“The deity of Christ makes all the difference in our Christmas joy. He who came to the manger was God’s Son. To deny this is to deny essential Christianity. If the Savior of men is not identical with their Creator, there are no good tidings of great joy for the human race and no help in the cross for the sinner.”
Samuel Marinus Zwemer wrote this around 1940, after retiring from a long service as missionary to the Middle-East and Arab world, which continued indirectly while he taught at Princeton Theological Seminary. Known as “the apostle to Islam,” he focused on one certainty: Muslims need Christ as he is revealed in Scripture. A convenient, rational, domesticated Christ, such as the Jesus that was already promoted in Zwemer’s day, would not do.
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He admitted that evangelizing the Muslim world was “the most difficult of all missionary tasks.” But he also believed that Christians could face it “with God’s sovereignty as basis, God’s glory as goal, and God’s will as motive.”