Christianity in Jewish Terms

By Tikva Frymer-Kensky; David Novak et al. | Go to book overview

Changes in Christian theology regarding Jews and Judaism, however, do challenge us to find new ways to relate to Christians and Christianity. Now that some in the Christian world affirm God's continuing covenant with the Jews, we need to consider the theological implication of their claim to be in covenant with that same God.


Israel and the Church:
A Christian Response to
Irving Greenberg's Covenantal Pluralism

R. KENDALL SOULEN


A Brief Portrait of the Church

As a Christian, my task here is to state briefly how I understand the church and in doing so to respond to at least some of the points raised by Rabbi Greenberg.

In my view, the nature of the church can be clarified only by starting with what is generally agreed to be an odd claim (even by those who hold it to be true): the One God, the Creator and Consummator of all things, is the God of the Jews. If God is not God as he is portrayed in the Scriptures of the Jewish people--a God who makes promises to some for the benefit of all--then virtually nothing of what the church proclaims is worth bothering with. If, on the other hand, the Mystery- at-the-Heart-of-all-Things is the I AM who accosted Moses at the bush, then the gospel (the proclamation of which is the church's raison d'être) is at least possibly true. This is not to say that everything the church believes is already spelled out in what Christians traditionally call the Old Testament. But it is to say that only the God who made a beloved people Israel from Sarah's barren womb could have raised a beloved child Jesus from the dead.

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