ISIS Goes to (Christian) Seminary

OK, ISIS WENT to seminary–a Lutheran one, in fact.  Back in October 2014 I was invited to lecture at the institution whence I obtained my M.A.R.: Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. My address was entitled “Fighting for the End of the (Christian) World,” and worth posting at this time because 1) it’s a solid primer for anyone new to Islamic eschatology in general, whether wishing to learn about it from a secular or Christian perspective; and 2) the video was just recently made available in a much more accessible format.

Keep in mind that even if ISIS is stripped of its territory and “Caliph” al-Baghdadi sent to consort with the houris (which seems not to be the case currently), its beliefs about the Mahdi, the Dajjal, the return of Jesus, etc., will remain as they have for 14 centuries: core beliefs of many Muslims, stemming in most particulars from the Hadiths (alleged sayings of Muhammad’s) and in others from the Qur’an itself.

Here’s the link to my 40″ presentation.

Dome of the Chain in front of DoR, 11.13 (2)

Qubbat al-Silsilah, “the Dome of the Chain,” adjacent to Qubbat al-Sakhrah, “the Dome of the Rock”, in Jerusalem.  I took this picture on my last trip there in 2013.  According to Islamic tradition, all of humanity will pass under its portico on the Day of Judgment–so no doubt ISIS would like to get control of this!

I might add that I first wrote at length on ISIS in June 2014 (see my 2015 book Ten Years’ Captivation with the Mahdi’s Camps, pp. 21-31: “The Hour of ISIS Power: How Did It Come to This?”)–so I was examining ISIS as an eschatological phenomenon within Islam long before Graeme Wood’s “What ISIS Really Wants” was published in spring 2015.

Also,  here’s a link to an article about my talk by the news organization for my denomination (the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod)–which, while accurate overall, unfortunately repeats some of the same misapprehensions rampant in the mainstream media (“extremists,” for example).

Welcome to The Occidental Jihadist

Friends, Romans, Country-men (and -women),  fervent jihadists, frustrated Mahdists:

Some of you may have been following my Muslim millennial musings over at “”  Probably many others of you are new.  In either case, thanks for checking out this site and if you are so moved, please follow it.  One of the major complaints about my former site was the inability to do just that.  Problem solved!

By way of brief bio: I’m a Christian (conservative but not fundamentalist); PhD in Islamic, World and African history (Ohio State, 2001); former US Army Arabic linguist and, later, civilian consultant to US Special Operations Command; author of books on the Middle East and Middle-earth; history professor; and sometime media opiner (as, for example, on Fox News Channel’s “War Stories: Fighting ISIS“).  I’m also a huge Shakespeare fan, and fence saber as often as I can–and usually left-handed.

Thanks again for checking out my site.  Stay tuned for more substantial commentary ASAP!