Tea With Hezbollah, by Ted Dekker and Carl Medearis, was a book (non-fiction)that stretched me to the limits. The authors set out on a journey to find the “Good Samaritan” talked about by Jesus, in His famous parable. They traveled through the Middle East interviewing Muslim leaders from Hezbollah, Hamas and others, asking hard questions about Jesus’ teachings concerning loving our enemies.
I’ve traveled through Israel and I’ve had conversations with Christians, Jews and Arabs, both living in Israel and Palestine, so this book was fascinating to me. I’ve walked places where Jesus walked and sat on the hillside where Jesus gave the famous “Sermon on the Mount.” His teachings concerning loving our neighbors as ourselves and loving our enemies was just as revolutionary then as it is now. But it is just as hard. Imagine, in Jesus’ time, Samaritans were looked at by the Jews much the same way Muslims are looked at by Christians today. Are we, as believers in Christ, capable of loving our enemies? Tea with Hezbollah posed that same question to the Muslim leaders, and the answers were eye opening.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who can read with their eyes opened. What I mean is that you have to be willing to learn what people are thinking, whether or not you agree with them. Just because you hear them out doesn’t mean you are condoning what they do.
In the honor of full disclosure, I was given a copy of this book by the Publisher, WaterBrook Multnomah, to read and review.
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.