The relationship between the church and Israel has been the source of passionate debate among Christians throughout much of church history. In recent years, it has become apparent that the traditional pro-Israel stance of evangelicals has come under fire by those who support the Palestinian cause. This calls for a fresh perspective by Christians who believe that the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people by virtue of God’s covenants and promises.
Israel, the Church, and the Middle East challenges the supersessionist drift of the modern church, showing that God retains a plan and purpose for the Jewish people. The contributors also address a number of the divisive issues raised by authors critical of Israel and of those who affirm Israel’s right to the land. The book explores interpretive issues touching upon God’s plan and purpose for the Jewish people–as well as the wider effects of the conflict, such as the growing antipathy within the church toward the evangelization of the Jewish people.
Pastors, global Christian leaders, theological students, and lay Christians will all find in this book useful resources to develop a nuanced and biblical view of the Middle East conflict.
What does the Bible teach about the role of the Jewish people and the nation of Israel today? What is God’s plan for the future of Israel and the neighboring countries? How can believers in Jesus be part of God’s peace process in the Middle East?
The People, the Land, and the Future of Israel walks through the Bible’s account of the role of Israel and the Jewish people—both now and in the future. Each contributor offers a profound insight into God’s unfolding plan and purpose for the nation of Israel as the Scripture depicts them. Readers will gain a deeper understanding of both current and future events in the Middle East as described in both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament.
Features an extensive foreword by best-selling author Joel Rosenberg who addresses the question, Will there ever be peace for Israel and her neighbors? Each chapter includes a scannable QR code that links to a short video introduction by the author of that chapter, introducing its topic. Discussion questions in each chapter aid book group and classroom discussion.
Based upon the biblical mandate to take the Gospel “to the Jew first,” this comprehensive resource looks at the historical, theological, and biblical context for Jewish evangelism, and provides encouragement for Christians and Messianic Jews engaged in this task. To the Jew First includes contributions by Richard Averbeck, Craig Blaising, Walter Kaiser, Richard Pratt, Jr. and ten other evangelical scholars.
Can a theological case be made from Scripture that Israel still has a claim to the Promised Land? Christian Zionism is often seen as the offspring of premillennial dispensationalism. But the historical roots of Christian Zionism came long before the rise of the Plymouth Brethren and John Nelson Darby. In fact, the authors of The New Christian Zionism contend that the biblical and theological connections between covenant and land are nearly as close in the New Testament as in the Old. Written with academic rigor by experts in the field, this book proposes that Zionism can be defended historically, theologically, politically and morally. While this does not sanctify every policy and practice of the current Israeli government, the authors include recommendations for how twenty-first-century Christian theology should rethink its understanding of both ancient and contemporary Israel, the Bible and Christian theology more broadly. This provocative volume proposes a place for Christian Zionism in an integrated biblical vision.
Israel Matters: Why Christians Must Think Differently about the People and the Land
by Gerald R. McDermott
Widely respected theologian Gerald McDermott has spent two decades investigating the meaning of Israel and Judaism. What he has learned has required him to rethink many of his previous assumptions.
Israel Matters addresses the perennially important issue of the relationship between Christianity and the people and land of Israel, offering a unique and compelling “third way” between typical approaches and correcting common misunderstandings along the way. This book challenges the widespread Christian assumption that since Jesus came to earth, Jews are no longer special to God as a people, and the land of Israel is no longer theologically significant. It traces the author’s journey from thinking those things to discovering that the New Testament authors believed the opposite of both. It also shows that contrary to what many Christians believe, the church is not the new Israel, and both the people and the land of Israel are important to God and the future of redemption.
McDermott offers an accessible but robust defense of a “New Christian Zionism” for pastors and laypeople interested in Israel and Christian-Jewish relations. His approach will also spark a conversation among theologians and biblical scholars.
The Jews, Modern Israel and the New Supersessionism: Resources for Christians
Edited by Calvin L. Smith
This book explores the relationship between the Jewish people, the Church and Israel, from biblical times to the present. Its fifteen essays from contributors with considerable expertise and published work in the field provide readers with a careful and objective examination of the issue from various perspectives.
This timely volume is being published at a time when the debate surrounding the relationship between the Church and Israel raging within Evangelicalism is increasingly polemical and polarized.