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15 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The blessing and the curse, 22 Jun 2008
This review is from: Christian Zionism: Road-map to Armageddon? (Paperback)
The first chapter: The Historical Roots of Christian Zionism, is an exhaustive and exhausting (for the reader) study of an obscure theology "premillennial dispensationalism." It also covers some early British supporters of a Jewish homeland in the Levant like Lords Shaftesbury and Balfour, his famous declaration as well as Christian political support for the Jewish Zionist movement. It concludes with the author's biased opinion of contemporary Christian Zionism in the USA. Fortunately there are far superior books available for the discerning reader and those who seek only the facts: The Politics of Christian Zionism, 1891-1948 by Paul Charles Merkley and Standing with Israel by David Brog. It must always be borne in mind that Israel is supported by all sorts of Christians: Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Calvinist, Charismatic, Evangelical, Lutheran, Methodist, Orthodox, Pentecostal and Presbyterian amongst others.

Subjects of chapter two include the theological emphases of Christian Zionism with reference to a futurist hermeneutic, the relationship between Israel and the Church, restorationism and Jerusalem & the Temple. It concludes with the eschatology and "distinctive" theology of the movement. In reality Christian Zionism is more like a large tent than a monolithic movement defined by a particular theology. Proof is available in works like Christian Attitudes Towards the State of Israel by Paul Charles Merkley, The Irrevocable Calling: Israel's Role as a Light to the Nations by Dan Juster and Don Finto's excellent book God's Promise and the Future of Israel. Christian support for Israel has a simple explanation: "I will bless those who bless you" of Genesis 12:3.

In chapter three Sizer accuses Christian Zionists of supporting Israeli colonialism, opposing peace and hastening Armageddon. These ludicrous calumnies make sense in view of the author's association with Naim Ateek, the Palestinian liberation theologian. Sizer's fear-mongering resembles the political propaganda of Noam Chomsky, the Pol Pot apologist and Hezbollah fan, in theological language. This is the demonic doctrine of Displacement Theology, also known as Supercessionism or Replacement Theology. He writes: " ... There is, therefore, no evidence that the apostles believed that the Jewish people still had a divine right to the land ..." This is an example of arrogant anti-Judaism. Christian Antisemites compulsively deny Israel's right to life and the clear meaning of the Old Testament through pious expressions like "fulfillment in Christ," in direct denial of Acts 15. This also points to Preterism, a doctrine holding that all Old Testament prophecy has already been fulfilled. For the firm Biblical foundations of Christian support for Israel, please see Future Israel: Why Christian Anti-Judaism Must Be Challenged by Barry Horner.

In the Conclusion, Sizer claims that American evangelicals' support of Israel is "inherently and pathologically destructive." Following Chomskyan orthodoxy, he levels the familiar litany of leftist accusations: American hegemony, racial discrimination, colonialism, apartheid and the sin of Islamophobia. Fascinating attitudes are exposed when the veil of piety slips a bit, e.g. in discussing "ethical requirements" for ownership of the land and referring to the "meek" of Psalm 37:11, Sizer states: " ... the question may legitimately be asked whether, due to its expansionist policies, the state of Israel might not expect another exile rather than a restoration."

But there is no expansion, only withdrawal! First from the Sinai, then from Lebanon and most recently from Gaza. Ronald Reagan said "liberals know a lot of things that just ain't so." The "apartheid" smear also made by Jimmy Carter is demonstrably untrue. Approximately 20% of Israeli citizens are Arabs and 16% of its citizens are Muslims. When I last checked the Israeli parliament had 10 Arab members representing three political parties: Balad, Hadash and the United Arab List - Ta'al. Jewish Israelis comprise all races, including people from Africa, India and a large number whose ancestors had lived in the Middle East for 2000 years.

Sizer ignores the historical circumstances that led to the 1948 rebirth of Israel. You will find no mention of Hitler's ally Haj al-Amin al-Husseini or the attempt of its Arab neighbors to strangle the Jewish state at birth. He seems oblivious to the dangers currently facing the little country: genocidal threats from Iran and Hezbollah, an endless rain of Hamas missiles on Sderot and other towns plus Syrian threats of war. The antisemitic incitement in the Arab media, including those of the Palestinian Authority, is ignored. How sinister of a so-called Christian to deny the tide of Islamist violence and the oppression of Christians in the Islamic world while trying to delegitimize the only Middle Eastern state that guarantees freedom of worship to members of all religions. Sizer even attacks humanitarian organizations in Israel that provide aid to both Arabs and Jews!

That most illuminating book Christian Anti-Semitism by William Nicholls reveals the theology and history behind the plague of replacement theology that informs Sizer's work. In this regard it's helpful to list some of its features:

a) Some variety of cryptic Replacement Theology.
b) Extreme spiritualizing or allegorizing of the Jewish scriptures, in particular the twisting of Old Testament prophecies about Israel in order to appropriate every promise for "the church" or arguing that they refer to Christ.
c) Blurring the distinction between the unconditional Abrahamic Covenant regarding ownership of the land and the conditional Mosaic Covenant of laws.
d) A foggy view of mankind's ultimate destiny in which no distinctive cultures or national identities survive since all become "one in Christ".
e) A cursory treatment or derisive view of the facts surrounding the rebirth of Israel and the wars for survival.
f) An undercurrent of disdain and malice towards the Jewish people.

The promise of Genesis 12:3 contains both blessing and curse; history provides ample empirical evidence that it is always fulfilled. In its widest sense, the word curse encompasses slurs, slander, innuendo, false accusations and the unfairness of holding Israel to an impossibly high standard of behavior or singling it out for criticism while withholding same from other countries. Those who employ words as weapons around an issue on which the Good Book is very clear ought to carefully consider the consequences.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 Sep 2008 21:52:38 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 Sep 2008 22:04:33 BDT
God is truth says:
Hebrews 8:13 - "By calling this covenant "new", he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and ageing will soon disappear". Pieter Toypom you need to re-read the New Testament and understand the Old Testament in the light of the New.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jan 2010 14:23:12 GMT
G. Kotze says:
As I understand this passage in Hebrews, it is focussed on the topic of the sin offering - redemption by blood. The old covenant required the blood of animals. NB: Animal blood could only cover sin before God. That is why it has to be done for the nation every year on the Day of Atonement. It is a shadow of Jesus' sin offering. Jesus blood was perfect, and a perfect sin offering, and cleansed sin completely vs. animal blood that only covers the sin. So the old covenant was a shadow of the new.
To the question of Old and New testaments, Jesus Himself addressed that. For example in Matthew 5 verses 17 & 18: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
Jesus tells us a number of things here: (1) The Torah (Law) & Prophets are eternal guidance by God (2) He has not come to void this (3) He has come to give them their full meaning. Folloing this section in Matthew, Jesus then expounds this by saying that for example the Torah forbids murder, but the full guidance from God is that if you are angry you are already walking on the path/can lead to commit murder.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jan 2010 06:44:29 GMT
Last edited by the author on 24 Jan 2010 16:19:05 GMT
S Wood says:
The two comments are living proof that the Bible - like a packet of liquorice allsorts - has something for everyone.

a brief P.S. for the reviewer, the singular (others may try to copy) it's a bit rough to have a go at Jimmy Carter for using the word apartheid about Israel when Ariel Sharon used the word Bantustan to talk about the West Bank. As a South African you presumably know what that term means so I wont bother to explain it.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Mar 2010 18:11:47 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 3 Apr 2010 20:33:53 BDT]

Posted on 3 Apr 2010 20:34:37 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 17 Oct 2010 14:33:44 BDT]

Posted on 18 Oct 2010 10:08:37 BDT
As Stephen himself has warned, be careful what you say.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Aug 2014 22:50:55 BDT
K. Mihael says:
This comment confirms how deeply misguided the Christian Zionists can be in the interpretation of the scriptures.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Aug 2014 23:04:50 BDT
Amen !

Posted on 9 Aug 2014 23:17:39 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 10 Aug 2014 05:41:31 BDT]
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