IMES Blog

August 31, 2016

Welcome to The IMES Blog!

Welcome to the Institute of Middle East Studies (IMES) Blog of the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS) in Beirut, Lebanon. The IMES Blog aims to provide theological reflections by ABTS voices about pressing matters of faith and witness in the Middle East and beyond. Please enjoy our archive of thoughtful […]
June 17, 2021

Will the Covid-19 Vaccine Give You the Mark of the Beast?

by Nabil Habibi At the time of writing of this blog post, over 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been given out. Even as mass vaccinations have been progressively proving their effectiveness, we continue to hear certain vaccine fears broadcast on different media outlets. While some fears can be […]
June 10, 2021

Love Your Neighbor, Be Political!: A Reflection From Lebanon About Faith in Politics

by Martin Accad and Caleb Hutcherson In an interview with Time magazine in 1963, Karl Barth recalled advising young theologians 40 years previous “to take your Bible and take your newspaper, and read both. But interpret newspapers from your Bible.” It seems he often used variations of this figure of […]
June 3, 2021

Palestine, Evangelicalism, and the Problem of Power

by Caleb Hutcherson As I write this, a ceasefire has been negotiated between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. Again. During those 11 days, more than 230 people in Palestine, including 66 children, have been killed. Along with at least 12 people in Israel, including 2 children. One report dropped […]
May 27, 2021

What’s in a Name?: A Case for Using ‘Isa in Arabic Translations of the Bible

By Martin Accad “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” (Romeo and Juliet, Act 2 Scene 2) As Juliet agonizes over her love for Romeo, forbidden to her merely because he bears the Montague name, the family which is […]
May 20, 2021

When You Want to Leave but Love to Stay: Reflections on Faith, People, and Place in a World of Migration

By Brent Hamoud I was sitting with my cousin in a tented settlement as he shared some major news. Syria’s war had turned his family into refugees, but after years of grueling displacement in Lebanon, a new possibility loomed on the horizon. His file had slowly moved through UNHCR processing […]
May 13, 2021

Are We Living Double Lives?: Sex, Money, Power, and the Gospel

by Wissam Nasrallah How can people who appear to be so spiritual and whom God seems to be using to draw people to Himself also be deeply involved in willful sinning? In case you were wondering who these people are; they are you and me. This is made possible by […]
May 6, 2021

Ramadan Kareem!: Thoughts for Christians about Engaging Muslims this Ramadan

By Abed El Kareem Zien El Dien Muslims around the world are in the final week of Ramadan. Many Christians I know, and Evangelicals particularly, are not positively inclined toward Muslims. Islam and Muslims are widely demonized and essentialized in their eyes. But why and how can we care about […]
April 29, 2021

Of Difficult Decisions and Healthy Harmonies: The Potential of Thinking About Vocation in Terms of ‘Ensemble’

By Kees van der Knijff The needs in the world are immense, the needs in the Middle East are staggering, and the needs in Lebanon at the current moment are overwhelming. As churches and individual believers, this presents us with difficult decisions. For how do we discern where to contribute? […]