"Zion's Christian Soldiers" ought to be on the required reading list for all students of the Bible. Here is basic and fundamental methodology which challenges many evangelical assumptions about "end times prophecy." Here is a sound-minded, Christ-centered critique of a popularly accepted but nonetheless fatally flawed perspective that leads to many spiritual dysfunctions. If you find yourself troubled by saber-rattling political rhetoric coming from many pulpits, "Zion's Christian Soldiers" will reacquaint you with the Prince of peace. Greg Albrecht, President of Plain Truth Ministries, and Editor-in-Chief, The Plain Truth magazine.
"Thank God, here comes at last a book that challenges the pseudo-theology which, by giving precedence to the Old Covenant over the New, relegates the Church to the status of concubine in order to make Israel the Bride of Christ. In clear and measured terms, the author demonstrates from Scripture that God's purposes for history are not driven by a narrowly selective racist obsession but rather by his eternal design to create the Church, the new community dearly secured through the cross for all Christ-followers, both Jews and Gentiles." Professor Gilbert Bilezikian, Professor Emeritus, Wheaton College and a founding leader of Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, Illinois.
"In this very readable new work, Anglican vicar Stephen Sizer offers a biblically-based interpretation of the relationship of Israel and the Christian church. Turning to the current upsurge of Christian Zionism, Sizer examines its deeply flawed misreadings of key biblical texts and its troubling public-policy implications. Not only Sizer's fellow evangelicals, but everyone interested in this vital topic, will find Zion's Christian Soldiers an illuminating and highly valuable study." Professor Paul S. Boyer, James Pinckney Harrison Visiting Professor at William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., and editor-in-chief of "The Oxford Companion to American History"
"Few themes in biblical studies could be as important. Christian Zionism has brought to the church an interpretation of Israel and the Bible that future generations will criticize harshly. It is every Christian's obligation to understand what they are saying and how it should be evaluated. Writing in a style that is accessible to everyone -- and a passion that is sure to ignite strong responses -- Sizer outlines the landscape of the problem and its solution." Professor Gary M. Burge, Professor of New Testament, Department of Biblical & Theological Studies, Wheaton College & Graduate School.
'There can't be many other areas where interpretation of the Bible has such an obvious impact on attitudes to contemporary history and politics. Sizer has a remarkable gift for making complicated ideas thoroughly accessible and relevant. He has thrown down the gauntlet to a very significant section of the world-wide Christian community, and this book demands a considered response from them - and from every reader.' Colin Chapman, Lecturer in Islamic Studies at the Near East School of Theology, Lebanon.
"I strongly commend this new book by Stephen Sizer and urge all evangelical Christians to read it and consider its warning message. No issue arouses greater confusion and dissent among Christians than does Christian Zionism. Even to question its claims draws sharp opposition. Yet none threatens the future of positive Jewish, Christian and Muslim relationships than does that of Christian Zionism and its connection with the politics of the state of Israel. All too readily confusing labels and bitter acrimony encourage Christians to leave the issue alone, or to regard it as an intractable political problem which does not concern them. Stephen Sizer has shown the greatest courage in facing its challenges and in providing an informative, eirenic and readable exposition of what the issues are and how they have arisen. I urge it upon my fellow Christians to read this book and give it their closest attention." Professor Ronald E. Clements, Emeritus Professor of Old Testament Studies, King's College, University of London.
'Stephen Sizer's new study offers a fresh and insightful approach to reading the Bible. With magisterial skill he challenges Christian Zionists and provides a comprehensive framework for understanding the true meaning of Scripture.' Rabbi Professor Dan Cohn-Sherbok, Professor of Judaism and Director of the Centre for the Study of the World's Religions, University of Wales, Lampeter.
"Stephen Sizer deftly exposes the many exegetical missteps of contemporary Christian Zionists. He advocates a more just and Christ-centered alternative to the politically and ethically problematic views espoused by many contemporary end-times popularizers. I hope this book prompts a courageous and healthy re-thinking of Zionist theology towards a more constructive, biblical perspective." Dr Paul Copan, Associate Professor and Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics Palm Beach Atlantic University West Palm Beach, Florida.
"This work deals expertly with a vital theme .... For this Christian zealotry perverts the truth of Christ in three tragic ways. It ignores or repudiates the equal stature under God of all peoples in nature and in grace; it flouts a Christian conscience by discounting injustice and oppression; and it sees no Christian ministry to the hope and pleas of original Zionism itself. Thus it darkly violates both Christian sympathy and Christian faith." The Right Reverend Kenneth Cragg, retired Assistant Bishop in Jerusalem
"In this seminal work based on a careful analysis of how the Bible explains the relationship between Israel and the Church, Stephen Sizer underscores crucial distinctions between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. Just as it is a grievous sin to turn a blind eye to the horrors of anti-Semitism, so it is a grievous sin to turn a blind eye to a Zionist theology that divides people on the basis of race rather than uniting them on the basis of righteousness, justice and equity." Hank Hanegraaff, President of the Christian Research Institute and host of the Bible Answer Man broadcast
"This subject deeply impacts the western world and the so-called "clash of civilisations". This book is a "must" for all those concerned about this vital subject." The Very Reverend Michael Harper, Dean of the British Antiochian Orthodox Deanery and a director of The Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies, Wesley House, Cambridge.
"This is a clarion call to Evangelical Christians to study the Bible more carefully because of the political implications of their beliefs. Stephen Sizer shows that many Christians are espousing views, that they claim come from the Bible, that are in fact leading to bloodshed, dispossession and division in the Middle East. Stephen calls for a more careful look at the Bible that reflects the call of Jesus to be peacemakers." Garth Hewitt, Founder and International Director of the Amos Trust.
"Once again Stephen Sizer has produced a seriously worked out biblical theology which challenges some Christians who give uncritical support to the current political stance of Israel. We have here a serious biblical challenge, evangelical in character which, nevertheless, challenges certain kinds of fundamentalism, both theological and political. I commend Stephen's latest book warmly, not with the conviction that everyone will agree with it, but that all ought to engage in its argument for the very sake of the Peace of Jerusalem itself, now the Holy City of the three great monotheistic faiths, the faiths of the Children of Abraham." The Right Reverend Christopher Hill, Bishop of Guildford
Stephen Sizer's book "Zion's Christian Soldiers?" is a welcome addition to our Middle East reference books. We travel frequently to Israel/Palestine, sharing what we have seen and heard through power point presentations and commentary when we return Stephen Sizer has written a clear and understandable book that carefully compares scripture references which are often used by Christian Zionists who challenge our "ignorant" bias against Israel. Not realizing that the scripture references which are used as proof of our error, are taken from translations of the Bible that have been "edited and corrected" by their leaders. Since reading "Zion's Christian Soldiers?", I am better able to refute incorrect claims and not get defensive. As a lay-theologian, I needed a true theologian to teach me an accurate biblical response for such occasions. Sue Ellen Johnson, Retired Educator, Advisory Board of Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding (EMEU)