The relationship between the church and Israel has been the source of passionate debate among Christians throughout much of church history. In recent years the traditional pro-Israel stance of evangelicals has come under fire by those who support the Palestinian cause, calling for a new perspective and more nuanced approach 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 while also addressing a number of the divisive issues raised by authors critical both of Israel and of those who affirm Israel’s right to the land. The book explores the hermeneutics and wider effects of the conflict, such as the growing antipathy within the church toward the evangelization of the Jewish people. It provides readers with an objective and interdisciplinary treatment, which is irenic and respectful in tone. The book is directed toward pastors, global Christian leaders, theological students, and well-read lay Christians who are actively seeking guidance and resources regarding the Middle East conflict. The contributors represent a broad evangelical spectrum.
Richard E. Averbeck (Contributor), Mark L. Bailey (Contributor), Craig Blaising (Contributor), Mike Brown (Contributor), Tom Doyle (Contributor), Jr Walter C. Kaiser (Contributor), Craig Parshall (Contributor), Michael Rydelnik (Contributor), Erez Soref (Contributor), Michael J. Vlach (Contributor), Mark Yarbrough (Contributor)
“Israel, the Church, and the Middle East” is a compilation of articles written by several scholars about the relationship between the three areas mentioned in the title. Around 270 pages, the book covers many topics, including:
1. The Messianic Jewish movement in modern Israel.
2. The rise and danger of supersessionism (belief that because of rejecting Christ at His first coming, the Jewish people no longer play a role in God’s plan).
3. Relationship between Israel and the Bible.
4. Modern Palestinian church in Israel.
5. Reconciliation between the Jews and Arabs.
6. Reasons why, despite their past history, the Jews should have their own nation and territory.
7. Viewpoints over dividing the land of Israel.
While written by many scholars, the book is very readable, well-documented, smoothly transitions from topic to topic, and contains a helpful bibliography for further reading. I will definitely use this as a helpful future reference and will read more deeply in the near future. Recommended. I was given a review copy by Kregel Publications in exchange for a fair review.
See also The Messianic Hope