Tea with Hezbollah
by Ted Dekker and Carl Medearis
from the publisher:
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 .
To be honest, I’m not sure why I signed up for this book. I don’t normally read Ted Dekker’s work. I don’t like to read his books. I’ve tried and they make me angry. His books are in the Christian Fiction section and I disagree with that heartily. But that is another topic.
Tea with Hezbollah is an interesting idea. Can we really “love our neighbors”? Can we “love our enemies”? Can we be the Good Samaritan? Those are the main questions that this book poses and tries to answer.
But I think that it goes about it all wrong. For most of us, the Middle East isn’t our neighbor. They are in a manner of speaking and if you want to play with semantics the way the author does, then I guess it would work; the same way that the author says that the meaning of being a Christian depends on who you ask. Well, that is true to a point but then the witness of your testimony and the life of Christ living in you should make the meaning of being a Christian pretty clear. For most people, loving the person living right next door to them is challenge enough; let alone being made to feel bad because they are Americans.
For most of this book I felt the need to apologize for being an American. It is pointed out often that America is the aggressor and that America is wrong. I take offense at that. No, I don’t think that America is always right. But, I do think that it is the best country in the whole world. When the attacks of 9/11 were referred to as an accident I just about freaked out. That was no accident. It was planned intentionally by people who wanted to cause harm because of the freedoms we have in the United States. Does that mean that every person from the Middle East is a terrorist? Of course not! But the truth is the truth and it was Muslim terrorists who did these atrocious things. I would never assume that every Arab is out to get me just because of the part of the world they are from.
This book makes assumptions and generalities and makes them out to be the way everyone thinks. I don’t think that way and I don’t know anyone who does.
Some things that I enjoyed about the book were the history of the Middle East countries. It is such a rich and varied history that I love to read more about it. To understand the history of a people is to understand them better. This book does a great job of presenting their history in an entertaining way. I also like the stories of the different people who were sprinkled throughout the chapters. It’s like seeing a little piece of their lives!
Another interesting subject was the fact that just about everyone in the Middle East considers America a Christian nation. The reason, of course, is that we were founded on Christian beliefs and the Bible; everyone else in the world knows it and we are trying to deny it. Very interesting, indeed.
I may try to read this book again in a few months and see if my opinion changes. I’m not holding my breath though.
I do have a copy to give away if anyone wants to read it. It is worth it if for nothing else than the history lesson. Maybe it was just this overly opinionated woman who had a hard time with this book and someone else will absolutely love it.
So if you would like to have a copy, leave a comment and if I get more than one comment I will have my 4 year old draw a name out of a hat! We will draw names on Saturday morning, Jan. 30th.
This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.