Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship, says radical Muslims would make better theologians than most Christians in America.
In his new book, The Faith, the prominent evangelical observes that radical Islamists have a better understanding of the Muslim faith than most Christians in America have of Christianity.
A study by Barna Group shows that 60 percent of Americans fail to name five of the Ten Commandments, cites Colson in his book.
His own interaction with those he deemed as mature Christians also confirmed that many believers are not sure what the biblical core beliefs are.
"One of the problems in the churches today is that we don't know what we believe and why we believe it and why it matters," said Colson in a statement for his book. "The result of that is the culture defines us. We are put in a stereotypical pot by the media and, of course, mischaracterized totally by the aggressive atheists who are publishing their books."
Ignorance of biblical knowledge can lead to a crippled worldview, according to Colson in his book, that prevents Christians from defending their faith against cultural threats such as postmodernism and Islamo-fascism.
"The Christian West is under assault by the twin challenges of secularism and radical Islam," he writes in The Faith. "Only through Christianity, I believe, can Western Europe and America meet these desperate challenges."
In his book, Colson calls on churches to meet these challenges by returning to what he terms "radical Christianity" or orthodox Christianity. Basic truths as handed down from teachings of the early Apostles are discussed in the book, which is co-authored by Harold Fickett.
While skeptics may perceive a return to orthodoxy to be anti-progressive, Colson asserts that "progress does not always mean discovering something new."
"Sometimes it means rediscovering wisdom that is ancient and eternal," he writes.
According to the author, the book serves to provide new theological grounding for Christians and appeal to non-believers who are interested in the basic beliefs of Christianity.
The book, which hit bookstores earlier this month, is also accompanied by a free online study guide which is available through Zondervan. Pastors and church leaders are encouraged to use the guide in conjunction with the book in their small groups and Sunday school classes.