Category: Zionism

Ryle and the future of the Jews

In his book ‘Coming Events and Present Duties’ (1867/1879), J.C. Ryle summarises his views on prophecy and presents a handful of sermons preached on various aspects of this subject.

Concerning the future of the Jews, Ryle states:-

Ryle develops this conviction in a sermon entitled ‘Scattered Israel to be Gathered’.  Based on Jeremiah 31:10, this contains fairly standard teaching for a mid-19th-century Evangelical, and makes the following assertions:-

  • The word ‘Israel’ carries only three meanings in Scripture: (a) it means Jacob; (b) it means the ten northern tribes (as distinct from Judah); (c) it means the entire Jewish nation. 

Jews for Jesus?

‘Older Younger Brother: ‘The tragic treatment of the Jews by the Christians’.

This is a 50-page booklet by Canon Andrew White (‘The Vicar of Baghdad’), published in 2014.

It has been placed into my hands by some Christian friends, and I offer here some words of summary and response.

White begins by setting out the context of his life-long ‘love for the Middle East and…hatred of all anti-Judaic polemic.’

He reminds Christians of how much they owe to the Jews:-

Their total history of salvation from the time of Abraham came through the Jewish people. …

Replacement theology

A few years ago, I had some dialogue some Christian friends about the place of Israel in God’s purposes.  I wrote up my thoughts at the time in some of the posts that you will find linked to this one.

One of those friends has recently placed into my hands a copy of Derek White’s booklet Replacement theology: it’s [sic] origin, history, and theology.

White was one of the founders of Christian Friends of Israel (CFI) in 1985.  …

How do we get from the Old Testament to the New Testament?

It strikes me that the relationship between the Old Testament and the New Testament is one of the most important challenges in our understanding of the Bible.

I would like to jot down a few thoughts on ways in which it is possible to misunderstand the relationship between the two testaments.

1. Making too much of the difference between the two testaments.

(a) Marcionism

Marcion was a 2nd-century teacher who completely rejected the Old Testament, and regarded its god as a tyrant. …

The Abrahamic covenant and ‘the land’

David Pawson, in his book Defending Christian Zionism, asserts that there are not one or two, but five covenants in the Bible.  They are: 1. Noahic, 2. Abrahamic, 3. Mosaic, 4. Davidic, and 5. Messianic.  Pawson asserts, quite properly, that the New Testament only ever refers to the Mosaic covenant as ‘old’ and therefore replaced by the ‘new’ (Messianic) covenant (Luke 22:20; 1 Cor 11:25; 2 Cor 3:6; Heb 8:8, 13; 9:15; 12:24).  As Grudem explains (Systematic Theology, p521), ‘the Mosaic covenant was an administration of detailed written laws given for a time to restrain the sins of the people and to be a custodian to point people to Christ (Gal 3:19, 24).’

The Abrahamic covenant, however, with its promise of ‘the land’ (Gen 12:1-3; 15:18-21; 17:2-9), has never been annulled. …

Seven reasons to be pro-Semitic

I’ve blogged quite a bit recently on the delicate but important subject of Israel.  Much of what I’ve written tends towards the conclusion that the ‘Christian Zionist’ position cannot be supported from Scripture.  That is to say, the Bible does not, in my view, teach that Jewish people have a God-given right to return to the land of their ancestors and re-establish the nation-state of Israel with Jerusalem as its capital.

It’s distressing to note how vitriolic the debate sometimes gets. 

Israel: Old Testament prophecy and New Testament fulfilment

I have found it useful to compile a list (albeit partial) of passages that are relevant to discussions about Israel and the Church and related questions such as restoration to the land, etc.

The debate cannot simply be reduced to whether we interpret the Bible more, or less, ‘literally’.  It’s a question of how the New Testament understands the Old Testament promises to have been fulfilled in Christ.

Here’s a list of relevant passages, with some notes appended.…

‘I will bless those who bless you’

Genesis 12:3 records a great promise made by the Lord to Abraham – “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse”.

Some interpreters argue that this promise to Abraham can be applied to modern Gentile attitudes towards the secular state of Israel.

C.I. Scofield says of this promise: ‘Wonderfully fulfilled in the history of the dispersion. It has invariably fared ill with the people who have persecuted the Jew – well with those who have protected him.…