Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Book Review: Tea With Hezbollah

I have a new favorite Ted Dekker book.

The 3.5 faithful readers will know that Ted is pretty much my favorite fiction writer. Okay, so he's pretty much the only fiction writer I have read in the past 10 years. His writing, while fiction, is so stimulating theologically that I suck it dry when I read it.

But this new book is not fiction. Far from it. It's all too real.

Ted, and his friend Carl Medearis, travelled a few years ago to the Middle East, on one specific quest: to discover if the teaching of Jesus--that we are to love our neighbor as ourself--is being talked about, taught, or even followed. And specifically when that neighbor is your enemy, what then?

Ted & Carl sit down with many people that leaders here in the US (and can I say, most people who call themselves Christians) would clearly define as enemies. Muslim teachers and leaders. Hezbollah. Hamas. Regular people like cabbies and tour guides. And in between the great writing of Ted, they post verbatim what these "enemies" have to say about life, about what makes them laugh, and what they think about Jesus' teaching to love your enemy. And at the end they even get to meet some of the remaining 700 or so Samaritans still living in Israel.

This book is, as my friend Thom Wolfe said on the back cover, irreverent. But it is full of truth. And it point to Truth in the man from Nazareth.

Muslims, Jews and Christians have several things in common. A couple of them are (1) they claim to worship the God of Abraham; and (2) they by and large ignore the actual teachings of Jesus.

This book gets the coveted 5 bellybutton rating. 00000. Read it. And take another look at what Jesus calls us to.