Jesus, Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., among others, all taught us to love our enemies. With this in mind, the authors, Ted Dekker and Carl Medearis, decided to see if it's possible to love one's enemies. Tea with Hezbollah, Sitting at the Enemies' Table, Our Journey Through the Middle East is the result of their exploration. The authors met with leaders of the Muslim world . . . often time the extremist Muslim world . . . to find out what they think about the "love your enemies" teaching. The authors wanted to know how they felt about it, did they think it possible, how is the non-Muslim world not loving them, etc. Tea with Hezbollah is an ambitious work to understand "our enemies" in order to love them, and perhaps, for them to get to know and love us as well.
This is not an "us versus them" book as evidenced by one of my favorite lines in the introduction:
We [the authors] are both Christian. We both cringe at being called Christian, because in both of our worlds, Christians are the bad guys who either slaughter civilians or destory civilization in the name of God.
The authors frequently inserted transcripts of their actual interviews with various Muslim leaders which was facsinating and lead to their credibility because they didn't always put words in the mouths of their subjects.
I would definitely recommend Tea with Hezbollah. You can purchase it here:
Giveaway: I have one copy of Tea with Hezbollah to give away. To enter the random drawing, please send your name and mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org. The winner will be drawn Friday, January 22, 2010. Good luck.
Below is the summary from the publisher:
Is it really possible to love one’s enemies?
That’s the question that sparked a fascinating and, at times, terrifying journey into the heart of the Middle East during the summer of 2008. It was a trip that began in Egypt, passed beneath the steel and glass high rises of Saudi Arabia, then wound through the bullet- pocked alleyways of Beirut and dusty streets of Damascus, before ending at the cradle of the world’s three major religions: Jerusalem.
Tea with Hezbollah combines nail-biting narrative with the texture of rich historical background, as readers join novelist Ted Dekker and his co-author and Middle East expert, Carl Medearis, on a hair-raising journey. They are with them in every rocky cab ride, late-night border crossing, and back-room conversation as they sit down one-on-one with some of the most notorious leaders of the Arab world. These candid discussions with leaders of Hezbollah and Hamas, with muftis, sheikhs, and ayatollahs, with Osama bin Laden’s brothers, reveal these men to be real people with emotions, fears, and hopes of their own. Along the way, Dekker and Medearis discover surprising answers and even more surprising questions that they could not have anticipated—questions that lead straight to the heart of Middle Eastern conflict.
Through powerful narrative Tea With Hezbollah will draw the West into a completely fresh understanding of those we call our enemies and the teaching that dares us to love them. A must read for all who see the looming threat rising in the Middle East.
Ted Dekker is the author of many nationally bestselling novels, including Bone Man’s Daughters, The Circle Trilogy, Thr3e, and House, which was coauthored by Frank Peretti. His unique style of storytelling has captured the attention of millions worldwide. Visit him at TedDekker.com.
Carl Medearis is the founder and president of International Initiatives, LLC, an organization that promotes cultural, educational, and commercial exchange between the East and the West. He is an advisor on Arab affairs to the members of the U.S. Congress and leaders in international business.
This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.