Category Archive for: ‘Carl’s Thoughts’

  • From the Eyes of Hope

    Our daughter Anna and her friend Joe made this 21 minute documentary about hope in the Holy Land. It won the National Youth Film Festival “Best Documentary” award. It’s worth a watch.

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  • Muslims who Follow Jesus!

    I just returned from Baghdad where I chaired some of the meetings for the Arab League on the Palestinian-Israeli issue. I met several Europeans from countries like Spain and France, who were avowed Atheists from these Catholic countries. You might call them Catholic Atheists. I mean, they weren’t Catholic in any meaningful way, but that was their heritage.

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  • The Dangerous Heresy of Zionism

    Seven Biblical Answers to Popular Zionist Assumptions
    Posted on August 22, 2011 by Stephen Sizer
    Seven Biblical Answers to Popular Zionist Assumptions

    1. God promises to bless those who bless Israel and curses those who curse Israel

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  • From Being Pro-Israel, to Pro-People!

    I grew up like most mid-western American Evangelical Christians. Conservative politically and biblically. I believed in two bumper stickers – “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.” And… “God. Guns. Guts. Lets fight to keep all three.”

    How’s that for Conservative? Nebraska and Colorado Springs. Focus on the Family and the Navigators. My dad was a pastor and I was on the fast track to being a Conservative Christian Missionary poster-boy. And in that, I knew a few things to be true about Israel and its surrounding neighbors.

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  • Repent you Sinners!

    ….Kingdom of God is near. Words from Jesus.

    What first comes to mind when you hear the word “repent?” It probably depends on your background doesn’t it? You might hear it with a heavy southern drawl being angrily yelled. Or…you might hear a street preacher with a bullhorn. Or maybe you don’t have any of that baggage and you haven’t heard the word much at all. It is a bit out of vogue after all…

    But Jesus said it quite a bit. Scholars way smarter than I (which is almost everyone) say that it is probably better translated as:

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  • Questions about Islam #1

    Mustafa Akyol discusses Questions we all have about Islam. Very helpful.

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  • 5 Reasons not to give up on the Middle East

    Counting backwards:

    #5: The Arab Spring is real. Democracy, freedom, human rights, all take time. Look at America. The modern USA began (arguably) in 1776 with Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. Remember that it took us almost 100 years to allow black men to vote and another 50 years before women could vote. And legalized segregation was still common during my lifetime. So we need to be patient with this budding democratic movement called “the Arab spring.”

    It’s one thing for a group like the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt to sit on the sidelines and critique the existing government of tyrants like (former) President Mubarak. It’s another for them to effectively run a complicated country like Egypt. Two more rounds of elections and a more real and balanced democracy is likely. Patience!

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  • Jesus?

    The longer I live, and the more I think – I mean, really think…it seems like “religion” is a scam.

    Yes, Yes, I know. It all depends on how I define religion. If we agree that we’d let the majority in the world define it – then it’d be something like: “A shared system of beliefs and doctrines by humans about the afterlife and a deity.”

    If we let the Bible define it, then we see it used positively just once – and it’s caring for orphans and widows. I’d be happy to be in that one, but I haven’t seen much of it yet.

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  • Do you Know Any Muslims?

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  • My Most Embarrassing Moment

    Recently one of our kids told me that if I ever wrote an autobiography I should call it “Fertilizing the Middle East: WMD’s and International Incidents of Diarrhea,” or something like that. I must have more stories of loose bowels in inappropriate places and with the greatest possible amount of embarrassment than anyone in the world. Here’s the funniest of all time!

    I went to Iraq in May of 2001. Three months before 9/11. Saddam Hussein hosted a Muslim-Christian dialog conference in Baghdad and I was invited to attend. There were about 50 Westerners total (mostly Christians) and the other 4950 were Iraqis and other Arabs (mostly Muslim, but some from Christian backgrounds).

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