Evangelism: Is Jewish-Christian a Contradiction in Terms?

1997This article is part of CT's digital archives. Subscribers have access to all current and past issues, dating back to 1956.

Messianic Jewish believers are questioning the judgment of Fuller Theological Seminary in sponsoring a conference on religious pluralism with the American Jewish Committee (AJC), an implacable opponent of evangelistic outreach to Jews.

The January conference took place on the Pasadena, California, campus of Fuller, headquarters of evangelicalism's only formal program in Judaic studies.

Some members of Fuller's School of World Mission still bridle over how Rabbi A. James Rudin, coconvener of the conference and national director of interreligious affairs for the AJC, had opposed the founding of the school's program of Judaic studies by denouncing Jews who affirm Jesus as Messiah.

Just before the conference opened, Fuller President Richard Mouw reaffirmed his commitment "to calling Jews to faith in Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah."

Jews for Jesus Executive Director David Brickner called Mouw's evangelistic stance "clear and forthright."

Tuvya Zaretsky, leader of Jews for Jesus in Los Angeles, said that "the American Jewish Committee is working pointedly to undermine evangelism of Jews."

Zaretsky warned that Rudin has worked to marginalize Jewish Christians. Arthur Glasser, head of the Judaic Studies Program at Fuller's School of World Mission, himself questioned the conference's use of the bipolar term Christians and Jews as if Jewish-Christian is a contradiction in terms.

Zaretsky said that the AJC uses the competing terms Jewish and Christian as a denigration of Jewish Christians' Jewish identity.

Rudin, however, said he does not argue against religious diversity or the right of individuals to believe what they wish. Instead, he warned that whenever he hears the claim that "there is only one way to God," he hears an echo of ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Tags:
From Issue:
September
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
More from this IssueRead This Issue
Read These Next
close