JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Aaron D. Taylor, author of Alone with a Jihadist
While many fundamentalist/evangelicals tend to ascribe to a Zionist theology which believes that it is good to be at war with anyone who opposes the Christian rite to expedite the glorious return of the Messiah, there is one crusader, Aaron Taylor, who believes otherwise. Taylor believes that the church has sadly missed the most pronounced message of Jesus Christ: peace.
The very Bible, which Christians read, refers to their founder as The Prince of Peace. Despite this, many Christians support warmongering and unnecessary bloodshed rather than peacemaking. In a room for seven hours with a radical Muslim, Taylor shares the story from his face-to-face encounter, of how Islamic people view the United States of America, our present Administration, and the state of the Christian Church.
It is one thing to look at Christianity from a Christians’ perspective, which is typically an altruistic viewpoint, but things change quite a bit when Christianity is viewed through the eyes of Muslims. Taylor says, ‘Their [Muslims] view is one every Christian must hear!’
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Alone with a Jihadist?
Aaron D Taylor: The book came out of an actual experience I had with a radical jihadist in London. I spent seven hours over a period of two days in a cold, abandoned warehouse as part of a taping for a feature length documentary called Holy Wars.
When Khalid, the jihadist, posed the question of how I would implement the Bible from a governmental point of view, I knew that he was onto something that I hadnâ€™t given much thought to before. I also knew that the standard pat evangelical answers didnâ€™t get to the core of Khalidâ€™s moral objection to Christianity.
I left London feeling perplexed and defeated. I took a year off from my missionary travels to get to the bottom of the issue. Alone with a Jihadist is the result of the intense soul searching and Biblical research in the year following that dramatic encounter.
JP: What sets Alone with a Jihadist apart from other books that attempt to bridge the Christian/Muslim gap?
AT: Nearly every book on Muslim/Christian relations written from an evangelical perspective emphasize the evils of Islam and the virtues of Christian civilization. Nearly all are heavily slanted to a right-wing Pro-Israel/anti-Palestinian perspective.
What I do in Alone with a Jihadist is essentially say, â€œWait a second here. When it comes to Holy War, we Christians in the West need to remove the plank from our own eyes and realize that thereâ€™s a lot of us with the same crusader/jihadist mentality as our Muslim counterparts. Until we come to grips with the ethical teachings of Jesus and apply them towards our understanding of war and peace, weâ€™re not offering the world much different than what exists in Islam. Weâ€™re just wrapping Jesus in an American flag and asking Him to bless our bombs.â€
Itâ€™s a controversial message, but it needs to be said.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to Alone with a Jihadist getting out to the public?
AT: I think if this book gets a massive public reception, it will be because Iâ€™m committed more to the message than I am to making a profit off the book. Iâ€™m so committed to my message that Iâ€™m willing to take a financial loss to get the message out. Because Iâ€™m so committed to getting my message out, no media venue is too big or too small for me. Iâ€™m taking a no-holds-barred approach, and I believe itâ€™s going to pay off.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Alone with a Jihadist?
AT: I wish I could say that I had a disciplined routine in writing this book, but itâ€™s not true. I didnâ€™t have a certain time set aside that I wrote every day. Usually I found myself struggling to find the time to write in light of daily life and chores.
I also had to start over twice before arriving at the final product. Thatâ€™s because my thought process evolved throughout the project. It took me about 16 months to complete the rough draft. I wrote most often at home or at the public library. I even wrote some of it while I was doing medical studies to help make ends meet.
JP: What’s next for Aaron D. Taylor?
AT: Besides the constant promotion of Alone with a Jihadist through writing articles, doing talks and engaging the media, I also travel several times a year and teach a Bible Story workshop to pastors and missionaries around the world.
My wife and I are also adopting a baby boy from Ethiopia this year and, as it usually happens, as soon as we started the adoption process, my wife got pregnant. Within a year, we are going to have two new additions to the family. I think my wife and I are going to need all the prayer we can get.
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