The Tehran Initiative
Written by Joel C. Rosenberg
Rating: 3 stars
Category: Christian political thriller
Publisher: Tyndale House
Pub Date: October 18, 2011
Kindle Format: 5521 lines
Hardcover Format: 480 pages
Kindle edition: $9.45
Hardcover List Price: $26.99
Product Description from the Publisher: The world is on the brink of disaster and the clock is ticking. Iran has just conducted its first atomic weapons test. Millions of Muslims around the world are convinced their messiah—known as “the Twelfth Imam”—has just arrived on earth. Israeli leaders fear Tehran, under the Twelfth Imam’s spell, will soon launch a nuclear attack that could bring about a second holocaust and the annihilation of Israel. The White House fears Jerusalem will strike first, launching a preemptive attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities that could cause the entire Middle East to go up in flames, oil prices to skyrocket, and the global economy to collapse. With the stakes high and few viable options left, the president of the United States orders CIA operative David Shirazi and his team to track down and sabotage Iran’s nuclear warheads before Iran or Israel can launch a devastating first strike.
Review: 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 Rosenberg’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 – in this case, Islamic terrorists. Likewise, the dialogue and interactions among some of the characters, particularly on matters of salvation and faith, are forced, naïve 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 God’s Word is well worth the read.