Oct 20, 2018



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Rethinking Holy Land: A Study in Salvation Geography
Scottdale, PA: Herald Press
Amazon Review/s
Excerpt: Any assessment of the modern state of Israel must begin with respect for its appreciation of the land. But that assessment must also begin with a confession of Christianityís abysmal record in salvation geography. It is Christians who have committed some of the grossest violations of what Jesus taught in this regard, Christians who claim Jesus gives us the definitive reading of Israelís history, and Christians who should recognize that Jesus calls us to a new way to possess territory. With regard to the Jewish people especially, it is Christians who segregated Jews in ghettos in medieval Europe, engaged in pogroms in Eastern Europe, and perpetrated the Holocaust in Central Europe. It is Christians who dragged their feet in granting refuge to persecuted and beleaguered Jews in modern Europe. It is Christians and their failure to live salvation geography who created the conditions that produced modern Zionism. (p. 123).
There can be hardly any doubt that modern Israelís claim to the land rests upon the ancient biblical promise. Why otherwise would it claim this land? If that is so, Israel is obligated to sanctify the land in accordance with the conditions God attached to the promise. But if Israel asks to be measured by the standards of typical modern nation-states, it forfeits its right to special privilege and support. Holding Israel to a higher standard than that of other nations is actually a compliment, a recognition of Israelís higher calling, something not expected of other nations that do not possess Israelís ethical heritage. (p. 128)
The Bibleís comprehensive teaching on how to possess territory is what, in the final analysis, must govern our reading of the Middle East problem. This is what is meant by salvation history and salvation geography. To accept the invitation to a new way of acquiring and possessing space is not without complications and problems, but the alternative is much worse. We can only leave to God the consequences of modern Israelís refusal to follow the way that has been articulated in the prophets and in Jesus. Whatever those consequences, they never cancel the standing invitation or preclude the possibility and privilege of returning to Godís design for possessing territory. (p. 133)

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