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Christian Evangelism and Judaism
The following e-mail exchange began after Rabbi Yehiel E. Poupko, Judaic Scholar at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, read Stan Guthrie's "Foolish Things" column, "Why Evangelize the Jews? God's chosen people need Jesus as much as we do." Rabbi Poupko sent his initial response to David Neff, editor in chief of the CT media group.
On March 28 The New York Times published a statement entitled "The Gospel and the Jewish People: An Evangelical Statement," in an advertisement sponsored by the World Evangelical Alliance. The statement expresses respect for Jewish people, condemns anti-Semitism, and affirms Jewish evangelism and specialized ministries to Jews that are done without deception or coercion. Dozens of evangelical leaders signed the statement, including Stan Guthrie, who is managing editor of special projects for CT. The ad will also appear in CT, Charisma, and World.
Today, the second part of the exchange between Poupko and Guthrie is posted.
This article creates a teachable moment. The Jewish-evangelical relationship is in its nascent period. We are still learning how to talk with each other and how to engage in respectful, friendly conversation about ultimate matters. The purpose of this conversation is not agreement. The basis of interfaith conversation must be mutual sacred rejection, a clear understanding of the irreconcilable differences between the faith communities. As a Jew faithful to the covenant made by God with my fathers and mothers at Mount Sinai, I reject what is most sacred to the Christian. I am prepared to die for it, as have my ancestors before me. The Christian rejects what ...1