Posted by: Hugh Griffiths | January 27, 2006

My top 5 books from 2005 (part 5)

In an excellent blog post yesterday, Roger Aubrey referred to our ‘spiritual genealogy’ and that Scripture is clear about our heritage:

“I’m not Jewish by birth, but I am a true Jew, one inwardly (Romans 9:6-9), because the true children of Abraham are those who believe. Therefore, the children of Abraham comprise all who have faith in Jesus Christ, who is the Seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15) and the Seed of Abraham (Galatians 3:16). The promise of God to bless the nations given in Genesis 12 was never meant to be the natural, physical offspring/seed of Abraham.”

This is so true and yet its implications are so often overlooked by much of Christianity today. So for my fifth recommended book from 2005 I have chosen the following title because it deals with a closely related theme – the land of Israel.

Israel of God

The Israel of God: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
This much needed book from an excellent theologian addresses the question ‘Is the modern state of Israel the modern fulfilment of ancient prophecy?’ and similar. Robertson considers the promises of God made to OT Israel and explores how they relate to the church.

This is a well written book that weaves together biblical principles showing why much of the teaching on Israel today is wrong. His clear gathering and explanation of key OT and NT passages provides a much needed response to the popular error of placing unbiblical importance on today’s nation of Israel. Instead he demonstrates that God’s heart was always for all nations and that even from the beginning, Israel was never intended to be only for those naturally descended from Abraham.

I would highly recommend this book, particularly to pastors and teachers – I think it fills a much needed gap on the bookshelves and should help church leaders think biblically about Israel and the purpose of God.

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Responses

  1. I do agree. I have often felt that some Christian places far to greater significance on modern day Israel. Perhaps that is best shown in Pat Robertson’s dreadful comments about Sharon’s stroke (not just in their insensitivity, but which to me seemed to be a gross misunderstanding on God’s viewpoint on the modern day state of Israel).

    From a geanological point of view I think that the palestinians probably have as much a genetic link to the Israel of the Old Testament as does the people of modern day Israel.

    Christianity is about what you believe not where you live.

  2. Thanks for recommending the book, Hugh. You’re absolutley right about the Israel question. I believe it has been one of the biggest red-herrings in the church for many years.

  3. JB: well said.

  4. I’m astonised how many of my fellow christians claim that the church has replaced Israel.
    I fear God of the Bible and of Israel because 203 times in the Bible He calls himself,
    THE GOD OF ISRAEL, and has declared that these are His people by an everlasting covenant.
    Moses said, for the Lord’s portion is his people, Jacob is the lot of his inheritance,He
    kept him as the apple of His eye, clearly,this does not refer to Jews as individuals but
    to Israel as a nation, must less does it refer to the Church as Israels replacement.
    Twice more in Scripture is the nation of Israel affectionately referred to as the apple of God’s eye.
    Duet 32 9-10: Lamentation 2-18 : Zechariah 2-8.
    The word Israel is found 2,565 times in 2,293 verses in the K.J translation of the Bible.
    Indisputably, Israel is the major topic of Biblical prophecy,just as it is of the daily news.
    God said; As long as the sun is in the sky,as the moon and stars are in the sky and the tides are working.
    Israel will not cease being a Nation before God for Ever. jeremiah 31-35 check it out.

  5. Elwyn, Thanks for replying to my post. You have rightly stressed the importance of Israel and also alluded to the key question here – who is Israel? The NT is very clear that “not all Israel is Israel” (Romans 9:6-8)and so the answer is perhaps not as straightforward as it seems. However, this book provides a good explanation based not on ‘replacement theology’ but ‘fulfilment theology’ that allows God’s heart for all nations to be expressed. It certainly helps to provide a context to understand more unusual verses such as Amos 9:7 “Are not you Israelites the same to me as the Cushites?”

  6. The issue here surely is, do we as Christians today accept that God has given up on the Nation of Israel in favour of a Gentile Church? I’ve know preachers preach from
    The pulpit that the Jews have rejected their Messiah, that the carnal Israel of today is a nation in unbelief. My understanding of Scripture in the Bible says that they must return to Israel even in unbelief because that’s when they will come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Zech 12 9-10, 13-1
    Because it says that the Jews will realise and come to believe in their Messiah.
    But obviously God will have the last word in all this.

    Thank you for your excellent reply comment and I will certainly check out the scriptures you have given. I will accept your recommendation of the purchase and
    Reading of the book you mentioned. When I was a craft apprentice many years ago
    The senior tradesman taught me and my fellow apprentices to always measure twice
    And cut once. So can I recommend Dave Hunts book Judgement Day to you, It’s
    Worth a read, actually it’s quite shocking the isbn number is 1-928660-32-0

    In the meantime I wish you well with your blog site actually I think I am your avid reader of your family of bloggers you could almost call me a fan.

    May the God of the Bible and of Israel reveal to us what’s going on in our world and where we are heading, from the greatest book ever written, The Bible
    My kindest regards to you


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