MEMBERS OF CONGRESS INTRIGUED WITH “THE TEHRAN INITIATIVE”: Gave copy to Netanyahu; invited me to give briefing on Capitol Hill


A few days ago, I got a funny email from the Congressman. Here’s an excerpt (which he agreed to let me share with you): “Don’t think I told you exactly HOW I gave your book to Netanyahu. After we sat down [in the PM’s conference room], right off, Netanyahu said, ‘What book do you have there?’ I said it was the newest book from Joel Rosenberg who asked that I bring him a copy. He said, ‘Let’s see it.’ I pushed the book across the table, not realizing how incredibly slick his conference table was. It went so fast across the table that it knocked his nameplate backwards and bumped his cup of coffee. We all thought was about to go in his lap. Everyone laughed but me because of how close I came to knocking everything in his lap.” He also sent me a picture taken by the PM’s official photographer. It was snapped at the very moment when the Congressman’s face registered horror, and while everyone else in the room was beginning to laugh. I’m not at liberty to post the photo, but it’s priceless.

Then, the two Congressman — both Republicans — ordered 242 copies of The Tehran Initiative and sent them to each of the Republican Members of the House, with a note encouraging them all to read it. Yesterday they had me come up to Capitol Hill to discuss the Iran threat. I agreed and met with about 30 Members and some legislative staffers. We specifically focused on the central premise of the novel: “What if an American President, well meaning though he may be, miscalculates with regards to Iran. What if he waits too long to take decisive action to neutralize the Iranian nuclear threat and to do everything possible to help the Iranian people overthrow and replace the evil regime in Tehran? What if Iran gets not just a single nuclear warhead, but a small arsenal — six, eight, ten warheads? What would Iran do at that moment? What would Israel do? What would the U.S. do?” Clearly, this is not a fictional premise but one leaders in Washington are grappling with right now. Some Congressmen asked for more details on Shia Islamic eschatology, and why I believe it is driving Iranian foreign policy. Some asked for me to compare and contrast Shia End Times theology with Bible prophesy. I shared with them about my recent visit to Auschwitz and we discussed the similarities between the current moment and the late 1930s. The meeting was off-the-record, so I can’t tell you who attended or discuss more details about what was said other than the broad strokes. But it was a fascinating discussion and I was encouraged by how seriously some leaders in Washington are taking the Iran issue. I encouraged them to keep educating fellow Members of the House about the Iran threat, and to keep pushing the White House (and the GOP presidential candidates) to develop more detailed plans to stop Iran and to stand with Israel. I reminded them that with all the other economic, fiscal and social crises we face, the last thing we dare do is turn our backs on Israel in defiance of Genesis 12:1-3.

I share these anecdotes because I’ve been encouraged to see how the novel is capturing people’s imagination, and spurring them to action, not just in Washington but all over the country and even internationally, including in Israel. Indeed, I’ve received remarkable emails from all kinds of people who are reading the novel and then giving copies to family members, friends, neighbors, and even their pastors and rabbis. Some are doing this to educate friends and loved ones about the gravity of the Iran threat. Others are giving the book to encourage people to pray more for Israel. Others are giving the book as gifts to those whom they want to read and seriously consider the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is woven into the story. I’m excited by all of this and grateful to each of you.

How about you? To whom are you giving the book for Christmas or Chanukah or for any other occassion, and why? I’d love to hear your story — please post them on our “Epicenter Page” on Facebook. Thanks so much, and Merry Christmas!

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