September 22, 2016

Can Someone Please Take Out the Trash? A Family Systems Approach to Lebanese Dysfunction

By Robert Hamd Pity the nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion… Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero, and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful… Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpeting, and farewells him with hooting, only to welcome another […]
September 1, 2016

Reflections on the Burkini: Symbol of Oppression, Liberation, but mostly Power

by Martin Accad You may be thinking: ‘Not another blog about the Burkini!’ Many of us have grown tired of these divisive issues. The building of minarets in Switzerland, of another mosque in America, or the debate over whether Muslim courts with limited jurisdiction over family affairs should be allowed […]
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 5, 2016

Jesus, Muslims and the Qur’ān: in search for KERYGMATIC peacebuilding

By Martin Accad My friend Peter believes that the Qur’ānic 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 […]
April 7, 2016

Come Follow the Crucified! An Interfaith Reflection on Easter

By Martin Accad My father worked for the Bible Society in Lebanon for most of his life, serving as its General Secretary for over 25 years. Growing up, several of my summers were spent in the distribution of Biblical literature and in organizing viewings of the Jesus Film in Christian, […]
February 4, 2016

Islam Means Peace? A brief etymological reflection

By Martin Accad ‘Islam Means Peace!’ So affirmed the flyer of a conference organized in the US that remains etched in my memory. And so affirm many books and websites you will find by simply googling the phrase. You will also find an equally large number of websites and books […]
December 3, 2015

The Church of the Middle East is on Life Support: Lessons for the Global Body of Christ

The remains of the Amir Tadros Coptic Church in Minya, southern Egypt. (VIRGINIE NGUYEN HOANG/AFP/Getty Images) – originally published here By Martin Accad The Church of the Middle East is on life support, and fingers regularly point at Islam as the cause of its demise. Some, like influential popular historian […]
July 2, 2015

Choosing Our Battles: brief reflections from the Middle East on homosexuality and the “marriage equality” controversy

By Martin Accad Normally the LGBTQ[1] issue is not one that I like to address in public. But since last week’s legalization of gay marriage at Federal level in the US, we have all been flooded by the topic, from the social media to private conversations. Whatever you say, you’re […]