Podcast: A conversation about writing novels, the power of story, the civil war inside Islam & the urgency of the Gospel


(Central Israel) — On my recent book tour across the United States for  The Third Target and The First Hostage, one of the most intellectually stimulating and spiritually encouraging events I had the opportunity to speak at was a forum hosted by Dallas Theological Seminary.

The forum was moderated by my friend, Dr. Darrell Bock, a New Testament scholar and professor, and one of the world’s leading experts on the Gospel According to Luke and the Book of Acts.

Among other roles, Darrell is the Executive Director of DTS’s Center for Cultural Engagement. As such, he’s a big believer that Christ-followers need to engage the society in a positive, winsome manner, even in matters where we disagree, not constantly — or angrily — confronting the culture. Whether it’s how to deal with vast differences in moral issues like marriage and abortion, or sensitive religious matters like Islam and Judaism, or a host of other potentially “radioactive” subjects, Bock wants Evangelicals to take a different approach to cultural engagement — not compromising, of course, but certainly the truth but speaking the truth in love. The question is, “How?”

Thus, he runs an intriguing podcast called, “The Table.”

“We call the podcasts The Table because we see them as conversations where listeners are invited to the table to hear the topic treated by experts, hopefully asking questions they would ask if they were present,” Bock told Christianity Today last year. “We have studiously avoided the attempt to have prearranged questions and answers. Those interviewed know they are coming to participate in a conversation and are having to respond as they would if they were sitting discussing these issues over lunch. That tone of conversation in the midst of life is important to our entire philosophy.”

He invited me because as a novelist, I’m trying to use stories to engage the culture, to raise important questions that might not otherwise be raised, but to do so in an unconventional way.

In our fun, wide-ranging discussion, which lasted for about an hour, Darrell asked me about why I left the world of political consulting to write political thrillers, why I write so much about Radical and Apocalyptic Islam and Biblical prophecy, what The Joshua Fund is and how it’s connected to what I do, what it’s like to minister in the Middle East, and how my faith in Jesus Christ informs my personal and professional life, especially coming from a Jewish heritage.

I loved the entire conversation — and the thoughtful questions he and the students and other guests asked — and hope you’ll take time to listen to it, and even share it with others.

You can watch the video or listen to the audio by clicking here.