With acknowledgment that Christian theology contributed to the persecution and genocide of Jews comes a dilemma: how to excise the cancer without killing the patient? Kendall Soulen shows how important Christian assertions-the uniqueness of Jesus, the Christian covenant, the finality of salvation in Christ-have been formulated in destructive, supersessionist ways not onlyWith acknowledgment that Christian theology contributed to the persecution and genocide of Jews comes a dilemma: how to excise the cancer without killing the patient? Kendall Soulen shows how important Christian assertions-the uniqueness of Jesus, the Christian covenant, the finality of salvation in Christ-have been formulated in destructive, supersessionist ways not only in the classical period (Justin Martyr, Irenaeus) and early modernity (Kant and Schleiermacher) but even contemporary theology (Barth and Rahner). Along with this first full-scale critique of Christian supersessionism, Soulen's own constructive proposal regraps the narrative unity of Christian identity and the canon through an original and important insight into the divine-human covenant, the election of Israel, and the meaning of history....
|Title||:||God of Israel and Christian Theology|
|Number of Pages||:||208 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
God of Israel and Christian Theology Reviews
A ground-breaking book, reviewing the fractious relationship between the christian church and the jewish people, and how on the basis of mis-reading and mis-interpreting key scriptural concepts, christian thinkers adopted a replacement theology. In most Christian thinking and practice, the church replaced Israel. Called supersessionism, Soulen identifies 3 forms it took over the centuries: punitive, economic and structural. Punitive supersessionism: since the Jews rejected the Messiah, God has rejected them, and replaced them with the church... hard to see how anyone reading Romans 9 thru 11 could conclude this, but they did, even up into the reformation - Martin Luther was a virulent anti-semite. Economic suppersessionism: in the economies of God design, Israel served its purpose in the giving of Messiah, and now their special role in His plans were over. Structural supersessionism: overlooks God's role and character as revealed in the OT except as they point forward to Messiah: a structural reading therefore of scripture which jumps from creation and fall in Genesis to the gospels, with nothing of consequence in between. All forms share in sidelining the jewish people. The logical consequence of these forms of supersessionism resulted in a cauterized gospel cleansed of any jewishness, a view of the jewish people as despised and rejected, and an gentile Jesus, culminating in the holocaust. It is only since the post-war that a major reassessment has begun to re-evaluate the early church within its proper 1st century context and abandon even latent traces of supersessionist thinking. Unfortunately supersessionist thinking is still deeply engrained.
Lots of big words and fancy concepts in this one, but all that means is that it will probably require some focused and close reading. It's an awesome book otherwise.I read this book mostly because Soulen is one of my professors and my thesis advisor. But having read it, I'm extremely thankful that I did. I hadn't really given much thought to supersessionism or how we Christians should understand our relationship with the Jewish people, now and historically, and the Old Testament. I had always just thought that of course the God of the New Testament is the same as in the Old, but I hadn't thought about what that means. Like most Christians who might read this book, I think, I had unknowingly fallen into a supersessionist theology, the result of which is unfortunately devastating to how we relate to God, whether we want to admit it or not.Soulen provides an excellent analysis of the history of Christian thought regarding the God of Israel and how we have gone wrong. He then very carefully provides a way to move forward with a more accurate understanding of our relationship with the Jewish people and the Old Testament that helps make sense of God and our own traditions.
Reviewing my notes from this book ... this is the best one I've read on the subject of replacement theology. Thus I am revising my review. He has great insight on all the issues surrounding chosen-ness of Israel, identity as Gentiles, God's plan for mutual blessing between the two and the redemption of both through Israel's covenantal history, and the historical origins of replacement theology. The author captures the macro-level doctrinal view of Christendom as compared to an Israel-centered view. While the writing style is academic, it is still readable. He communicates well the Biblical expectations - not only that believing Jews and Gentiles should get along - but that that God's purpose for redemption is through the covenantal history of Israel. Thus without a distinction between Jews and Gentiles today, we lose the understanding and thus practical plan of His redemptive future purposes. I would have given it five stars, but in his conclusion he inserts a random comment that seemed to somehow de-emphasize evangelistic efforts toward Jews.
If you don't know what "Replacement Theology" (Supercessionism) is, you do not have the necessary foundation to claim a valid Christian faith. As R. Kendall Soulen points out, it is the "flaw in the heart of the crystal" of standard orthodox Christian faith (which came much later than the original modes of spiritual ideas promoted by Jesus and others of the same era). I am continually amazed by seminary trained pastors who have never dealt with or studied RT. How can the blind lead the blind?
I found this thought provoking romp through the vagaries of centuries of engagement between Judaism and Christianity enjoyable. The fact that I interacted with a theologically inclined group of lawyers during the undertaking no doubt added to the hilarity.