Israel Matters

Israel Matters : Why Christians Must Think Differently about the People and the Land

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Widely respected theologian Gerald McDermott has spent two decades investigating the meaning of Israel and Judaism. What he has learned has required him to rethink many of his previous assumptions. Israel Matters addresses the perennially important issue of the relationship between Christianity and the people and land of Israel, offering a unique and compelling "third way" between typical approaches and correcting common misunderstandings along the way. This book challenges the widespread Christian assumption that since Jesus came to earth, Jews are no longer special to God as a people, and the land of Israel is no longer theologically significant. It traces the author's journey from thinking those things to discovering that the New Testament authors believed the opposite of both. It also shows that contrary to what many Christians believe, the church is not the new Israel, and both the people and the land of Israel are important to God and the future of redemption. McDermott offers an accessible but robust defense of a "New Christian Zionism" for pastors and laypeople interested in Israel and Christian-Jewish relations. His approach will also spark a conversation among theologians and biblical scholars.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 158 pages
  • 140 x 213 x 15mm | 218g
  • Baker Publishing Group
  • Brazos Press, Div of Baker Publishing Group
  • Ada, MI, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 1587433958
  • 9781587433955
  • 232,813

Back cover copy

"On one hand of the Protestant ecumene, the ideological captivities of once 'mainline' churches prevent understanding of the unique calling of the Jews and the role therein of the land. On the other hand, dispensationalist evangelicalism has a place for them, in a scheme other Christians must judge a bizarre perversion of Scripture. This book could be a historic breakthrough."
--Robert W. Jenson, Center of Theological Inquiry "It is a pleasure to commend this discussion of the relationship between the church and the people and land of Israel. McDermott's voice is a crucial one as he shows how this theme is neither new nor tied to one particular Christian tradition. This book, dealing with a topic that often is treated too simplistically by both sides in the debate, will be of great value to the church."
--Darrell L. Bock, Dallas Theological Seminary "McDermott offers a balanced interpretation of Christian theological tradition regarding Judaism and a close reading of the Bible that both strengthens Christian belief and makes room for the Jewish people in their covenantal homeland. A must-read for all people of faith."
--Rabbi Dr. Eugene Korn, Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation, Israel "Wary of uncritical, dispensationalist Zionism and hypercritical anti-Zionism alike, McDermott examines with skill and intelligence a multitude of complex biblical texts, historical developments, political realities, and theological quandaries. He channels these insights into a coherent and forceful argument on behalf of a radical claim that the Church has too long evaded--that Israel, in all its dimensions, is an essential component of God's redemptive purpose in history."
--Mark S. Kinzer, author of Postmissionary Messianic Judaism: Redefining Christian Engagement with the Jewish People "Not content to take on supersessionism, McDermott reworks covenantal theology to argue that there remains a covenant with Israel, which includes the land, and that this insight has implications for Christian doctrine as a whole. He eschews a starry-eyed vision of the current State of Israel, preferring to acknowledge its mistakes while also recognizing its importance in history. McDermott has placed Christian Zionism on firm biblical and theological footing. I heartily recommend this book."
--Dale Coulter, Regent University "Every theologian--and especially those theologians who might be inclined to disagree--should read Israel Matters, as it is destined to become the standard text for this perspective. Highly recommended."
--Bruce Ashford, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
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About Gerald R McDermott

Gerald R. McDermott (PhD, University of Iowa) is Anglican Chair of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. He previously taught at Roanoke College and is an Anglican priest. McDermott is the author, coauthor, or editor of numerous books, including Famous Stutterers, The Theology of Jonathan Edwards, God's Rivals: Why Has God Allowed Different Religions?, Can Evangelicals Learn from World Religions?, World Religions: An Indispensable Introduction, and A Trinitarian Theology of Religions.
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Rating details

18 ratings
4.05 out of 5 stars
5 50% (9)
4 17% (3)
3 22% (4)
2 11% (2)
1 0% (0)
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