The New Christian Zionism: Fresh Perspectives on Israel

The New Christian Zionism: Fresh Perspectives on Israel



10 thoughts on “The New Christian Zionism: Fresh Perspectives on Israel and the Land

  1. Bob Bob says:

    Summary Argues that the Old Testament promises of restoration for Israel, including restoration to the land, can be supported in the New Testament, and that Christian Zionism enjoys a long history of theological support not rooted in premillenial dispensationalism.A book arguing for a fresh perspective on Christian Zionism strikes me as a brave project Zionism, once representing the hopes of an oppressed people, now is often cast at the source of oppression of other peoples, particularly Pales Summary Argues that the Old Testament promises of restoration for Israel, including restoration to the land, can be supported in the New Testament, and that Christian Zionism enjoys a long history of theological support not rooted in premillenial dispensationalism.A book arguing for a fresh perspective on Christian Zionism strikes me as a brave project Zionism, once representing the hopes of an oppressed people, now is often cast at the source of oppression of other peoples, particularly Palestinians Likewise, Christian Zionism, often associated with premillenial dispensationalism, has fallen in disrepute in both liberal circles for whom any form of Zionism is reprehensible, and among a significant portion of the evangelical community who reject the two dispensations or covenants of dispensationalism, and see the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy through a new people of God comprised of both Jew and Gentile which heralds a trans national kingdom of God This view, with which I will admit to being sympathetic, is often referred to as supersessionism It is for example, reflected in these summary comments on Romans 11 by John R W Stott in his exposition of RomansIt is clearthat the salvation of Israel for which Paul has prayed 10 1 , to which he will lead his own people by arousing their envy 11 14 , which has also come to the Gentiles 11 11 cf 1 16 , and which one day all Israel will experience 11 26 , is salvation from sin through faith in Christ It is not a national salvation, for nothing is said about either a political entity or a return to the land Nor is their any hint of a special way of salvation for the Jews which dispenses with faith in Christp 304.Gerald R McDermott and his other contributors have mounted a formidable rebuttal to this contention In the introductory section, McDermott contributes two chapters arguing that Christian Zionism has enjoyed a long history in the theology of the church, from the earliest centuries to Barth and Niebuhr inrecent times and that this has by no means been confined to premillenial dispensationalism.The next section makes, beginning with Craig Blaising s chapter on hermeneutics, the argument that the advent of Christ does not nullify the promises and hope of Israel, which may be found in the New Testament as well as the Torah Joel Willets then shows how this is the case in Matthew noting the early Jewish context, the geographical perspective, Davidic messianism, the turfed kingdom, and the focus on Jerusalem, the temple, and the atonement Mark Kinzer makes a similar argument for Luke Acts, particularly noting the repeated returns to Jerusalem in Acts David Rudolph tackles Romans giving a memorable summary of his argument in the acronym GUCCI G The Gifts of IsraelU The Uniqueness of IsraelC The Calling of IsraelC The Confirmation of Israel s promisesI The Irrevocability of Israel s electionPart Three concerns Theology and its Implications Mark Tooley traces the mainline embrace, and eventual disenchantment with Zionism,recently followed by some evangelicals Robert Benne contributes one of the most fascinating chapters, exploring Reinhold Niebuhr s Zionism that flows from his theo political realism as well as his sense of the unique place the Jews have occupied in human history Robert Nicholson then makes a case that present day Israel has neither violated international law, nor, to any significant degree, the Torah in its occupation of land and treatment of ethnic minorities Shadi Khalloul, an Aramean Christian makes a similar case, while acknowledging ways Israel has failed in areas of human rights He contends that as the one democracy in the region, they have done farto uphold religious and civil rights than the surrounding nations The book concludes with recommendations for continued scholarship and implications for the church.One of the subtexts of this discussion is the existence of the present day State of Israel, and how it is to be understood in light of prophecies concerning restoration of Israel to the land and how it is to be regarded as a moral actor on the world stage Concerning the former, they resist the temptation of dispensationalists to fit this into a last days scheme while conceding that the survival of the Jews through history and near miraculous victories against surround foes may argue for some form of pre consummate, or proleptic fulfillment, anticipating the final fulfillment of all things in Christ s return Several authors even argue for a restoration of the nation to the land prior to any form of spiritual transformation While arguing that support for Israel never warrants support for unjust policies, the authors are fairly muted in their discussion of Jewish settlements of occupied territories and the fence that has made life so difficult for many Palestinians.I was most interested in the arguments from the New Testament but in the end personally found them wanting They seemed to be readings between the lines that extend promises for the people of Israel to the land that are not explicit in the biblical text Darrell Bock acknowledges this problem p 312 , but did not, to my mind give an adequate response The review of historical theology was helpful, because I, like many would have equated Christian Zionism with premillenial dispensationalism In terms of making the case for the State of Israel from Christian principle, I thought the four essays in Part Three were the strongest part of this work In particular, the last two, by Nicholson and Khalloul, provide a counter to the media treatment of Israel, which has been increasingly hostile, and often one sided in their view, in recent years.The work challenged me to look harder at the texts around Israel s hope and how we understand these In particular, when we speak of a new heaven and new earth, and a new Jerusalem as the focus of a physical existence in the resurrection, what place is there for Jews, whether as a corporate entity, or at least for Jews, as John Stott speaks of, who trust in Christ Is there a landed hope for them Is there any significance in the present day State of Israel I do think these scholars havework to do to make their case They, along with the publisher, should be commended for engaging this discussion afresh At the same time, while the term is convenient shorthand and connects to historic realities, I would hope that a better phrase than Christian Zionism might be found, for I fear some will never get past a title with this phrase, which would be unfortunate


  2. Joe Valenti Joe Valenti says:

    In The New Christian Zionism Fresh Perspectives on Israel the Land, Gerald McDermott and others make their case against replacement theology supersessionism the idea that the modern Church has replaced Israel and that the Jewish people and the land of Israel play no real part in God s plan for the future What makes this book unique is that they are not arguing for a traditional dispensational view Rather, this text offers a third solution that neither neglects the role of the Jews and t In The New Christian Zionism Fresh Perspectives on Israel the Land, Gerald McDermott and others make their case against replacement theology supersessionism the idea that the modern Church has replaced Israel and that the Jewish people and the land of Israel play no real part in God s plan for the future What makes this book unique is that they are not arguing for a traditional dispensational view Rather, this text offers a third solution that neither neglects the role of the Jews and the land of Israel nor does it give them the blanket conversion clause so common in dispensational theology.The book is divided into four sectionsTheology and History This first section sets the stage for the conversation at hand Editor Gerald McDermott lays out the history of supersessionism and it s counterpart Theology and the Bible This section is, for me, the most important section in the book as various scholars argue from the biblical text I will spend the majority of the time assessing this section below Theology and Its Implications The third section of this book traces the implications of supersessionism and Zionism in the church, history, and politics Theology and the FutureSection four is another bright spot as Darrell Bock concentrates on distilling the book down into a few, important, points of emphasis.McDermott sets the stage well, and brings the reader up to speed on the history of the conversation and differing opinions regarding Israel and the church.Craig Blaising s Essay pg 79 was unconvincing He proposes a better understanding of the ethnic, national, and territorial future of Israel based on a reading of the Old Testament that is, in his words, in continuity with the New Testament However, in the middle of his argument Blaising conveniently jumps from Romans 9 4 5 all the way to chapter 11 I found it convenient that he fails to address the texts most glaringly problematic to his argument the remainder of Romans 9 making this portion of his essay deeply flawed Blaising goes on to propose that the current state of Israel is a preconsummate work of God working towards his divine plan for Israel Blaising rightly admits that several reconstitutions of Israel have taken place after the ministry of the OT prophets He argues, however, that the current reconstitution of Israel is the divinely orchestrated plan of God He loosely ties this conclusion to biblical texts, but too loosely to be convincing especially considering that he never does deal with the remainder of Romans 9 in order to rightly point out to whom all of these promises apply.In his essay, Joel Willitts does well to draw attention to the fact that, Matthew s Gospel is not about the territorial restoration of the land of Israel If Matthew is about something, it is about the identity and significance of Jesus of Nazareth as Israel s long awaited Messiah ben David This is an important clarification concerning Willitts hermeneutic and reducessome initial skepticism to the title of the chapter He aims to make that case that Matthew, had an abiding land consciousness in line with the traditional Jewish territorial hope His case is well made and convincing.For me, the most important chapter of this book comes from David Rudolph While Willitts and Kinzer make important contributions to the conversation, the Pauline corpus is the most important battle ground on the subject of Zionism Rudolph begins his chapter with two rather long excerpts from N.T Wright a known supersessionist in hopes of refuting the convictions of one of the most notable NT scholars still alive today This takes some chutzpah.The first portion is his essay defends his conclusions against some common texts referred to by transference theologians Rudolph seems to shoot himself in a foot a bit when he notes that Paul s aim in 1 Cor 7 19, Gal 5 6, and Gal 6 15 is to say that, neither circumcision nor the lack of circumcision has ultimate bearing on salvation If this is the case, and Rudolph admits this, how can it be that he plans to contend for the idea that Israel s election is sure Based on what If their election is not based on their Jewishness , then what is is based on While the first portion was not persuasive enough to change my views, Rudolph s arguments in his second section Argument for Particularity gain steam and he gives the reader much to consider Of specific help was the attention that he draws to the present tense usage in Romans 9.I deeply appreciate the essay from Darrell Bock It is as if he is the trained counselor in the room and knows that the previous 300 pages may have caused some to get their feathers ruffled and, therefore, desires to refocus the reader around the central point of this entire text Israel matters to God and should matter to us In his summary essay he draws a few important conclusionsIsrael having a future does not negate the centrality of Christ.God is faithful to his promisesZionism is not as nationalistic as some might think.We must focus on and seek after the hope of reconciliation between Jew and Gentile.Israel has a legal right to their land and nationhood.I am thankful for this book While I am not convinced by all of the arguments contained therein, I am able to see past some of the disagreements that I might have with the authors to the heart of this book Christian Zionism has become increasingly unpopular and, sadly, many who have deep affections for Israel and the Jewish people are dismissed as a bit off their rocker I am thankful to Gerald McDermott and his colleagues for moving this conversation forward and am equally thankful to the team at IVP for considering this book.So, brass tax Should you read this book Is it worth the money and time necessary It is well worth the money Price at 14.99 on Kindle and 22.20 in paperback, this book is a steal considering the wealth of knowledge contained within its pages.It depends on if this conversation is important to you The authors of this book would maintain that this conversation is important for all Christians, and I agree to a certain extent But it would be foolish to assume that this book is vital for all readers.If, however, you have developed some opinions of the conversation at hand, this book is an important addition to the conversation and should garner your attention and investment More reviews of Christian books can be found at joevalenti.me


  3. Chris Woznicki Chris Woznicki says:

    For many years evangelical Christianity has been known to be highly Zionistic Undoubtedly this is due, at least in part, to the influence of dispensationalism on conservative Christians Studies show, however, that Zionistic attitudes among American Christians are waning Is this due to trends in dispensationalism Trends in social media, e.g we have a better view of what Palestinians are experiencing Or is it something else The New Christian Zionism, edited by Gerald McDermott, does not atte For many years evangelical Christianity has been known to be highly Zionistic Undoubtedly this is due, at least in part, to the influence of dispensationalism on conservative Christians Studies show, however, that Zionistic attitudes among American Christians are waning Is this due to trends in dispensationalism Trends in social media, e.g we have a better view of what Palestinians are experiencing Or is it something else The New Christian Zionism, edited by Gerald McDermott, does not attempt to answer those questions, however in light of Christian Zionism s waning popularity, McDermott and a host of biblical scholars, theologians, and ethicists attempt to make a case for Zionism which is not dependent upon dispensationalism.So what was the old Christian Zionism Basically it was the dispensational view which puts Israel and the church on two separate, but parallel tracks All the promises given to Israel will literally be fulfilled by the Jewish people group ethic, national, territorial Israel , and not by a spiritual church What is the new Christian Zionism Here I quote McDermott The New Christian Zionism asserts that the people and the land of Israel represent a provisional and proleptic fulfillment of the promises of the new world to come So Jesus brought a new era to the history of Israel but without abolishing what came before, and he predicted that his people and land would be central to that new world This is why the New Christian Zionism speaks of fulfillment and not supersessionism.In making their case for this NCZ McDermott shows that Christian Zionism goes back two thousand years , and before the 19th century it had nothing to do with dispensationalism.McDermott s introduction is followed by four essays dealing with the biblical material from a non dispensationalist standpoint Craig Blasing attempts to show that the NT affirms the OT expectation of an ethnic, national, territorial Israel in God s plan Joel Willits shows that the restoration of the land of Israel is fundamental to Matthew s story of Jesus Mark Kinzer argues that eschatology in Luke Acts is tethered to the holy land David Rudolph shows that Paul is looking forward to a renewed earth that is centered in Israel.The next section deals with some issues that people have brought up against Christian Zionism, often other Christians Mark Tooley addresses mainline protestant objections to NCZ Rebert Benne address the objection that Israel is an unjust political state oppressing Palestinians He turns to Reinhold Niebuhr s work to defend Israel Some of the most interesting chapters follow Benne s Robert Nicholson addresses the objection that Israel is violating international law by controlling the west bank He argues that 1 International law is unclear, and where it is clear, Israel is not in violation and 2 Israel s legal standards are higher than all of its neighbors and many leading western countries Shadi Khalloul, an Aramean Christian, argues that while Israel is far from perfect, it is far from unjust in its treatment of minority groups The last set of essays are written by Darrell Bock and Gerald McDermott, they both chart some possible ways forward for NCZ.My favorite chapter was by far Nicholson s chapter Most likely because he addresses some objections I often hear namely that Israel does not deserve the land because it is violating the Mosaic covenant Nicholson makes a strong case for the difficulty of making that claim Second, Christian Zionism has lost a lot of support because many western Christians who pay attention to international politics are under the impression that Israel is in violation of international law in its treatment of Palestine Nicholson, addresses whether or not there were any violations of international law in the taking of territory during the Six Day War In trying to answer this question he gives his readers a history lesson He provides 8 essential pieces of background for determining the legal and political context of Israel s supposed violation of international law 1 Israel s actions in the Six Day Ware were conducted in self defense in reponse to overwhelming aggression from surrounding Arab countries.2 The Palestinian territories that Israel captured in the war did not belong to anyone else under international law.3 Israel planned to exchange the captured territories for peace.4 The law of occupation may not apply to the West Bank and Gaza Because they are disputed territories.5 Israel has substantially performed its obligations as a belligerent occupier.6 The presence of Jewish civilians insde the West Bank does not constitute a war crime under the Geneva Conventions.7 Israel has substantially pefromed its obligations under United Nations Security Council Resolution 242.8 Palestinians have legal and political autonomy.Nicholson concludes by saying that An objective reading of the situation must conceded that Israel has in fact complied with international law That Israel is routinely thought to be in violation stemsfrom ignorance of the laws involved and prejudice against Israel than the facts on the ground 280 So where should Christians who are hesitant about Christian Zionism go from here Bock makes an important and wise suggestion Israel is still responsible to God for how she responds to covenant obligations To endorse Israel and a national place for the nation is not to give her carte blanche for everything she does Christian Zionism is not a blind endorsement for Israel It does not give the nation a pass on issues of justice or moral righteousness She is still called to live responsibly as a nation like other nations Rather, Christian Zionism merely makes the affirmation that Israel has a right to a secure homeland, which she should govern and occupy morally and responsibly 309 Now you may not find yourself agreeing with Bock s or any of the other author s conclusions, nevertheless, you should still give this book a shot Given our political climate, evangelical in all senses of the word Christians really need to think through these issues carefully To do so would be not only politically disastrous, but potentially spiritually as well


  4. Kyle C. Dunham Kyle C. Dunham says:

    An important overview of a vital topic The essays by Willits, Kinzer, Tooley, and Bock are particularly helpful The various authors attempts to distance themselves from dispensationalism seem forced at times esp McDermott The greater argument that there is a future for Israel and that this future is tied in the Bible to land promises is ably demonstrated I recommend the book.


  5. Shelley Neese Shelley Neese says:

    Thank you for this great contribution So many Christians love Israel out of faith instincts but can t really explain their motivation or reasons This is such a great resource.


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The New Christian Zionism: Fresh Perspectives on Israel and the Land ❮Read❯ ➶ The New Christian Zionism: Fresh Perspectives on Israel and the Land ➺ Author Gerald R. McDermott – Larringtonlifecoaching.co.uk 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 Can a theological case be made from Scripture Christian Zionism: PDF/EPUB ½ 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 The New eBook ☆ 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 broadly This provocative volume proposes a place for Christian Zionism in an integrated biblical vision.