Friday, 4 March 2016
Seeing Judaism Anew: Christianity's Sacred Obligation,
Ed. Mary C. Boys, Rowman and Littlefield, 2002
Chapter 14, "Covenant and Conversion" (pp. 163-174), page 164
Joann Spillman lists several forms of mission to Jewish people, from simply sharing the gospel while being respectful, through attacking Judaism, to misrepesentation to - finally - sending sympathy cards to recently bereaved Jews regretting that their late relative is is hell. Treu - she cites a specific example! She states:
I reject all suchmissionary efforts, whatever their form, whether respectful or obnoxious, and I do so on theological grounds. The central doctries of Christianity - including teachings about G-d, revelation, salvation and Christ - provide compelling reasons why Christians should not seek to convert Jews.
And I would agree in all but the first. No amount of attack, misrepresentation or fear shoukd ever be used or even considered; it is incompatible with the Gospel and the heart of G-d. But I disagree over the first idea. Everyone needs to have the right to explain to another person what and why they believe, provided of coure that the other does not object to hearing, and provided it is polite, respectful and genuine - and particularly if the other person asked. However, Spillman continues:
Indeed, a mission to convert Jews is actually inconsistent with major elements of the Christian message, becuase such a mission denies the very grace on which Christians rely.
I shall be interested to see how Joann's arguments pan out ...