King's Evangelical Divinity School

22 July 2013

Wayne Hilsden endorses JMINS

Wayne Hilsden, Lead Pastor of the King of Kings Community Jerusalem, has endorsed the new revised and expanded edition of The Jews, Modern Israel and the New Supersessionism. He writes:
I am deeply grateful to Dr. Calvin Smith and the fine collection of scholars who have presented their case. The Jews, Modern Israel and the New Supersessionism will be one of my reference works for years to come. Where one lands in relation to the theory of supersessionism can impact not only the fate of Jewish people still in unbelief, but also those who profess to follow Jesus the Messiah. So I exhort the reader to be concerned not only about the theological debate, but also how supersessionism has the potential to profoundly affect eternal consequences.
The endorsement (together with others and details of where to buy) can be found on the book pageMore on Wayne Hilsden's further involvement in this book project shortly!

18 July 2013

The EU's "useful idiots"

Earlier this week the European Union, in a breathtaking display of complete misunderstanding of the complex nature of the Middle East conflict, singled out and targeted Israel in the EU's ongoing efforts to make itself politically relevant. In doing so it has threatened any last vestiges of influence it has upon the Jewish state.

But irony of ironies, a film has just surfaced of an imam preaching from a Temple Mount pulpit a few days ago in which he calls for Europe's destruction and the re-establishment of a new Caliphate (you know, that Muslim political entity which tore Europe in two for centuries quite a long time ago). I'm reminded of those Western Soviet propagandists during the Cold War often referred to as "useful idiots".

For its part, I think Israel is becoming a bit too soft, allowing this kind of thing. Perhaps it's time to act as they are frequently accused and viewed. They could start by ending all EU projects in the West Bank, then move on to take back the Temple Mount. After all, no one preaching such rubbish deserves any land. As I keep saying, the Palestinians have had a raw deal, owed in substantial part to a long history of dismal leaders who refuse to make peace with Israel. Very soon there'll be nothing left for them to negotiate for.

5 July 2013

Arrested for Offending. It's All Becoming Quite Sinister

Archbishop Cranmer has posted a video of a US street preacher arrested this week in London because someone listening to him was offended by what he had to say (while talking about sin he dwelt upon all forms of sexual immorality and had the audacity to label homosexuality a "sin"). The video details the exchange with the police (from about 24:30 onwards). Cranmer has also posted a transcript of the interview held later at the police station, which the police have apparently released. The story has also been covered in the Christian press and elsewhere, including the Daily Telegraph.

Whatever your view of street preaching, or the style or approach of this particular preacher (though uncompromising in his beliefs he seemed far more respectful and controlled than some I've heard, possibly because he is a former US police office), we have indeed reached a sinister stage in our country where a single individual who is "offended" can result in the arrest, fingerprinting, DNA sampling and interrogation of another individual. And it won't stop there. I wouldn't be surprised if the preacher isn't allowed back in the country. 

This situation is wrong on so many levels. That a single complainant can have a person arrested merely because she felt offended. That even though she swore at him in a public place (she told him to F off) he is the one arrested. That really it's not about "offence" in general (after all, when was the last time someone was arrested for offending Christians?) but rather that someone challenged and offended the new orthodoxy. That to express a view which a segment of society disagrees with can now result in this kind of police action. That people frequently say offensive things on our streets, behave obnoxiously, even demonstrate aggressively, yet without fear of arrest. That while some gay people are as appalled by this lack of freedom as anyone else, yet others are delighting in hounding Christians (conveniently forgetting that publicising the hounding of homosexuals has been the linchpin of the gay liberation movement). That the police now police people's sexual viewpoints and how they express them. That we now have the ludicrous situation where policemen question and probe someone's theology in a recorded interview. That deep down we think we know that if the preacher's colleagues hadn't recorded the event for this very reason, quite a different story, demonising the preacher, would have emerged. That it all contributes to making a great country in so many ways look rather petty, silly and a bit over-sensitive. That this has been a complete waste of time and money. That before hitting the "Publish" button I'm having to read through this carefully just to make sure I haven't said anything that may result in my arrest.

4 July 2013

Anglican Friends of Israel review my book

Having watched Calvin Smith debate so effectively on TV with fierce opponent of Christian Zionism, Stephen Sizer, a couple of years ago, I awaited this series of essays ‘The Jews, Modern Israel and the new Supercessionism’ with some impatience.

That the essays would be scholarly was beyond doubt. But Smith wants more than that. His aim is to give ‘everyday Christians’ a toolbox of ‘resources to draw upon’ as they debate issues around the topic of the relationship that Christians should have with the modern State of Israel. Smith is driven, he writes, by ‘an urgent desire to respond to growing anti-Israel sentiment and Christian anti-Zionism among some Evangelicals.’

With his choice of essayists Smith certainly succeeds in ‘challenging disingenuous efforts by … supercessionist commentators aimed at portraying all (Zionist) Christians …….. as a somehow narrow, peripheral and fanatical segment of the church.’ Written by such varied authors as Calvinist Stephen Vantassel and Charismatic Steve Malz, the range of Zionist Christians can scarcely be described as narrow.

There’s a useful arrangement of material too, as readers can see the roots of supersessionism in Plato and his Christian admirers through to New Testament writers and the Early Church rejection of its Jewish roots, culminating with the baleful effects of Supersessionism from 19th Century until today. Any reader would find valuable information in these essays, depending on the questions they are asking or being required to answer...

Read the rest of Fran Waddams' review over at Anglican Friends of Israel.