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Supersessionism, the Holocaust, and the Modern State of Israel

Written by Michael Vlach.

Perspectives concerning supersessionism have been seriously affected by two twentieth-century developments—the Holocaust and the establishment of the modern state of Israel. These events have pushed questions and issues concerning Israel and the church to the forefront of Christian theology.[1]

More than any other event, the Holocaust has been the most significant factor in the church’s reevaluation of supersessionism. According to Irvin J. Borowsky, “Within Christendom since the time of Hitler, there has existed a widespread reaction of shock and soul-searching concerning the Holocaust.”[2] Peter Ochs asserts that Christian reflections on the Jews and Judaism after the Holocaust “have generated theological questions of fundamental significance.”[3] 

The Importance of Supersessionism to Theology

Written by Michael Vlach.

In recent years, a greater awareness of the relationship between supersessionism and the major categories of Christian theology has developed. R. Kendall Soulen, for example, points out that current perceptions toward supersessionism are “fraught with profound implications for the whole range of Christian theological reflection.”[i] Craig A. Blaising asserts that issues related to supersessionism affect the doctrines of God, anthropology, Christology, ecclesiology, and eschatology.[ii] Although it is beyond the purpose of this work to examine fully how supersessionism relates to all aspects of Christian theology, a brief sketch of this relationship will highlight the importance of the supersessionist view to theology. 

Recent Blog Posts

Does Paul Use Allegory in 1 Cor 9:9-10?

One of the most challenging examples of how the New Testament uses the Old Testament is 1 Cor 9:9-10. Not a few notable scholars have deemed this text as a case of non-contextual use of the OT, some even saying that Paul is allegorizing the OT here. The text from 1 Cor 9:8-11 reads:

 

I am not speaking these things according to human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things? For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing.” God is not concerned about oxen, is He? Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops. If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?

 

The preceding context of this passage indicates that Paul is asserting his rights and those of others to be paid for their efforts in the cause of the Gospel. Just as soldiers have a right to be supported and vineyard planters have a right to eat from vineyards (see 1 Cor 9:7), so too, those who “sowed spiritual things” have a right to “reap material things” (9:11). Read more...

Epicenter Conference Evaluates Replacement Theology

Joel Rosenberg’s Epicenter Conference 2012 met Sept 12-15 in Albuquerque, NM (www.Epicenterconference.com). A major focus of the conference was on addressing Replacement Theology and its assertion that the church replaced or superseded Israel as the people of God.

 

There are two sessions I want to draw your attention to. The first is a discussion panel that Joel Rosenberg, Michael Rydelnik, Skip Heitzig, and I participated in. Here we discuss what Replacement Theology is and why it developed. We also address the various forms of this view including the rise of so-called “fulfillment theology.”

 

The second is a message by Michael Rydelnik who is a professor at Moody Bible Institute. Here he offers a refutation of Replacement Theology from the New Testament. He documents how the NT actually affirms the OT promises to Israel. This is a message that cuts at the heart of the replacement/fulfillment position.

 

So in addition to the various books by Barry Horner (Future Israel), Ronald Diprose (Israel and the Church), and me (Has the Church Replaced Israel?) that have addressed Replacement Theology, these two videos should be of help as well. Make sure you watch them. Here are the links:

 

Discussion Panel on Replacement Theology: http://epicenterconference.com/media/videoPlayer/epicenter_2012_panel_discussion

 

Michael Rydelnik’s refutation of Replacement Theology from the New Testament: http://epicenterconference.com/media/videoPlayer/epicenter_2012_dr._michael_rydelnik

The Kingdom Program in Daniel 7

Daniel 7 parallels Daniel 2 in that Daniel had dreams and visions concerning four Gentile powers that will occur before the kingdom of God is established. Yet this chapter gives even more details for the student to ponder.

 

Read more...

One in five Americans now have no religious affiliation--called the "Nones" (Pew)

by Mike Vlach

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