The Tehran Initiative by Joel Rosenberg is a fast-paced, political thriller. I received a complimentary advance copy from the publisher and read the book in five days. Written with a predominantly evangelical Christian audience in mind, Rosenberg weaves current political events, historical Middle East tensions and Islamic and Christian eschatology to craft a tale that is plausible, riveting and provocative.
I struggled a bit with some of Rosenbergâ€™s characterizations, not because I necessarily disagree with his premises, but because I believe it fuels fear, creates barriers and hampers efforts of Christians attempting reasonable discussion on matters of faith with Muslims in America and around the world. As with most evangelical Christian fiction, the storyline, while plausible, seems agenda-driven, targeting and exploiting American fears against the enemy du jour â€“ in this case, Islamic terrorists. Likewise, the dialogue and interactions among some of the characters, particularly on matters of salvation and faith, are forced, naÃ¯ve and unrealistic.
That having been said, The Tehran Initiative encourages me to do more research on the concept of the twelfth imam in Islamic teaching and to study the differences between Christianity and Islam on matters concerning the end times. In my opinion, any book that causes us to delve into matters of faith and examine our philosophies against the truth of Godâ€™s Word is well worth the read.