to exploring the change of heart experienced by Jews who are coming to recognize Jesus as their Messiah alongside a modern introduction to the faith and culture. An abbreviated history of the church in this region, and of historical interactions between Jews, Muslims, and Christians is also touched upon to ground readers contextually and dispel common misunderstandings.
While unapologetic in his stance for Jesus and the truth, Doyle’s genuine love for the Muslim people is evident throughout his work. He writes with genuine appreciation of Middle Eastern hospitality, loyalty, passion, and dedication. He emphasizes that the vast majority of Muslims are peace-loving people who only want to raise their families in safety. They are good people who are often very open to discussing the claims of Christ.
Written conversationally, Doyle’s work is both engrossing and emotionally moving. It’s far too easy to fall into a mindset that revolves around fear, confusion, fatalism, and reliance upon military actions and diplomacy to achieve peace. Doyle quickly shifts the focus to Jesus, the only one who can bring lasting peace. This shift in focus quickly takes the real war out of the physical realm and into the spiritual. A rallying call to arms, Doyle also provides prayer points for the growing Middle Eastern church.
God is certainly busy drawing His children to Him through visions, dreams, and the personal witness of faithful members of the body. It’s high time we jump into the fray with the most effective weapon available to us as believers – prayer. Breakthrough will show you where to sign up, and which positions to take – the rest is in His hands. God speed.