More than Dreams

A Muslim tries to argue against all dreams that Muslims have about Jesus, but John Piper made a distinction between two types of dreams –

1.  A dream where the gospel is actually explained in the dream and a person believes without hearing the gospel (I don’t think that this kind of dream actually takes place- where the full  gospel message is presented in a dream without the person either having a preacher or reading at some content from a Bible, NT, or tract or having in orally explained to them) from a Christian (missionary, evangelist, or lay Christian) or reading it in the Scriptures.  (This kind Piper, and I and other Bible believing Christians reject this kind of a dream – we don’t think they exist. Testimonies of dreams that imply that kind of a thing – will  water down missionary urgency and zeal.  Because a desire for those kinds of dreams and visions will water down evangelism and missionary zeal to go to unreached peoples – Romans 10:13-15 – “How can they hear without a preacher?”; Acts 4:12; John 3:18 – all humans are “condemned already” in their sins, without Christ; John 14:6)


2.  A type of dream that is preparation for then later hearing the gospel from a person explaining it or reading it in the Scriptures.  (John Piper and I accept this kind of a dream/vision.) or a confirmation of what the Muslim (or other unbeliever) is reading in the Scriptures, as in the case of Nabeel Qureshi as David Wood shared with him and Nabeel was reading the Bible and wrestling with issues.  (in his book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus)

A Muslim wrote:  (Paul Bilal Williams cited this, and Yahya Snow comments) 

“Why John Piper Doubts Muslims Having Jesus Dreams

Many Muslims have claimed over the years that they saw Jesus in their dreams and got saved. But preacher and theologian John Piper says he is highly suspicious of such stories as they seek to contradict the biblical paradigm of how salvation comes.

At a Q&A session during a recent seminar, “Let the Nations Be Glad!” by the Desiring God ministry, Piper was asked what he thought of Jesus coming to Muslims in dreams. Is that real? Or more importantly, is that real conversion?

“Jesus coming to them in their head, preaching the Gospel to them that they have never heard of before, and believing and being saved… that I am suspicious of… big time,” said Piper, the pastor for preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minn.

Such claims, Piper said, reflects the way people pray. “I have heard people pray, ‘Oh God, give me dreams, oh God, give me dreams,’ because they have heard stories that somebody had a dream.”


Then I pointed out:  

You left this part out:

“However, Piper said he believed in “Cornelius type dreams,” as recorded in Acts 10:1–48. Cornelius, a centurion, had a dream where an angel of God told him to send for Peter who had very important information for him and his family.

Cornelius wasn’t saved without hearing the message from Peter, Piper underlined. He wasn’t saved until he heard the message and believed in it which happened after the dream.”

see also Acts chapter 11 –

Not every claim of a dream or vision is credible. The true dreams are ones that prepare a person or open them up to then hear the message of the gospel or get a Bible and then repent and believe in Christ.

Several times in Acts 10-11 it says, “a man is coming to you who will speak words to you by which you will be saved” (Acts 10:22; 10:33; 11:14) 

Very important difference. What Piper is rightly objecting to is that Jesus comes to people in a dream and explains the gospel and they get saved without reading the Bible or without someone personally speaking to them and getting to know them in loving outreach through hospitality and discussion and preaching and teaching.

This one is very credible because the man in the dream only confirms what the Muslim is studying in the Bible. What converted this man Khalil from Islam to Christianity was he compared the Bible to the Qur’an and the Bible won his heart by the power of the Holy Spirit.

(Khalil) (Arabic)

This one is credible also (Khosrow); as I know the person and met him years ago and he is real and came to faith in Christ by reading the Bible. The dreams were just at the beginning of his search and they were encouragment to read the Injeel (the true New Testament, the true Injeel, Evangel / Gospel)

Khosrow’s (Iranian) vision / dream came after he started reading the Injeel. According to his own testimony, Jesus changed him from a depressed person to a happy person. But the important thing is he learned the gospel from the NT and the other 2 pastors, the first was Assyrian and the second was Farsi speaking (former Muslims and their church.)
Yahya Snow (a convert to Islam) responded:
“Ken, you say that it’s credible yet your fellow Christian John Piper would doubt that story…”
Ken Temple:
“No, he would not; because they are like Cornelius’ dream/vision, which Piper affirmed. Didn’t you read my first entry up there? Paul Williams left that part out. And you have to watch the videos. They are like Acts 10-11. The dreams guide them to the Bible / or Injeel. The dreams themselves do not bring the gospel, but they point or encourage one to find a bible or a person.”
Ken Temple:
Acts 10:22 – to Peter – “Cornelius, a centurion . . . . was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and hear a message from you.”

Acts 10:33 – “. . . we are all present before God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”

Acts 11:14 – “and he (Peter) shall speak words to you by which you will be saved. . . ”

The dreams were preparations for hearing the message of the gospel by a real person and/or reading the Scriptures.

The article that Paul W. linked to showed that what John Piper was doubting was a dream of Jesus where Jesus preaches the gospel and people get saved without other Christian people telling them the message, without evangelists, missionaries or by reading the Bible / The Gospel – Injeel.

The two stories in the videos above, one in Arabic (with English sub-titles) and the second one in Farsi (with English sub-titles), – in each of them, they both read the Bible first and the Lord was working in their hearts because of the message. The dream / vision was an additional encouragment to keep on reading the Bible / Injeel. (not the way of how a person got saved in itself)

The first kind of dream/vision goes against the Scripture below; the second kind of dream/vision is consistent with the urgency of missions and evangelism and Acts 10-11.

for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?   How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”

Romans 10:13-15

About Ken Temple

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), through faith alone (Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:28; 4:1-16), in Christ alone (John 14:6). But a true faith does not stay alone, it should result in change, fruit, good works, and deeper levels of repentance and hatred of my own sins of selfishness and pride. I am not better than you! I still make mistakes and sin, but the Lord is working on me, conforming me to His character. (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18) When I do sin, I hate the sin as it is an affront to God, and seek His forgiveness in repentance. (Mark 1:15; 2 Corinthians 7:7-10; Colossians 3:5-16 ) Praise God for His love for sinners (Romans 5:8), shown by the voluntary coming of Christ and His freely laying down His life for us (John 10:18), becoming flesh/human (John 1:1-5; 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8), dying for sins of people from all nations, tribes, and cultures (Revelation 5:9), on the cross, in history, rising from the dead (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 28, Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians chapter 15). His resurrection from the dead proved that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal Son of God, the word of God from eternity past; and that He was all the gospels say He was and that He is truth and the life and the way to salvation. (John 14:6)
This entry was posted in Apologetics, Dreams and Visions as Preparation for the gospel, Evangelism, Gospel Truth, Islam, missions, Muslims. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to More than Dreams

  1. David Waltz says:

    Hi Ken,

    Good thread.

    Last night, I finished reading a book by Dr. Nabeel Qureshi, wherein he relates his own personal experiences with visions and dreams. He attributes those experiences to God, and he believes that God used them to assist his conversion from Islam to Christianity.

    Earlier today, I blogged about the book HERE.

    Grace and peace,


  2. Ken Temple says:

    Thanks David! Good to hear from you on this issue.

  3. Pingback: The Bible Was My Lifeline | Apologetics and Agape

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