Monday, January 25, 2010

Tea With Hezbollah by Ted Dekker and Carl Medearis

 Have you ever read something just knowing all the while that it will profoundly change your thinking for years to come? Twice, twice in the last six months I have done so. The first was Scared. (And in this time of fretting over the plight of the orphans of Haiti would be as good of a time as any for you to read it.) The second was Tea With Hezbollah. 

I love to read and learn about different cultures. I do appreciate looking at things from a different perspective. And sometimes when you look at different cultures from a different perspective, and your eyes are opened to things you've never even 

I'll admit, there were moments when I read things and they flat made me mad. This misconceptions others have about us. Dumping wheat into the ocean since oil prices are high? I'm sorry, I'm related to wheat farmers and I take personal opposition to that mistruth. Like everyone, we like to sell as high as we can sell (I say "we" as if I am part of the actual growing and selling, but dang, close enough). Who doesn't? Supply and demand. But I've never known them to let the wheat rot because the price was too low and never once dumped it into the ocean. (Keep it for seed, maybe.) I know how far Kansas is from ANY ocean and THAT is absurd. 

....I know we have some misconceptions also. I just hate when misconception heaps on top of misconception and causes such strife. 

But far beyond the whole Muslim/Arab leader misconception conversation and the search for truth (and dodging answers like pros, man) I was profoundly struck by the message of love. You know, it's hard to conceive of loving your enemy when it's ridiculously hard to love your neighbor. Shoot, it's hard to love your brother sometimes. 

It's as they said, "The situation is complex...It's almost as if humanity, being enraged by the outrageous teaching of love, killed the teacher (Jesus) and then went on to wage war against all who set foot on the land where he walked."

So. What a book. One I expected to be fiction. Struggled to want to read once I knew it was not. And finally couldn't put down. And walked away changed. For the better, I hope.

And now for the canned description because they do it so much better than I.


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
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.

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