Why bother about Israël?

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This post has 15 Replies | 2 Followers

Posts 227
JC54 | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Sep 14 2017 3:00 AM

The subject is not meant offensive, but as a sincere question. 1 oct is Israël sunday (at least in the netherlands) and I think this question is alive in my congregation. So I want to adress it in the sermon: why should 21st century christians bother about Israël?

What Logos literature would you advise on the topic?

Posts 3100
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 14 2017 4:25 AM

I have not read it, but this is certainly on-topic: https://www.logos.com/product/3901/israelology-the-missing-link-in-systematic-theology

Posts 8652
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 14 2017 7:11 AM

I'd think (again avoiding to offend) the basis for the special designation would be the key.  When one moves into theology-land, things get murky. One Sunday, our pastor posed that same question. So, being brave, I answered, 'as important as Norway, presuming the great commission'. He smiled.


Posts 244
Lonnie Spencer | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 14 2017 7:12 AM

JC54:

What Logos literature would you advise on the topic?

You could run a proximity search- election NEAR Israel  -for all resources in your library to see what comes up.

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 14 2017 7:58 AM

Is this something the whole country is doing, or is this some kind of commemoration in your denomination, or ...? Also, is this a Sunday to honor Israel, or to call it to repentance for it's treatment of Palestinians, or something else?

As a Reformed pastor in the US (Christian Reformed Church), I can tell you what I do with such things: usually I ignore them, or just pay them lip-service at some point in the service. I don't like people far removed from my congregation trying to set the agenda for that congregation. Some of these things are just too big to ignore, and some are things I actually do want us to deal with in some way as a congregation (especially if the congregation is already dealing with these things!).

As far as Logos resources go, you'll likely find some that would equate the modern nation of Israel with the fulfillment of end-times prophecy. Some of these are quite dispensational in approach (which may, or may not be quite foreign to you). These resources would suggest a close link between supporting the current nation of Israel with securing God's blessing ("...those who bless you, I will bless...," etc.). Thus the link between Israel and 21st century Christians. Most in the Reformed theological camp don't make this connection, and (without knowing you) suspect that your question comes out of that backdrop.

Others see in the current nation of Israel, a nation that oppresses the Palestinian peoples within and just outside its borders. For such people, an Israel Sunday may just be a Sunday to preach against injustice. There may be some resources in Logos that adopt this perspective, but if so, I'm not aware of any.

I'm not aware of resources in Logos that merely deal with contemporary international politics concerning Israel as one nation among many. 

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

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David Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 14 2017 8:11 AM

Any theology book from a Dispensational Eschatology would consider Israel to be unique from other political entities. You could start with any resource dealing with the "land" portion of the Abrahamic covenant.

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 14 2017 11:43 AM

JC54:
What Logos literature would you advise on the topic?

One article search is: (with Match All word forms checked)

(covenant,dispensation,eschatology,Christian,Gentile) NEAR (Israel,Jew) NEAR (restoration,revelation,significance)

Francis:

+1 Yes plus helpful for some article search terms.

Keep Smiling Smile

Posts 1417
Jan Krohn | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 14 2017 12:03 PM

I moved to the Netherlands two weeks ago, and wasn't aware of Israel Sunday. There doesn't seem to be a lot of information about it on the internet.

Anyway, here's a Vyrso book on the topic:

https://vyrso.com/product/31589/dateline-jerusalem

It's been on my reading list for some time, but I've not read it yet, so I can't say whether it is any good.

--
Jan Krohn -- Returning back to Germany after 5 years of Mission Work in Cambodia. Starting Next Now...
www.heidoc.net -- Vyrso Freebies Newsletter -- Bible Apps -- Secret Microsoft Downloads

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 14 2017 1:39 PM

Francis:

A superb, in-depth, and exhaustive exposition of the Dispensational perspective on Israel. Be warned, however, that it is almost as long as War and Peace, and even more complex Stick out tongue Wink

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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 14 2017 2:14 PM

If dispensational, then I cannot commend, unless the goal is to study dispensationalism. Sometimes reading nonsense helps me formulate and clarify my own thinking. In that sense it can still help explore a topic.

Posts 114
Robert | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 14 2017 2:18 PM

JC54:

The subject is not meant offensive, but...why should 21st century christians bother about Israël?

Joining you in not wanting to be offensive, and noting immediately that modern Christians are not required to carry a brief for everything Israel as a modern nation.

But on the question of what Israel is in in the sight of God (per your message for Sunday) forget dispensationalism and every other theological "template" - you need go no further than the scripture itself. Using the Concordance tool for the NKJV (if not an LN user, a search will be fine) Israel is named over 2,700 times in God's Word. The only non-conjunction words that occur more often are God's names and derivations of "king". So read what God says about them and decide for yourself. For what it's worth, Israel is named about 80x in the N.T., most definitively by Paul (leaving aside Revelation); read the 15x+ in Romans 9-11 alone and decide for yourself. Paul asks (and answers, categorically as he sums up his argument) some pretty straightforward questions (Ro 11:1,11; see 25-26).

Don't consult a theology - ask what God means when He speaks.

Grace and peace. <><

Posts 533
Keith Pang | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 14 2017 4:20 PM

Israel is important because this was God's chosen nation and through Israel the Messiah (Jesus Christ) has come. The Christian faith is grounded in the Old Testament. You can also see that  Israel is a major part of His plan on earth. That being said it is now all about Jesus in the New Covenant.  

Without subscribing to a certain theological viewpoint Israel is still important. Mainly because each human being is important to God regardless of nation, ethnicity, color, etc. because each human is made in the image of God. Every person needs to come to God through Jesus Christ, because salvation is found in no one else. (See Acts 4:12).

Hope that helps somewhat

Shalom, in Christ, Keith. Check out my music www.soundcloud.com/kpang808

Posts 114
Robert | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 14 2017 8:23 PM

Keith Pang:

Israel is important because this was God's chosen nation and through Israel the Messiah (Jesus Christ) has come. The Christian faith is grounded in the Old Testament. You can also see that  Israel is a major part of His plan on earth...

Every person needs to come to God through Jesus Christ, because salvation is found in no one else. (See Acts 4:12).

Thanks Keith, well said. Israel's story begins in Genesis 12, and all the content of God's promises in the law and the prophets have yet to be realized (Ro 11:25-26). We must not take our eyes off His chosen people. 

Grace and peace. <>< 

Posts 533
Keith Pang | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 14 2017 8:26 PM

Robert:

Thanks Keith, well said. Israel's story begins in Genesis 12, and all the content of God's promises in the law and the prophets have yet to be realized (Ro 11:25-26). We must not take our eyes off His chosen people. 

Grace and peace. <>< 

Absolutely, I agree. I was just trying to abide by the forum guidelines. 

Shalom, in Christ, Keith. Check out my music www.soundcloud.com/kpang808

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 14 2017 9:10 PM

Francis:
In that sense it can still help explore a topic.

Table of Contents => https://www.logos.com/product/3901/israelology-the-missing-link-in-systematic-theology shows many view points considered:

Francis:
If dispensational, then I cannot commend, unless the goal is to study dispensationalism.

Dispensational is the last three chapters.

Keep Smiling Smile

Posts 3100
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 15 2017 12:57 AM

Without getting into too much detail and deriving into debate or too much theologizing, Israel is important because the NT cannot be gotten right without the OT and Israel is central to the OT. Gentiles play a much greater role in the NT but Israel retains an important role there as well. 

There is much being said and believed about the NT and Christianity that is all very wrong and it all stems from trying to make the latter a religion largely disassociated from its Jewish roots and background and the central role of Israel in the divine plan from the Abrahamic covenant onward. 

The dispensational movement and the "Bible prophecy" movement have been very sub-standard in terms of interacting critically with the OT. Zeal without knowledge is not good. Nor is knowledge without love. 

So, yes, every Christian needs to wrestle with the question of what is Israel's place in God's continuing plan and how it relates to Gentile Christianity. In particular, many prophecies that have been appropriated in the context of the new covenant have strong components that relate to Israelite nation that have not been fulfilled yet. For instance, Jeremiah 31:31-34 is often quoted by Gentile Christians but little is made of the fact that the prophecy speaks of a new covenant with the house of Israel and Judah. While indeed, there are indications that in some respects the people of God are merged into a new entity, the Church, attempts to ignore such specific references or equate them all to "the Church" are misguided.

Sorry for the rant. My point is actually to encourage you to do your own research, keep an open mind, and make up your own. Use resources but don't surrender your own judgement and evaluation to them.

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