Friday, January 20, 2006

Supersede Me - Evangelicals rethink how to convert Jews. By Mark Oppenheimer

Supersede Me - Evangelicals rethink how to convert Jews. By Mark Oppenheimer:
"If Occam's razor is right, and the simplest theory is best, then Ariel Sharon's stroke was not a big mystery. Morbidly obese 77-year-olds with high-stress jobs like, say, trying to secure the Holy Land for God's chosen people are good candidates for hemorrhagic episodes. But 700 Club host Pat Robertson thought he had a better explanation..."

Mike Kruse has this linked this morning at The Kruse Kronicle and I thought I would make a few observations.

Mark Oppenheimer is writing about the doctrine of "supersession", which many Christian, including Pat Robertson appear to believe. Basically, this doctrine holds that when Jesus came, all previous convenants were superceded, and that the only one in force was the New Covenant.

While I believe that Jesus is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life", my understanding of Scripture is that God's Covenant with Israel is for eternity, and that did not change when Jesus came.

How these older covenants will continue to play out is not known to me or anyone else; it is God's prerogative. We ARE called by God to tell the good news to the world, and this includes Jews, Muslims, as well as adherents of other religions. The Book of Confessions, Book of Order, and the Presbyterian Church (USA) website are in agreement with this duty, as I documented in an earlier posting on the first of the Great Ends of the Church -- The Proclamation of the Gospel for the Salvation of Humankind.

This article quotes John Neuhaus, the editor of First Things as saying that evangelizing of the Jews must be based on mutual respect, and not proceed from the assumption that we need to correct their errors or roll back their ignorance (my paraphrase). Rather we "can and must say that friendship between Jew and Christian can be secured in shared love for the God of Israel."

At the bottom of Oppenheimer's article are links to other Slate articles on religion, and most of them are worth following.

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