on August 24, 2012
Tom Doyle's collection of stories of divine encounters and visitations among Muslims stands as a potent testimony to the power and love of God, introducing not only supernatural dreams and visions in the Muslim world, but also the supernatural love of God for all of His creation. The book contains careful reporting of documented cases of dreams and visions of Jesus in almost every nation of the Middle East. While it's obvious that Doyle has been a responsible and thorough reporter, the writing is active and follows a nonfiction novel format, recreating scenes, emotions, and action through numerous interviews and meticulous research. Using the stories of dreams and visions as a centerpiece, Doyle carefully constructs the context for each story to take place, illustrating the history of numerous nations, describing Islam and its worldview, and describing how house churches and Christianity functions in these parts of the world, making the book as essentially informative as it is inspiring and exciting.
Doyle comes from a significantly strong conservative perspective and often highlights the ugliest aspects of Islam. As a field worker and an experienced researcher, he is well entitled to this perspective and portrayal. What he presents is fact; my only apprehension is that the sometimes sensational tone of his prose when partnered with these facts may inspire more fear than he intends. In some odd way, I feel like this book should have been better. Some of these stories have been published before in Voice of the Martyrs newsletters etc. They are highly impacting and poignant, and the author's energetic portrayal of the events seeks to make the most of each story. There are times when the prose seems overactive and too much like fiction writing. As a reader I feel set up for the emotional response and this damages the authenticity of emotion that often simple reporting will accomplish because we know it's real. This is only a slight concern in the midst of an excellent presentation of God's love at work. I laud Doyle even more as a non-charismatic graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary who is so involved and honest about God's supernatural work. His initial skepticism gives weight to his voice, and his wisdom in how to practically judge and apply dreams and visions in evangelism and missions work is welcome. As a worker among Muslims, I appreciated Doyle's exhortations to the local church to reach out to the Muslim community. Dreams and Visions is an important work for our nation and a tremendously encouraging work as well; it is well edited, well written, engaging, and full of the Father's heart.
My thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing this complimentary review copy. I have provided an honest review.
on September 8, 2012
I have to say that this was one of those books that was almost impossible to put down. As I'd finish one chapter, I'd just have to read another, then another before taking a break. It is an exhilarating read, especially as a Christian pastor, seeing what God is doing to reach the Islamic people in these last days.
Tom Doyle is a missionary who has extensive experience in the Middle East, but he explains that when he first heard of the supernatural move of God taking place in the Middle East, he had difficulty believing the stories. But the stories kept coming... and coming. One former Islamic person after another told stories of how Jesus himself came to them in dreams or visions which opened the door for them to become a follower of Christ. A statement made in the book that sticks in my mind is this: "God showed me that my theology does not determine his actions." Powerful thought right there.
In this book the authors have compiled several stories as told by former Muslims who were introduced to Jesus through a dream or a vision. These are real stories, not exaggerations or fantasy.
One of the things I loved about the book is that these are all verified accounts. As Doyle writes in the book, "If we couldn't verify the experience, we left it out--no Christian fairy tales here." These are powerful stories that will not only lift your faith, they will amaze you as you come to see the breadth and length of God's loving effort to reach the Muslim people in countries where spreading the Gospel is strictly forbidden and punishable by death. Yet in this setting, Doyle writes that "More Muslims are coming to faith in Jesus today than ever before." He indicates that there have been more Muslims come to know Jesus and Lord and Savior in the last 10 years than there have been in the previous 14 centuries combined.
God is moving in dreams and visions to accomplish what no man could ever do on his own. I give this book a "must read" recommendation if you are interested at all in what God is doing in these last days.
on December 3, 2012
Dreams and Visions: Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World
Tom Doyle, Thomas Nelson,Nashville, TN, 2012, 272 pages, $15.99
As a researcher working with a Muslim language group in Asia, I was very interested in the subject of this book since I have personally met Muslims who have become more interested in Jesus as a result of dreams. Let me tell you of a dream one of my friends had. In my friend's dream, he was walking down a dark tunnel. Then there was a light in the tunnel shinning on Noah. Noah didn't say anything but he pointed for my friend to go further up the tunnel. My friend walked further. Then the light shined on Moses. Moses didn't say anything but he pointed for my friend to go further up the tunnel. My friend walked further. Then the light shined on David. David didn't say anything but he pointed for my friend to go further up the tunnel. My friend walked further. Then the light shined on Mohammad. Mohammad didn't say anything but he pointed for my friend to go further up the tunnel. My friend went further and then saw Jesus at the end. It was like all the previous prophets including Mohammad were pointing my friend toward Jesus. This made my friend curious to know more about Jesus.
I made an observation about dreams back then and Tom Doyle's book seems to support this observation. God doesn't seem to lead any Muslim to a saving knowledge of Him through dreams alone. God always leads the Muslim to a believer in Christ who will then help the Muslim come to the point of following Jesus as Lord and Savior. This was true in Tom Doyle's first chapter, Friday at the Khan. In this chapter we see that God spoke to Noor, a Muslim woman, through a dream but God also showed her that she needed to meet "Kamal" who would explain the way of God more clearly.
I was very encouraged by Doyle's second chapter, the Imam and the gun, where he reveals that there are several imams (Muslim religious leaders) who have become followers of Christ in a certain Middle Eastern country.
However, one dream was a bit hard to accept. In chapter four, Nasreen, a Saudi Arabian girl, got married at age 16. We can assume that her mother tongue was Arabic since that is the national language of Saudi Arabia. She had seven children to take care of as a young teenager mother. It is not likely that she knew English or had any time to learn English. But Tom Doyle says (page 49) that she "drank in sermons posted by American preachers". Come on Tom! In order to understand these sermons, her English had to be at a very high level. How many Saudi Arabian teenage moms have a high fluency in English? Where did she learn English? Why would she prefer sermons in English preached by Americans rather than Arabic sermons when Arabic is her mother tongue?
Also on page 127, Doyle talks about a certain survey. But he never provides any reference or publication information about that survey.
Doyle also said on page 244 that about 10% of all Muslims are Jihadi terrorists. I would say that this percentage is probably less than .0001%. I don't know how Doyle arrived at 10%. Again no reference was given.
Nevertheless, whether all these dreams are true, or just most if them, I was very encouraged.
The book ends with an idea we can use to share the Good News with Muslims. Consider an advertizement like this: "Have you seen a man in a white robe in a dream? If so, call this number...."
on February 3, 2015
First, a disclaimer. I am a missionary to Muslims in the Middle East. I used to hate Arabs and Muslims, but God did some major heart surgery, and now some of my best friends are Syrians, Palestinians, etc.--i.e. Arab Muslims. Now these same people are being located to the U.S. What will the local church do? Will they protest the incursion, or will they reach out in love?
A number of my friends have had dreams of Jesus Christ (of the Bible) and are now His disciples. Tom is right. How can you tell if they are real? By their fruit and their willingness to die for their new-found faith.
Read this book. It will bless you, and maybe even help you to be a blessing back to the people whom Jesus said that he came to seek and to save the lost.
on August 28, 2012
"Muslim hearts are opening through powerful dreams of Jesus. Our Savior loves them and is reaching out to them with His grace and forgiveness. The real revolution in the Middle East is the Jesus Revolution that is occurring today. Tom Doyle has thrilling accounts of Muslims coming to faith in Christ in his new book Dreams and Visions." - "R", a former Muslim Imam in the Middle East (Now a follower of Jesus)
Pastor Tom Doyle has spent eleven years in the Middle East helping Muslims come to faith. In this book he recounts many dreams and visions people have encountered in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and many other countries in the Middle East. These stories aren't just Christian fairy tales. All of the stories have been confirmed and for these people it's not a "cool" thing to do to talk about this stuff. If these people are discovered they are probably going to die. They are throwing their life on the line by talking about their experiences with Jesus. They are turning their back on their past lives and turning to Jesus.
The second story in the book is about a Christian missionary being kidnapped at gun point and taken on a long and crazy journey through town. At every turn the missionary believes he is going to die. He is petrified, but his last turn reveals that the kidnapper was taking him to an underground Christian meeting. These stories are as real as they get. I can't even begin to image being shot for reading Philemon. Philemon is one page and I would get killed for just holding it! It is crazy and you have these people experiencing Jesus and wanted to give up everything to follow Him.
The book doesn't just tell stories of Muslims coming to faith but shares the Gospel with that. Christ gives these people peace that they have never experienced before. He shows them a joy they have never experienced in Islam. He is uncovering a level of intimacy that is, literally, illegal.
As I read the book I noticed how easy it was to read. Doyle has to be able to communicate to a lot of different people who may speak different languages. He has to be extremely cautious of what he says to everyone or it may mean death. With such purpose in his speech he keeps that with his writing. Every page is a beautiful testament to the sovereignty of God. Doyle writes in a way that makes us interested in Christ's love even if we think we already know it. The love in this book is so amazing and encouraging. It shows me hope for America.
As a college student the Gospel doesn't always seem to work. The transformative power doesn't always seem to be in action when people come to Christ. It really hurts one's faith seeing `Christians' be unchanged. But this piece reinvigorates me. I keep going back to Gospel transformation stories, and these stories open up a window to a land I am unfamiliar with. These transformations are truly a testament to God in their lives.
I want nothing more than to see the true Gospel to change lives on college campuses across the country.
If you love the Gospel you will love this book. Jesus is attacking Islam better than we ever could. He is recruiting missionaries at a higher rate than we ever have. I can't wait for this revival to come into full bloom in the Middle East and America.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com [...] 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."
Before reading this book several people had already mentioned to me this phenomenon of Muslims having dreams about Christ. I was intrigued by the stories, but skeptical. I have always believed that God no longer communicated with mankind in visions and dreams such as this. The accounts are too numerous to easily dismiss so when I saw this book I knew I had to check it out. I was not disappointed. The author lays out personal story after personal story of Muslims all over the Middle East and Africa, both men and women, who believe they have had a personal encounter with Jesus. Their visions or dreams change their lives, not revealing some strange new teaching, but causing the individual to seek out those of Christ's church wherever they can and find out the truth about Jesus. This is often at great risk to themselves and their families. People in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Jordan, Palestine, Syria, and elsewhere are increasingly responding to the gospel of Christ because they become aware of His love for them, contrasted with the oppression and fear their societies encourage. Each personal account is well told and frequently has the tension of a thriller, wondering if the individual will be found out by the local religious police. Despite the threats these people continue to pursue Jesus. Muslims during the Hajj, imams, professors at prestigious Islamic universities, members of religious police forces, jailers in the world's worst prisons, and Muslim women are coming to Christ. The author's discussion on why dreams are so important to Muslims and thus a very powerful way of reaching them is very interesting. He also highlights how central dreams and visions are to Christianity itself. The people in this book are an inspiration to those of us who have been Christians for years and often don't face the persecution that they face. The author does a very good job of addressing skeptics, noting that he was one himself. The reasons he gives for laying aside his skepticism and believing these dreams to be real actions of God are very good, address appropriate concerns, and are a highlight of the book. Whether you believe the authenticity of the dreams and visions or not, the fact remains that Christ is on the move in the Islamic world. I agree with the author that we stand on the leading edge of a spiritual awakening among Muslims on a scale never seen before. The harvest is great but the workers are few. Dreams and Visions serves as a wakeup call to Christians that over a billion Muslims have need of the truth. Let us never forget that the love of Christ and the power of His teachings have never lost their potency. The message that Christ loves them individually and has brought remission of sins is immensely powerful to Muslims and they need to be reached with the gospel, not dismissed as terrorists out of hand. This theme permeates the book which has moved me to increase my own prayers for the lost as well as Christians' efforts to reach them and to consider what I might be able to contribute to His Spirit's efforts. I would highly recommend this book to both Christians and Muslims. Dreams and Visions dreams of a world at peace because of the Prince of Peace.
on November 30, 2014
Incredible book! What I appreciate most is that the focus of this book is not on sensationalizing the supernatural, but rather, glorifying God and giving the reader a glimpse into the supernatural orchestration and coordination of the Lord in revealing His Son to a people starving for Truth, Love, and Hope. It is AMAZING to read how brothers and sisters are coming to the Lord from this part of the world!
If you have any interest whatsoever in the middle east, you'll want to read this book. It gives a hopeful and exciting glimpse behind the scenes of all the discouraging and frightening news that comes out of this region of the world. The enemy is definitely wreaking his havoc on the souls of these poor people, but what you don't hear about on the news you will read in this compilation of incredible stories of supernatural revelation, of lives transformed by the manifestation of God's unchained love and the power of His will to reach the lost, no matter what the enemy may try to do against Him. Where the darkness is darkest, the light shines the brightest! An amazing read. I could not put it down. I cannot speak highly enough of it. What's best about this is that the reader invites you, quite literally, to be swept up and apart of the amazing story unfolding in these testimonies and this region. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone wanting to understand and be apart of the amazing work taking place in among these precious people.
on January 27, 2015
If you need a shot of encouragement of what God is doing today in some of the darkest and volatile places in the world, Dreams and Visions - Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World? by Tom Doyle and Greg Webster is the book to read.
The visions are often very similar. A figure in white robes with arresting eyes and nearly always an experience of intense love. Many times Jesus turns up night after night, often entering into conversation and a call to ‘follow me’. The dreamers are inexplicably drawn to him, and afterwards embark on a journey to discover if Jesus was more than just a prophet they’ve been taught about. The dreams are moving, deeply impacting.
But at the end of the day, the spiritual must meet the natural, and after the initial dreams, Jesus directs them to a person. In the dream they’re shown a stranger who will help them or a building where a Christian lives. Or they’ll serendipitously meet a Christian soon after or hear a radio show. The searching journey that began with a dream continues until they questions are answered come to a place of decision.
What often follows is a life that is radically transformed - sometimes often leading to salvation in their family or even the birth of a new house church that has to meet in secret. It’s one of the most exciting books I’ve read. I often talk about how God speaks to those who don’t know him in dreams and visions, but here is living testimony - account after account - of lives radically changed because they heard the voice of God.
In one story, a man named Ali is kidnapped in Cairo, the intellectual heart of Islam and one of the most dangerous places in the world to be Christian. Fearing his life, he is taken by gunpoint to an abandoned warehouse, where he is introduced to a group of ten imams (equivalent to ten Christian pastors). To his shock and relief, he soon learns each one of them has had dreams of Jesus while studying at the Al-Azhar University and he has been brought here to so they can learn more.
In fact it looks like Jesus is showing up everywhere in the Middle East - Egypt, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, the Gaza Strip - even in the middle of Mecca during the Haj, the famous pilgrimage, where over two million muslims gather each year. In a place where Christians - or any non-Muslims - are forbidden (entry is punishable by death), Jesus is getting through, speaking and touching lives.
We’re told that more Muslims have come to Christ in the last 10 years than in the last 14 centuries of Islam. Between ⅓ and ¼ of them are said to have had a dream or vision of Jesus.
At times the author seems surprised by all this, even a little unsure. He asks why God is using dreams and visions to reach out to people.
But we shouldn’t be surprised. This is the way he has always spoken (Numbers 12:6, Acts 2:17). When he reached out to an noncommittal Jacob, he spoke in a dream. When he wanted to warn a prideful Nebuchadnezzar, he spoke in a dream. When he wanted to call out to the terrorist Paul, he spoke in a vision. God is still reaching out to people today. He’s still speaking to those who will listen.
on February 14, 2016
Jesus came to me in a dream, too. So I definitely resonated with this book and cried a whole bunch while reading it. This book induced me to stop praying from my understanding but from God's, that people everywhere get a personal meeting with Jesus, the Jewish man (son or Son of the Living God) who eschewed "religion for the sake of religion" or "law without God's Spirit and grace to obey it inwardly." In order to be God's sons, we must, too, eschew religion for the sake of religion, throw out the bathwater (our wretched past as killers and sinners, no matter our "religion") and keep the baby (the soul God created in us before we chose to know good and evil). The baby nobody should throw out, either, is love, and we see that in action every day in some people (look up Geoff Tabin or Sanduk Ruit, or Mother Teresa, or the doctors and nurses who went to stave the tide of Ebola), but we also see religion without love in action everyday ("Christian" and "Muslim" terrorism, and judgment against all sorts of outcasts in today's society). Another thing I loved about this book and how it showed Muslims as real people needing the same things we all do, is page 247. A Jewish believer tells the writer to stop calling himself a "Christian" and instead use "disciple" or "follower of Christ" or even "believer." He said "Christian" comes with too much mean alienating baggage in the Middle East (and probably in the U.S., too). He said, "In Lebanon, that is a political party." The author drives home the point by the fact that the word "Christian" isn't even in the Bible that much until Paul and then only 10 or less times (depending on the translation), and the word "disciple" is around 260 times!! Disciple, he reminds us, has an "ongoing, present-tense meaning of learner and a follower." Another interesting fact the author tells us is that 80 percent of Muslims can't read, thus a vision or dream is a very impacting viable way of reaching them, but I find it UNCANNY (or IS it?) that a recent poll in Christianity Today (I think it was) said that 80 percent of self-labeled Christians don't read the Bible daily. Yep, now THAT is probably not a coincidence. I highly recommend this book! Now when I walk down the street, I will try to touch each person with the prayer that they, too, will have a dream or vision of Jesus. Because once you meet him you can't stop being, well, curious, and that's my favorite trait in any person. And you?
on January 14, 2014
This book tells amazing true stories of how God is using dreams and visions to reach Muslim people for Him around the world. If you are concerned that it's "Charismatic" you don't need to be. It's not based on sensationalism or emotional feeling. It just gives true accounts of real people and how God came to them in a vision or dream and used that to bring them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.