I believe Yeshua ha-Notzree, Jesus of Nazareth, is the Messiah. Despite my two Jewish parents (one deceased) and having passed through a bris as well as a bar mitzvah, many Jews won't consider me part of the mispocha, the extended family of Judaism, because of that simple declaration.

At the same time, more than a few Christians would, frankly, prefer that I not be a Jew, at least not too much of one. Forget the Sabbath, the holy days, the dietary laws—they're all abrogated. Israel? Just another nation. God's favor rests on the church now. Indeed, Jews like me, who believe in Jesus, are encouraged simply to assimilate into the church—not too far, perhaps, from Woody Allen's legendary portrayal of a Jew-turned-Christian in Hannah and Her Sisters. Unpacking a grocery bag, the convert, played by Allen, removes a loaf of Wonder Bread, a jar of mayonnaise, and, finally, a crucifix.

What's a Jew (who believes in Jesus) to do? For that matter, what's the rest of the church to do with us?

Bracing Challenge

At a time of fervent interest in the Jewish roots of Christianity, the question of interactions between the church and Jews, let alone Judaism, remains a troubling one, as a recent book highlights.

Mark S. Kinzer, an adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, tries to steer Christianity back to its Jewish roots. Kinzer aims at the heart of the matter: Are Jews rejected and replaced? His answer is no. He wants Jews to believe in Jesus, or Yeshua, but says Jesus needs to be brought to Jews carefully and deliberately, and in a historical context, he argues, that Christians have often ignored.

Kinzer explores passages from the Gospels of Mark and Luke that seem to reject Old Testament observance. He says, "It could be interpreted ...

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