Friday, August 24, 2012

Review: Dreams and Visions by Tom Doyle

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.

947209: Dreams and Visions: Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World? Dreams and Visions: Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World?
By Tom Doyle with Greg Webster / Thomas Nelson

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