Israeli – For The Sake of The Gospel

Israeli – For The Sake of The Gospel

“Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.” This is what a U.S. Republican Senator told me and a group that was visiting with him in his office last month. He is a conservative Christian who loves Israel. It was in response to my question about how we should be thinking of Israel in light of the Palestinian issue. He said, “Of course Israel is our friend. They are America’s friend. They are my friends. But good friends don’t let friends drive drunk and Israel is a drunk driver.” Wow!

Reason #5 for Writing Tea with Hezbollah

There are probably more than 5 reasons why I wanted to go on this trip with Ted and Chris, and write the book with Ted, but these are 5 pretty good ones. Another, that I won’t expound on, is simply that I find trying our best to love an enemy (a real actual enemy) is a great way to get to know Jesus better.

Reason #4 (For Writing Tea)

I wanted it to be a book that would teach Western readers about the Arab world and the Middle East. We’re a slave to our own press (like they are). So we only see the bad side of everything as the news only reports what’s bad. You probably never saw a CNN report on Muhammad the Baker in Bethlehem who makes bread day and night and gives it to the poor children in a nearby refugee camp – right? So we wanted to give you some good news.

Reason #3 (For Writing Tea)

I wanted to find a way to personify the teaching of Jesus to “love your enemy.” This, like so many of his teachings, can seem abstract. In fact, we had a long discussion with the books’ publisher as they wanted to put the word “enemy” in the subtitle – like that, in quotations. I fought for it to NOT be in quotes. I don’t want us to think of loving our “enemies” as if Jesus meant they were theoretical. I think we must assume that he meant that we should love our actual (real) enemies.

Reason #2 – Pilgrimage

The great tradition of taking a pilgrimage to learn and love a new people, has all but been lost in the Western world. All cultures and all religions have had this as an integral part of their lives. Ted and I were pilgrims. We were learners. We actually listened far more than we spoke. I was seeing the Middle East as if for the first time, through his eyes and ears.

5 Personal Reasons I Wrote Tea with Hezbollah

I thought it might be fun to let you in on the personal motivations behind writing this wild and crazy book – Tea with Hezbollah: Sitting at the Enemies’ Table.

So….I’ll give you one reason each of the next 5 days. Don’t know if they’re “good” reasons or not, but they’re mine (trying to get Ted to do the same).

Allah is God. Round 2.

We got so much response from the last blog called “Is Allah God”, that I thought it was worth a second go-round. So here it is….

I was talking with a fairly well known Christian leader this week about this topic. His point was that there is NO WAY that the god of the Qur’an and the God of the Bible are the same. Muslims do not pray to or worship the same god.

Is Allah God?

Is Allah God?

The answer: Yes! I mean, No. Well, okay, possibly.

The problem with answering difficult questions is that the answers don’t fit on a bumper sticker. So, we have to fully engage our minds and hearts in answering a question like this.

It’s like so many other questions I get – like: Do you think if the Palestinians had their own sovereign state that there would be peace in Israel? Or…Does the Qur’an encourage violence?