NOTABLE BOOKS ON CHRISTIAN ZIONISM AND CHRISTIAN ZIONISTS
Book of the Month
Allies for Armageddon: The Rise of Christian Zionism
by Virginia Clark
NEWS N BLOGS ON CHRISTIAN ZIONISM and CHRISTIAN ZIONISTS
Updated July19, 2014
- Communities Digital News
- al Jazeera
- Christian Century
- The Christian Science Monitor
- Christian Science Monitor
- The Christian Century
Why Evangelical's Love for Jews is an Unrequited Love
by Michael Schulson
(RNS) According to a new survey, white evangelical Christians feel a lot of warmth toward Jews.
Michael Schulson is a freelance writer based in Durham, N.C. RNS photo courtesy Michael Schulson
As for Jews, they feel colder toward evangelical Christians than they do about any other religious group.
Cue the Taylor Swift ballads: We have here a serious case of unrequited love.
To gauge the interreligious emotions of the American public, the Pew Research Center asked thousands of Americans about their religious identification, and then asked them to rate other religious groups on “a feeling thermometer,” where a zero was “the coldest, most negative possible rating” and 100 was “the warmest, most positive” response.
With a wildly subjective metric and results that invite massive generalizations, the survey deserves a skeptical look.
Still, the discrepancy in the Jewish-evangelical relationship is too large to dismiss. White evangelicals gave Jews a full 69 percent of emotional warmth (very high, by the survey’s standards), while Jewish respondents gave evangelical Christians a frosty 34 percent — one of the lowest ratings in the entire Pew data set.
Jews rated Catholics pretty favorably, so we can’t explain this result as a response to Christianity as a whole.
Heavy-handed efforts to convert Jews — such as the Southern Baptist Convention’s 1996 resolution on Jewish evangelism — have not endeared certain evangelical denominations to their Jewish neighbors. And some Jews may struggle to forget anti-Semitic comments made in the past by evangelical leaders, including Billy Graham.
But the real issue here is not that evangelicals don’t love Jews enough. It’s that certain evangelical communities sometimes love Jews way, way too much — or, more accurately, love an image of what they believe Jews to be.
Seeking a return to pre-Christian roots, churches hold Passover seders and blow shofars during services. Evangelical support for Israel is legendary. Liberty University, the evangelical school in Lynchburg, Va., even has a Judaic studies program that, as its director told the Liberty student newspaper, “tries to communicate to the Liberty community that we as Christians owe a debt of gratitude to the Jewish people.”
Resource for the Study of Christian Zionism and Christian Zionists
Articles on Christian Zionism and Christian Zionists
Sabeel Makes a Statement at the Christian Zionist Parade in Jerusalem
Zionism Unsettled: A Congregational Study Guide
Zionism Unsettled embraces these critical issues fearlessly and with inspiring scope. The booklet and companion DVD draw together compelling and diverse viewpoints from Jews, Muslims, and Christians in Israel, Palestine, the US, and around the globe. By contrasting mainstream perceptions with important alternative perspectives frequently ignored in the media, Zionism Unsettled is an invaluable guide to deeper understanding.
Released in January 2014 to immediate critical acclaim, Zionism Unsettled consists of a 74-page illustrated booklet and a free companion DVD. A how-to guide for class leaders and focused discussion prompts make it an ideal resource for multi-week exploratory education programs in churches, mosques, synagogues, and all classroom settings.
Why the Rapture Isn't Biblical . . and Why it Matters
I grew up in church culture. Most of what I recall from those early childhood and teenage years bring memories of good things. People genuinely taught me that loving Jesus matters more than anything else in the world. The world, after all, is corrupt and the place we truly long for is far, far away – heaven. So we are to love Jesus and hate the world.
Now, this is not hatred toward the people on earth. I did not grow up in a church culture that taught that we ought to tell outsiders how much they suck, but that this “world is not my home, I’m just a passin’ through.”
World and physicality = bad.
Jesus and spiritual bliss in a distant heaven = goal of the game.
This distinction came with a subset of beliefs about the destiny of God’s world. Eventually this planet would be destroyed and we Christians would “fly away” to heaven at the rapture of the church. Certain Christians understood the timing of the rapture as it corresponds to the book of Revelation differently than others, but no one ever denied the imminent return of Jesus to evacuate the church out of earth.