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on 17 June 2015
A challenging book on a controversial theme, This is a book for a specialist readership.
It gives one a lot to think about and to ponder over.
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on 22 July 2012
David Pawson defended readably and convincingly what I have always called myself without much understanding. It's good to have your beliefs sometimes truly and critically examined.
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on 22 August 2008
While the book is a helpful addition to the debate on the subject of Zionism I found it at times (especially early on) rather an irritating read!

Not because of disagreements with what Pawson says (that is a separate issue) but because of the way he says it - he repeatedly inserts rather snide comments that are unnecessary & rather unworthy.

Given that the subject is so emotive, a less inflammatory response would have been more helpful... better to let our theologising & exegesis promote constructive dialogue, than being critical of a 'target' (Pawson's own word) who is a fellow believer?

That said, much of what he writes is clear & concise even if rather 'sweeping' at times.

Worth buying? Yes.
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on 9 June 2008
I have long appreciated David Pawson's (DP) work, have read most of his books, attended his lectures and met him a couple of times. I appreciate his rigorous way of examining the scriptures and the issues and, in many areas of controversy, have a large measure of agreement with him. However, in this controversy, I suspect he would regard me as somewhere in his Replacement/Fulfillment categories of Christian anti-Zionists although I don't fit his criteria for either.

His book serves a valuable purpose in removing the dispensational element from the discussion. Stephen Sizer's (SS) book right targets the dispensationalists but as DP points out there is a brand of Christian Zionism which utterly rejects the dispensationalism of Darby, Lindsay and LaHaye. It is useful to clear that ground and to see that in terms of the Mosaic Covenant David Pawson himself is a `Replacement Theologian'. However it was the Mosaic Covenant which established Israel as a nation with a destiny and the Commandments and Judgements served partly as a tenancy agreement for the land. Where does this leave a right to the land for those who whose constitutional covenant giving them the lease, never the right, to the land was `replaced' by the New Covenant?

Clearly DP feels strongly about these issues but I think this book does not maintain his usual standards of patient reason and fairness. I was saddened to note one or two places where he adopted the `guilty by association' brand of reasoning and surprised at his association of several UK politicians with `Christian Zionsim'. I would scarcely regard Churchill or some of his other `Christian Zionists' as `Christian' in any sense.

DP's book is only the beginning of a response to SS's position. His handling of the topic was inevitably reactive but it suffers as a result of this. It left me with more questions than solutions. I still think that in agreeing with Stephen Sizer's demolition of dispensationalism DP has served his readers well, now we can get onto the real issues of interpretation.
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on 22 April 2008
This book was written in response to a book by Stephen Sizer against Christian Zionism which contained a short sermon by John Stott. In 'Defending Christian Zionism' David Pawson seeks to refute some of the statements that Sizer makes and state his own case for non-dispensationalist pre-millennial Christian Zionism.

Overall the book is successful. Not, for this reader, in convincing me of his position, but in the way in which he explained the different views, putting some quite complex ideas into readable language. I also appreciated the fact that he commended Stephen Sizer for some of his views, agreeing with him in many aspects, but when disagreeing doing so graciously and showing his own reasoning through biblical examples. Pawson occasionally lapsed into some rather odd examples of anecdotes which he thought proved his case, many of which I found entirely unconvincing, but the overall book was a clear and helpful read, even for someone who does not agree with his views. Despite being a response to another book, this would be a worthwhile introduction to this confusing and often emotive subject.
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on 29 April 2014
The very title of this this book is risible - there is no such animal as "Christian Zionism" !!!! One is either a Christian or a Zionist . A Christian cannot eat at two tables . Zionism is as diametrically opposed to Christianity as communism is. By the way , readers should also realise that the 1948 State of modern Israel has NOTHING to do with Biblical Israel (covenant people chosen by God ). A serious study of Romans will expel all myths and lies concerning Dispensational Zionism (doctrines of demons ) The Lord Jesus Christ will lead His followers into all truths and away from all heresies . 1 Corinthians 2:14
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on 1 August 2008
As we are not Bible teachers, We would not presume to teach upon the doctrinal content of this book, as we know God promises to judge every careless word.
However, we would like to give David Pawson 5 stars for his concern for Truth and willingness to 'put himself in the firing line' for the sake of the Church, at a time of increasing 'political correctness',confusion amongst many leaders, and widespread lack of genuine love and fear of the Lord.
We are certain that David's motivation for his writings is a selfless and driving desire to help the Church while he still has time.

Needless to say, David Pawson is valued as one of the most serious, knowledgeable, insightful and scrupulously sincere Bible teachers of our time. For that reason alone it is well worth taking heed of his thoughts, but,as he always says himself, -judging them for yourself against the light of God's Word.
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on 24 May 2008
I remember 30 years ago, as a new Christian listening with awe to David Pawson's audio tapes, fresh from Guildford Baptist Church and finding his teaching so helpful. Over the years I have benefited a great deal from his books and I have great respect for David Pawson. We have corresponded and met on two occasions over the past year and had in-depth conversations. We have found a good measure of agreement. We also debated one another on Premier Christian Radio on 22nd May 2008.

I am glad that David has felt able to commend my own book, Zion's Christian Soldiers. "my fellow Zionists... will be disturbed by my agreement with much of Sizer's criticism of this position." (p. 19). "I am grateful to Stephen Sizer for drawing attention to the legitimate criticisms of dispensational Zionism. He has rendered a service to the cause of Zionism which was needed." (p. 39) I have to say, however, that David's book is a disappointment. I don't think that is simply because David has put my name on the cover and admits on page 17, "Sizer is my main `target'" The book appears to have been written in haste and without much attention to detail. This might explain some of the factual errors it contains, besides the sweeping generalisations and occasional inflammatory language.

I am disappointed most of all because David does not engage with my arguments from Scripture but rather restates his own views while taking swipes at what he thinks I believe. This suggests that while his book was written as a defence of Christian Zionism and to refute the position I have taken in my two books, Christian Zionism: Roadmap to Armageddon? (IVP, 2004) and Zion's Christian Soldiers? The Bible, Israel and the Church (IVP, 2007), he does not actually engage with either. And yes, in places, it does get a little personal.

Although David's book has 160 pages, the font is larger than usual and the spacing wider than necessary so the book appears more substantial than it is. Also, I am sure it is embarrassing to David that on the front cover his name is unusually printed in a larger font than even the book title. Sadly, the book has no footnotes, no references and no bibliography so there is no way to check the occasional sources quoted. It is therefore a book to read but not particularly useful for Bible study.

The book has five main chapters besides and introduction and conclusion: Two Zionisms, Five Covenants, Two Peoples, The Promised Land and the Second Coming. The book concludes with an appendix critiquing a sermon by John Stott on the `Place of Israel' which is included in my second book.

The saddest aspect of the book is the tone with which David occasionally writes. There is an impatience with positions he disagrees with and sometimes barely concealed anger. Sometimes David implies Divine judgement on those who challenge his position.

For example, in his conclusions he refers to an international conferences held in 2004 and sponsored by Sabeel in Jerusalem, entitled `Challenging Christian Zionism'. The participants included evangelicals, liberal and Catholic Christians together with Jewish and Muslim speakers and participants, who were deeply troubled by the failure of the international community to bring about justice for the Palestinians, peace for Israel and reconciliation between Jews and Arabs. Nevertheless, David, who was not a participant, writes, "Now a rising tide of anti-Zionism is added to the mix. The Archbishop of Canterbury consents to speak at a conference in Jerusalem... specifically denouncing Christian Zionism... The most belligerent speaker died shortly after returning home. Stephen Sizer was a delegate. Some preachers deliberately attack Israel... How does the Holy One of Israel feel about all this?" (p. 154)

In the Appendix, David summarises, despite very few actual quotes, an unpublished sermon by John Stott, which he graciously allowed me to include in Zion's Christian Soldiers. In my opinion, the book is worth buying just for this sermon. David begs to differ however. "It is unlike such a careful scholar to build so much on so flimsy a foundation... when it comes to expounding particular texts Stott gets into difficulties, coming up with some unusual, even bizarre explanations... For Stott `Jerusalem' does not refer to the Jewish capital at all but to "the whole present world order" which will be brought to an end before Jesus returns. This extraordinary claim..." (pp. 159-160).

David seems unaware that this is how the Apostle Paul associates Jerusalem with the opponents of Christ (Galatians 4:21-27) as does the Apostle John (Revelation 11:8). The writer to Hebrews calls us to look to another Jerusalem as our true home (Hebrews 12:22-23). He concludes with the regrettable comment, "it is a great pity that this sermon had not remained unpublished." Perhaps it would be charitable to suggest it would have been better if David's comment had remained unsaid.

My question to David is this. Was the coming of Jesus the fulfillment or the postponement of the promises God made to Abraham?

David's case for Christian Zionism requires him to show that unconditional promises concerning the land were made by God exclusively with a racial group descended from Abraham, and apply in perpetuity to their physical Jewish descendants, apart from faith in Jesus Christ. This he cannot and does not prove from Scripture.

This is why I continue to regard Christian Zionism as an oxymoron, a basic contradiction in terms. Nothing in David's book leads me to think otherwise.
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