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Why Israel Exists 'for the Palestinians'—and the Rest of the World
Why Israel Exists 'for the Palestinians'—and the Rest of the World

This is the conclusion of a four-part discussion between Bethlehem Baptist Church pastor John Piper and Jews for Jesus executive director David Brickner on the relationship and attitudes American Christians should have toward Israel. See parts one, two, and three.

Dear David,

Let's get the relatively minor disagreements and misunderstandings out of the way, so we can celebrate the grand agreements.

I don't regard 1 Corinthians 3:21–23 as hyperbole the way you do. "All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's."

I think the Christian inheritance of all the created universe is the implication of our being "heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ" (Rom. 8:17). It's the point Jesus made in Matthew 5:5: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." We will even judge angels (1 Cor. 6:3).

And it is remarkable that the "world" is the inheritance of the Christian Corinthians (1 Cor. 3:22) and the inheritance of Abraham and his offspring: "The promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith" (Rom. 4:13).

When I say that Abraham's inheritance is not only Israel, but the world, and that the Gentile Christian's inheritance is the world, including Israel, you say that I am "minimizing the particularity of Israel's election" and that I "take away with one hand what [I] give with the other."

I did say, and I do believe, that Israel, as a people, "will finally have [the Land] as a special dwelling place." By the word "special," I mean to preserve Israel's particular role in God's plan. But when I say Israel ...

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