Saturday, June 30, 2007

Washington Post Article on Jews for Jesus Campaign

Let's go over a few interesting items from the article.
The group is loathed by many mainstream Jews. Washington area Jewish organizations and the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington have condemned the campaign, saying Jews for Jesus proselytizes too aggressively and misleads potential followers by using Jewish symbols, portraying their places of worship as synagogues and referring to Jesus by Hebrew names.

Was Jesus a Swede? Should we refer to him by his Nordic name?
Jerusalem Post reported that Texas megapreacher and stalwart Israel ally John C. Hagee believed that Jews have a special covenant with God that allows them salvation without accepting Jesus. The Rev. Hagee is already criticized by some evangelicals because he doesn't advocate proselytizing to Jews. He disputed the newspaper report, saying he believes that Jews do need Jesus, but many messianic Jews remain angry that some evangelical leaders are willing to tone down evangelizing in order not to offend Jews.

We should be offended when any Christian tones down the gospel to not offend anyone (the basic content, not using wisdom of when to talk and what type of language to use-not needlessly offending people). The gospel is the only way of escape from the wrath of a holy God. We have broken His law. We are law-breakers. We are in trouble. Anyone who waters this down due to fear of man has done something bad. I'm sure I've done it. And when I do it I should be ashamed of myself.
Working with him was Adam Myers, 21, a junior at Liberty University, who said it bothers him that so many people at his church believe that proselytizing to Jews is unnecessary.

Adam Myers- you rock.
While passing out brochures, Katz got the e-mail address of Michaela Curtis, a 21-year-old intern from North Carolina who grew up in a Christian household where interest in Judaism was high.

"Jews for Jesus is true Judaism, because Jesus was the king of the Jews," she said. "It makes perfect sense to me."

Michaela Curtis, makes sense to me too.
But nearby was Bess Lender, a Jewish George Washington University senior, who disagreed.

"They'll promote themselves as Jewish," Lender said, "but it's just silly to me to think you can be Jewish and believe in Christ as the messiah."

Bess Lender, I wish I could talk to you to explain the evidence for our beliefs.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Trinity: One What and Three Whos

Since in dialog with Jewish people the doctrine of the Trinity gets accused of being polytheistic, I've linked to a useful blog entry.

Here is a quote:
All three persons in the Godhead share equally and completely the one divine nature, and are therefore the same God—coequal in attributes, nature, and glory. God has revealed Himself as one in essence, but three in personhood. In terms of what God is (essence), God is one; in terms of who God is (personhood), God is three. God is therefore "one What" and "three Whos." The God of the Bible therefore reflects both a unity of nature (monotheism) and a plurality of personhood (trinitarianism).


Monday, June 25, 2007

Trying to Answer Jews for Jesus

I saw this in an article from a Washington, D.C. Jewish newspaper.
For instance, in response to the question, "Did you know that believing in Jesus is the most Jewish thing you can do?" the flier states that "According to Judaism the Messiah will not be divine or eliminate the obligation to observe Torah."

It continues: "Jews believe in a monotheistic system of a non-corporeal God" and that "by believing that Jesus is 'co-equal to God the Father,' Jews for Jesus have crossed an unbridgeable chasm by accepting a belief idolatrous for Jews."

I can only ask, is this the best they can do?

"According to Judaism..." Well, no kidding. But the question is whether or not the teachings of traditional Judaism are true. According to is not a good form of argumentation.

Christians believe in a non-corporeal God as well. Go read Genesis 18. I'll wait here. Back? Ok.

God appeared as a man, in the Torah, to Abraham. He even ate dairy and meat together! Does this mean God is non-corporeal? No. But according to this form of argumentation, we would be forced to conclude that.

"By believing that Jesus is co-equal to God the Father, Jews for Jesus crossed an unbridgeable chasm by accepting a belief idolatrous for Jews."

But apparently the belief is OK for Gentiles.

The statement assumes that Jesus is merely a man and not the pre-existant Son of God. Biblical evidence can and should be offered for this belief. But the general impression I get is that this group simply assumes their belief and isn't giving much of a defense. But I'm not sure they assume their beliefs are true or are just for Jews.


Friday, June 08, 2007

The Limits of Orthodox Theology

I've wanted this book for a long time. It looks at how there have been objections to Maimonides' Thirteen Principles. It should be another ongoing series on this blog, but I expect blogging on this will be sporadic. When I have time to read, I'll post.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Examining the Testimony of Julius Ciss

A Jewish news article was about a counter-missionary who works for Jews for Judaism. Since the article and his testimony refer to inconsistencies in the Christian faith, I felt it might be a good exercise to go over the examples he raises.

Why? Because they are probably pretty typical. A cursory overview has shown that Dr. Michael Brown's excellent books ("Answering Jewish Objections") deals with these in-depth. Therefore, I will not try to give completely in-depth answer.

Not sure how long this will take.

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