Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Startling Statements

For my series on the Middle East (just completed), I read a bunch of books. But a few days prior to the last installment, I stumbled upon a book at the church by John Hagee entitled 'Jerusalem Countdown.' I had seen this book at Wal-Mart on numerous occassions and even flipped through it. But I had no idea how many startling statements were contained within. Below are 7 Startling quotes followed by my reaction.

The greatest prophetic miracle of the twentieth century – the rebirth of the State of Israel, May 14, 1948. I realize that an awful lot of people believe this, but I don't think most Christians realize how weak an argument it is. In my understanding, Jesus and the Apostles interpreted the promise of a return to the land in a very different way than modern day dispensationalists.

In Jerusalem there is a very special and powerful presence. It is the literal presence of the living God.
He's not talking about Old Testament Jerusalem here, he's talking about modern day Jerusalem! He's talking as if God's presence is still defined geographically. What's more, he's talking as if God's presence is still pleased with a largely Jesus-rejecting people.

It could be said that if Israel had not been brought back to the land…There would be just reason to doubt the validity of the Bible. Really? Christians for hundreds of years didn't seem to have any problem with the lack of a political Israel. Nor did they expect it to come about.

As a people, the Jews had nothing to do with the political conspiracy against Jesus Christ. Hagee doesn't spend much time on this, but it seems to me in his quest against antisemitism, he's gone to the opposite extreme. He critique of ancient and contemporary Israel is next to nothing in this book.

They (contemporary Jews) are our brothers and sisters who worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob just as we do. In certain contexts and in some senses, such a statement is valid, but given the overall message of Hagee's book, I think the ecumenical brotherhood with Judaism is much too strong in this book.

The Jewish people are not simply Abraham’s seed, but quite literally God’s children. I'm not even sure what he means here by 'literally.' But I think Paul would be surprised to find Galatians 3 being so ignored.

The stars (the church) have their role, and the sand (the Jews) has its role, but they never interact. I think Paul would also be surprised to see a Christian teacher seemingly ignoring Ephesians 2, you know, the whole 2 becoming 1 thing.

God is rising to judge the nations of the world based on their treatment of the State of Israel. That's funny, I thought we were going to be judged by our works in general which flow out of our relationship with Jesus Christ. This quote is repeated in different forms throughout the book.

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