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 […]
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? […]
April 22, 2021

God will Judge Them: The Cancel Culture Debate and Leaving Sinners Alone

By Nabil Habibi I am not one to focus on isolated Bible verses. I would rather reflect on entire passages and connective ideas throughout the text. But one particular verse has been on my mind ever since I preached from 1 Corinthians in my local church earlier this year. No, […]
April 15, 2021

Movemental Ecclesiology: Recalibrating Church for the Next Frontier

Warrick Farah and Alan Hirsch There is no doubt that God has been teaching us all kinds of key lessons over the last year. The COVID-19 pandemic has been probably the most disruptive event for the Church since WWII and has compelled Christian leaders across the globe to re-evaluate their […]
April 8, 2021

Making a Bad Situation Worse: The Ravi Zacharias Scandal and The Temptation to Whitewash Sin

By Walid Zailaa Recently, many Christian thinkers, pastors, and church leaders have pondered over the shocking allegations of sexual misconduct against the late Ravi Zacharias. To help their congregations absorb the reality of what went wrong with the “great” Ravi, many rushed to either defend, attack, or try by any […]
April 1, 2021

Desolation and Resurrection: Living in the Saturdays of Life

By Rupen Das In the midst of Holy Week of the Protestant and Catholic Church calendars, we focus on the events of that week. Drawing from his own dark times of doubt and despair, David, the poet and king, prophetically described the anguish of Christ in detail a few centuries […]
March 25, 2021

Heavy Toll of Sanctions on Syria Raises Questions of Morality and Justice

Wissam al-Saliby If a man is hungry and comes to the church for food, should the church push him away if he is on the United States sanctions list? This delicate question is haunting many Christian ministries in Lebanon and Syria today. Amid conflict, economic crisis, and mass displacement, Middle […]
March 18, 2021

Are “Democratic” Societies Learning Too Much from the Lebanese?

By Bassem Melki These days we are seeing people in “democratic” societies choosing to follow leaders who represent their own personal interests rather than leaders who identify with a country’s wider identity. People must ask themselves again if they will look for leaders who fit the values representing their communities […]