Teaching About Christian Zionism and "Left Behind"
-- Consequences of Their Theology and Political Agenda
The "Left Behind" series of novels have proven to be an effective way to get across a particular perspective on the End of Time. Many mainline Christians are left wondering about this relatively new 170 year old ideology that has so captured the imagination of some Christians. How does it fit into our understanding of the message of Jesus himself? "Left Behind?: Israel, the Bible and the Future" asks these questions and more as a challenge to the sometimes disturbing ideas put forth by the authors of the "Left Behind" series. MORE
This is a ten week course with video segments for each week. It is oriented toward justice and peace issues: the Christian Minority, Wall and Settlements, Refugees, Security, and also addresses the issue of Christian Zionism. The course addresses these issues using stories of the daily lives of the decendants of the first Christians, those whose live in Israel and Palestine. Individual segments can be presented for events such a church potluck dinner programs. MORE
The struggle in challenging the impact of Christian Zionism through education is its entrenched and insidious nature, the complexity and complicity of its impact, and the cultural dynamic of religious and political polarization. The key to challenging the impact of Christian Zionism, and in particular the relationship between the Holy Land and the United States, lies in intentional education. Below is a list of people willing to give talks on Christian Zionism and its impact in the Middle East. MORE
Each week of this course is built around a 20 minute video by noted theolgians and scholars who discuss diffent aspects of the theology and Israeli/Palestinian conflict. There is a student study guide with optional weekly reading material, and a moderator's guide with suggested class discussion questions and additional background material.
Barry Bryant, chair of Wesleyan Studies at Memphis Theological Seminary, discusses his transformation from a youth beliving in Christian Zionism and not wanting to be left behind, to his present stance of questioning Christian Zionist theology.
Gary Burge, Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College, discusses covenant theology and its application to modern Israel. What was the intent of the covenant? How did Moses, Abraham, the prophets and the kings interpret their responsibilities as part of the covenant in relationship to the land and the people living there?
Alex Awad, Pastor of East Jerusalem Baptist Church and Professor at Bethlehem Bible College in Palestine, compares the New Testament vision for the world with the desires of Christian Zionists to restore worship at the Temple in Jerusalem. He also discusses the expansion of the Nation of God to include all who believe in Jesus Christ regardless of race or ethnicity.
Barbara Rossing, Professor of New Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology, presents basic facts disputing rapture theology and the use of apocalyptic texts for predicting the future. What does the Bible really say about the rapture? What was the purpose of the book of Revelation? What did it say to the original readers? What does it say to us now?
Donald Wagner, Director of Middle East Studies at North Park University, discusses Jesusí and Paulís views of the land and the covenant, the history of Christian Zionism and how Christian Zionists are influencing U.S. Middle East foreign policy. Who are the Christian Zionists? What do they want?
John Hubers, Reformed Church of America Mission Program in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, ties together all of the information presented to show that this theology is not consistent with the messages of Jesus Christ to his followers.
This course is based on the experiences of two Presbyterian missionaries, Elizabeth and Marthame Sanders who lived in Palestine for three years. The course uses the daily life of Palestinian Christians as a vehicle to study important issues in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict --
The student and moderator guides are free and can be downloaded as Adobe pdf files. There is a fee for the Video/DVD which is essential for the course. For more information, including how to order, go to the --
Rev. Ann E. Helmke -- Expertise in community-based initiatives, strategies, and education within multi-cultural and multi-faith contexts addressing the impact of Christian Zionism. Peace Center, 1443 S. St. Maryís St., San Antonio, TX 78210. (210)224.4673
Rev. John Hubers -- Supervisor of Reformed Church in America's Mission Programs in the Middle East and South Asia. Webmaster of www.christianzionism.org and author of denominational study guide: "Christian Zionism: An Historical Analysis and Critique" (also available in Arabic translation from the Arab Group for Christian-Muslim Dialogue). Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 1100 East 55th Street Chicago, Il. 60615. (773) 256-0700
Rev. Dr. Arthur Preisinger -- Retired associate professor of theology and history, Texas Lutheran University. Speaks about the history and theology of Christian Zionism and its dangers. 19 Champions Dr., Seguin, TX 78155. (830)372-3092.
Rev. Dr. Stephen Sizer -- Author of Christian Zionism: Road-map to Armageddon? Stephen speaks to and examines the history, theology and politics of Christian Zionism Christ Church Vicarage, Callow Hill, Virginia Water, GU25 4LD
Rev. Robert O. Smith -- Expertise includes American Christian context of Christian Zionism and Christian Zionism's influence on U.S. foreign policy. (773)667-0817
Dr. L. Michael Spath -- Specialities in Islam and Muslim-Christian Relations, Christians in the Holy Land, American Church History in relation to Christian Zionism and American Foreign Policy. Middle East Peace Education Project, 5615 Old Mill Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46807 (260)456-8920
Rev. Dr. Donald E. Wagner -- Professor and Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at North Park University. Author of "Anxious for Armageddon" and several articles that address the Biblical, theological, and political aspects of the origins and contemporary Christian Zionist organizations in the USA.
Dr. Eugene Wollaston -- Manager Research, Amoco Corp (now BP), retired. Proponent for, and led the development of the resolution for the first denominational stand (UCC, July 2003) opposing the theology of Christian Zionism, 948 Savannah Circle, Naperville, IL 60540. (603)420-2564