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Institute of Middle East Studies

Vilifying one religion and magnifying another drags us into a cosmic conflict that will take generations to dismantle. Let us, instead, heed the call to return to the Bible‚Äôs fundamental message. […] Read More

We must learn how to relate cross-culturally in ways that reflect the beauty and grace of Christ’s gospel because we encounter people from other cultures, nations and faith traditions every day. I shared three suggestions on how to do so in the first part: First, engage with real people face to face. Second, questions that […] Read More

Normal Christian folk are increasingly face to face with people of other faiths, especially Muslims but also with Hindus, Buddhists and others. This thought struck me as I was traveling recently through North America. I watched Somali women line up for childcare outside a center in Seattle. Syrians were picnicking in a park in Langley, […] Read More

My friend Peter believes that the Quranic portrayal of Jesus stands in complete contradiction with the New Testament witness. He was once called Ahmad, but when he converted to Christianity after consistently watching polemical programs about Islam on satellite television, he became convinced that in order to follow Jesus, he had entirely to deny his […] Read More

Too often people divide the entire population of the world (7.4 billion, by the way) into two distinct categories – “There are two kinds of people in the world.” The dividing lines could fall at any number of angles depending on the speaker’s point-of-view. Our minds want to categorize – to put people and ideas […] Read More

The idolatry of shaping God in our own image has been the root of much evil in the world. It has perpetuated systems of oppression. And racism. And hate. It has led to genocide. And apartheid. And rape. Tell me that the church’s hands are clean from the blood of even the past century, and […] Read More

Like Jacob in Genesis 32, I have wrestled recently with God over the politics of my own identity. From a young age, I had attained to what many around me attested to be “profound maturity” in my Christian faith. I could quote Bible verses in the proper context with a sound interpretation for the right […] Read More

There is no shortage of fear in this world, and of course no shortage of things to be fearful of. Given recent comments by a well-known U.S. evangelical Christian leader, Franklin Graham, concerning his views on Islam and Muslims – and how he feels his country should respond to it/them – it seems there is […] Read More

The Institute of Middle East Studies (IMES) is intentionally involved in a range of interfaith activities. Within Lebanon, this usually involves bringing together evangelical Christians with both Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims in several contexts. For example, at our annual Middle East Consultation we invite respected Muslim clerics and scholars to share a different perspective to […] Read More

How can the effectiveness of a theological seminary be assessed? Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS) recently hosted a conference organized by Overseas Council, where this question was asked. It has often been assumed that seminaries train pastors to preach, teach and counsel church members and manage church affairs. Their curriculum reflects this and the “success” […] Read More