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Tea With Hezbollah by Ted DekKer & Carl Medearis

What does it mean to love your enemies? Who are our enemies? What does it mean to love your neighbor as yourself? Who are our neighbors? Could our enemies and neighbors be the same?

Two of the greatest commands in the Bible are “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”

In Luke 10 Jesus was asked by an expert in the law “Who is my neighbor?” And Jesus responded with the parable of the Good Samaritan. Samaritans were HATED by Jews – they would cross the Jordan River when traveling rather than go through a Samaritan town. That the Samaritan would be the “neighbor” in the parable was disgusting to the Jew – so much so that when Jesus asks “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” in Luke 10:36 the Jewish man cannot even utter the word Samaritan but responds “The one who had mercy on him.”

How do we live out these commandments? Do we? Do others? This was the question that sent Ted Dekker & Carl Medearis across the world and deep into “enemy” territory. Their goal was not to engage in political discussions but to find out if people really believe and live by the command to love your enemies. They also seek to show the one thing we all have in common: humanity.

I did not have any expectations of this book. I had not looked too deeply into the purpose of its writing but Dekker is my favorite fiction author and another of his non- fiction books The Slumber of Christianity is one of my top-ranked books of all time, so of course I was going to read it.

The book takes you on a fascinating adventure through the Middle East where Dekker & Medearis meet with the top Islamic thinkers, military, freedom fighters and activists in the world. They meet with a top university administrator, a freedom fighter, a peace activisit, Hezbollah and Hamas – each meeting is laid out in transcript form so that the reader can form their own conclusions.

The book is fascinating and well written. The narrative of their Middle East journey is complimented by easy to understand history of the region and a modern-day parable to drive the point home. The overarching theme of the book is our humanity – we are all humans with families, joys, sorrow and obstacles.

So, how do we love our enemies? We can start by trying to understand them as our neighbors.


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2 Responses to “Tea With Hezbollah by Ted DekKer & Carl Medearis”

  1. SYBIL says:

    Among all the commands, I think this is the hardest one for all of us as humans. We have a daily goal to work toward that end. We fail to “think” as we might if we had been born in some other place and raised in the culture of that people. Only with God’s help can this be done. I don’t know if I could EVER accomplish the goal.

  2. Mimi says:

    I will surely have to get this book and read it because I’m afraid that I am more like the Jew and the Samartian. I don’t love my enemies.