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Film Tries to Bridge Chasm Between Jews, Evangelicals

A new documentary explores each group's concept of prayer, the Bible, and the Messiah.
You can't get from the New Testament to Auschwitz directly," says Marvin Wilson, author of Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith. "But surely the way the church has portrayed Jewish people for the last two millennia provided a fertile background out of which the Holocaust could develop."

Wilson aims to confront stereotypes and bridge the chasm between Jews and Christians. When award-winning Jewish filmmaker Jerry Krell of Auteur Productions approached him about turning the book into a video documentary, the Gordon College professor of biblical studies gladly lent support. Christian, Jewish, and secular sources funded the resulting two-hour production, called Jews and Christians: A Journey of Faith. Krell's video explores the commonalities and differences of the faiths through a gamut of Jewish and Christian voices.

Wilson says he's not surprised that 3,000 Christians and Jews came to the video's October premiere at the Gordon campus on Boston's North Shore. "I do think there is an increasing trend nationally for Christians to want to explore in much greater depth the Jewish roots of Christianity," Wilson said.

In A Journey of Faith, scholars and pastors explain concepts common to (yet distinct in) each religion, such as prayer, the Bible, and the Messiah. The film includes footage of worship services, ceremonies, and rituals in churches, synagogues, and believers' homes.

The documentary also includes laypeople discussing stereotypes and prejudices. "We didn't want to present a bleached-out version of Christianity or Judaism," Wilson said.

The video makes no attempt at evangelism, nor does it address the Messianic Jewish movement. Bob Grinnell, Gordon College's vice president for development, does not fault A ...

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April
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