Oct 10, 2011

Putting the Super in "Supersessionism"

What the heck is supersessionism you ask? It's kind of like a replacement theology buzzword mainly attributed to Christianity's superseding of Judaism.  Fun, huh? 

Here's another way to describe supersessionism: "Replacement Theology." According to Walter C. Kaiser, a really interesting Old Testament theologian that I had lunch with once and was forever fascinated by his resemblance to 1940's comedian Ed Wynn, “Replacement theology ... declared that the Church, Abraham’s spiritual seed, had replaced national Israel in that it had transcended and fulfilled the terms of the covenant given to Israel, which covenant Israel had lost because of disobedience.”1 If you would imagine, such a definition is not too popular in Israel.  

Many Christians I talk with have no idea what to make of Israel. Is Israel saved? Chosen? Hellbound? Confused? Destined? Should we support them? Are they ever going to become Christians? With so much anti-semitism in the world, supersessionism is something we Christians need to address with delicate care and thoughtfulness. If you are of the Christian faith, how do you explain Israel? Do you see them simply replaced with the New Israel of Christianity? Do you seem them as equally saved in their own personal understanding of faith? Here's one of my favorite theologians on the subject. Good ol' Karl Barth. Read this fun-filled quote: 

 

Barth1

"The election of grace as the election of Jesus Christ, is simultaneously the eternal election of the one community of God by the existence of which Jesus Christ is to be attested to the whole world and the whole world summoned to faith in Jesus Christ. This one community of God in its form as Israel has to serve the representation of the divine judgment, in its form as the Church the representation of the divine mercy. In its form as Israel it is determined for hearing, and in its form as the Church for believing the promise sent forth to man. To the one elected community of God is given in the one case its passing, and in the other its coming form."2 

Barth's view blessed Israel by providing Christians a healthier, more positive understanding of Israel's place in the Judeo-Christian worldview.  For Barth, the Jews are the chosen people of God and nothing may alter that truth. They remain as an example of those who reject their own election. He sees their existence functioning as a sign of a people living in disobedience. Christ, as the Elect One of God, whose elect people are the Church--made up of both Jew and Gentile, is the culmination of all human history, as well as Israel's history. Eventually, the first Israel, those who rebel against their election, will accept Christ as Messiah in human history and their destiny will be taken up into the Church, the New and True Israel. Now doesn't that seem easy to understand? I'm pretty sure I don't know what I just wrote. Anyway, ...

In no way does Barth see Israel as being rejected by God for their disobedience. That idea has another fancy term called Punitive Supersessionism. Barth believes Israel to be the very "visible and tangible" (3) evidence to the existence of God. The very fact that they have survived throughout the generations with so many trials and persecutions is a literal miracle. Yet, for Barth, Israel's main role came to an end with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Although his view of supersessionism is gentler and kinder than many of his predecessors and contemporaries, it still stings a bit with a negative outlook toward Israel coupled with a slight taste of universalism.

Here's one last thought on the subject from Barth, that I love:

"The new Israel is not (like the old Israel) a “nation,” a natural society . . . but a people gathered solely by the preaching of the Word and the free election and calling of the Spirit. The first Israel, constituted on the basis of physical descent from Abraham, has fulfilled its mission now that the Savior of the world has sprung from it and its Messiah has appeared."4

I may not readily buy into all of Barth's view on the Nation of Israel for I simply struggle with their rejection of Christ. Yet, even as I say that, I know that God's promise still stands regardless of our inability to keep up our end of the covenant. After visiting Israel twice I believe wholeheartedly that they are a peculiar people. As for their place in the Kingdom of God, I think St. Paul said it perfectly: "I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew." Romans 11: 1-2 

All of that is to say that God is faithful even when we are not. Any Jewish person can come to a saving faith in Christ. Each person has that opportunity presented to them--whether they are Jewish, French, or even from Trona. 

That's enough Barth for now ... I'm off to play the Battlefield 3 Demo.  

 

1.  Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., “An Assessment of ‘Replacement Theology’: The Relationship Between the Israel of the Abrahamic–Davidic Covenant and the Christian Church,” Mishkan 21 (1994): 9.

2.  Barth, Church Dogmatics II/2, 195.

3.  Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline, trans. G. T. Thompson (London: SCM, 1949), 75.

4. Barth, CD III/2, 584.

7 comments:

ninest123 said...

ninest123 12.16
louis vuitton handbags, ray ban sunglasses, longchamp outlet, prada outlet, uggs outlet, louis vuitton outlet, uggs outlet, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, christian louboutin, tiffany jewelry, ralph lauren outlet, tiffany jewelry, oakley sunglasses, gucci handbags, uggs on sale, prada handbags, nike free, nike air max, christian louboutin, louboutin uk, nike outlet, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet, replica watches, tory burch outlet, longchamp bags, burberry factory outlet, louis vuitton, cheap oakley sunglasses, burberry outlet, louboutin shoes, michael kors, uggs on sale, ray ban sunglasses, nike air max, replica watches, cheap jordans, longchamp outlet, michael kors outlet online, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors handbags, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet online, uggs on sale, michael kors outlet online, ralph lauren polo

ninest123 said...

nike tn pas cher, burberry pas cher, nike roshe run pas cher, coach outlet store online, michael kors outlet online, jordan pas cher, sac guess pas cher, new balance, nike roshe uk, michael kors uk, abercrombie and fitch, nike air max uk, hollister uk, michael kors, nike air max uk, coach purses, lunette ray ban pas cher, timberland pas cher, longchamp soldes, ray ban uk, vans pas cher, true religion outlet, north face uk, abercrombie and fitch UK, vanessa bruno pas cher, nike free, north face pas cher, polo ralph lauren uk, true religion outlet, lunette oakley pas cher, lululemon outlet, mulberry uk, longchamp pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher, nike trainers uk, michael kors, true religion outlet, nike air max, nike blazer pas cher, converse, replica handbags, louboutin pas cher, hermes pas cher, hogan sito ufficiale, polo lacoste pas cher, nike air max pas cher, true religion jeans, nike air force, nike free pas cher

ninest123 said...

timberland boots, insanity workout, iphone 6s cases, oakley, softball bats, babyliss pro, iphone 6s plus cases, hollister clothing, hermes handbags, salvatore ferragamo, louboutin, gucci, hollister, beats by dre, valentino shoes, abercrombie and fitch, herve leger, iphone 5s cases, wedding dresses, ray ban, soccer jerseys, polo ralph lauren, instyler ionic styler, mac cosmetics, iphone cases, new balance shoes, vans scarpe, nike air max, nfl jerseys, celine handbags, soccer shoes, bottega veneta, vans outlet, nike air max, s6 cases, ghd hair, north face outlet, giuseppe zanotti, mcm handbags, mont blanc, nike roshe run, p90x workout, chi flat iron, asics running shoes, iphone 6 cases, reebok outlet, lululemon outlet, iphone 6 plus cases, converse, north face outlet, ipad cases, jimmy choo outlet

ninest123 said...

sac louis vuitton, canada goose outlet, montre pas cher, louis vuitton uk, marc jacobs, juicy couture outlet, converse shoes outlet, sac louis vuitton, moncler, canada goose, moncler uk, moncler, moncler, canada goose jackets, canada goose, barbour, juicy couture outlet, moncler jackets, barbour jackets uk, moncler outlet, louis vuitton, replica watches, karen millen uk, moncler pas cher, moncler, ugg pas cher, pandora jewelry, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, supra shoes, hollister, swarovski uk, canada goose pas cher, links of london uk, pandora jewelry, lancel, doke & gabbana, canada goose jackets, thomas sabo uk, louis vuitton, canada goose uk, bottes ugg pas cher, canada goose outlet, coach outlet, pandora charms, swarovski jewelry, wedding dresses uk, ugg uk, toms shoes, pandora uk, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia
ninest123 12.16

chenmeinv0 said...

ralph lauren polo shirts
cheap oakley sunglasses
ray ban outlet
ralph lauren uk
louis vuitton outlet stores
uggs on sale
louis vuitton handbags
ugg boots
coach outlet
nike roshe run pas cher
chenyingying20161027

Unknown said...

true religion outlet
celine outlet store
birkenstocks
ugg boots
coach outlet
toms outlet
nike factory store
oakley sunglasses
ugg outlet
ugg outlet store
20161125

Unknown said...

20170223 junda
oakley sunglasses
louis vuitton outlet
coach outlet online coach factory outlet
coach outlet
oakley sunglasses
cazal sunglasses
fitflops outlet
polo ralph lauren
toms shoes
reebok outlet store