A first was recorded in both evangelical and Jewish circles when more than forty scholarly participants met last month in New York City to discuss the state of their relationship. Organized by Interreligious Affairs Director Marc H. Tanenbaum of the American Jewish Committee and G. Douglas Young of Jerusalem’s Institute of Holy Land Studies, the three-day exchange was designed to evoke frank and clear discussion of areas that have traditionally kept the two communities apart. Papers from both sides considered the following topics: The Messiah, The Meaning of Israel, Social Concerns, Biblical Authority, Current Morality, and the Problems of Minorities in a Pluralistic Society.

The conference was the fulfillment of a long-held dream of Canadian-born, U. S.-educated Young, himself now an Israeli citizen and a leading spokesman for Christians in that country. Conference sessions were held in New York’s Calvary Baptist Church and at the American Jewish Committee’s headquarters.

Although the evangelical delegates were hand-picked to represent a wide variety of theological expression all were known to be reasonably friendly to modern Jewish and Israeli interests. Some, typified by elder statesman Arnold T. Olson of the Evangelical Free Church, have gained considerable prominence with Christian advocates for Israeli causes.

Major topical addresses were delivered from the evangelical side by Marvin R. Wilson (Gordon College), William A. LaSor (Fuller Seminary), Carl E. Armerding (Regents College), Paul E. Toms (President, National Association of Evangelicals), Vernon C. Grounds (Conservative Baptist Seminary), and Young.

Jewish positions were set forth by scholars representing all three traditions (Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform). ...

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