The Jews, Modern Israel and the New Supercessionism: Resources for Christians has just been reviewed in the Christian newspaper Evangelicals Now. I must confess I wasn't too hopeful about a positive review, given the paper's invitation to Stephen Sizer to review Barry Horner's Future Israel (about this, on his blog Sizer wrote: "O dear. I really don’t want to have to review this unpleasant little book but those nice people at Evangelicals Now have asked me to, so I will, eventually.") Thus, one blogger has questioned the newspaper's editorial policy on issues relating to Israel and Zionism.
So when someone told me last week a review of my book had appeared in Evangelicals Now, I wasn't too hopeful. Yet though the review is hardly enthusiastic I was quite pleased that other than a quip or two it wasn't overly negative either. It's true the reviewer labels the book 'heavily Zionistic', clearly missing the difference between Zionism and anti-supercessionism (a point elaborated in the book and also elsewhere), but that's fine, really. I was also pleased with the observation that the book "is written in a good Christian spirit of brotherly love and consideration for those who differ". Unlike how the debate is bitterly carried out elsewhere (on both sides) I'm keen to see less emotive language driving this issue, as well as a Christian commitment to greater objectivity, so I was grateful to the reviewer for noting how the views in the book were expressed.
It just seemed all the more puzzling, then, to end the review on the following note:
But by the book's own admission, it is not dealing with things that are essential for salvation (p. 65). Ah, that's why I'm not sure about it -- £12.99 and a good couple of hours reading it and it's not going to make a scrap of difference to eternity. Hmmm.
It seems a curious thing to say, as if he only considers evangelistic books worth reading. Could this be what he was getting at (if so his library must be pretty narrow), or couldn't he resist a parting quip? I honestly don't know.