Coming . . . Online Book Discussion . . . Intro to MJ

introMJTuesday night, March 12. 8:00-10:00 pm U.S. Eastern Standard Time. Hopefully left-coasters can participate 5:00-7:00 U.S. Pacific Time.

The book? Introduction to Messianic Judaism, eds. David J. Rudolph and Joel Willitts, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013.

See it here on amazon:

STEP 1: Order the book.
STEP 2: Read pgs. 11-50 (Introduction, Ch. 1, Ch.2).
STEP 3: Show up here at MJ Musings on March 12 during the two-hour time slot.
STEP 4: I will post a blog with some thoughts from the reading and you (hopefully) will comment, ask questions, and a discussion will ensue with each other (not just people with me, but the whole group discussing via comments).
STEP 3.5: Optional . . . have a nice beer handy for the discussion time. It seems to loosen the mind and cheer the heart.

The “Introduction” is by David Rudolph. Though I have not read it yet, it seems he gives a few preliminary thoughts about the different sections and contributors to the book, creating interest in the subject.

Chapter 1 is by David Rudolph and is entitled “Messianic Judaism in Antiquity and in the Modern Era.” A quick glance tells me Rudolph gives a fast overview of Messianic Judaism in the first generation, the parting of the ways, and then some trajectory from the nineteenth century to present day in terms of Jewish movements for Yeshua-faith.

Chapter 2 is by David Rudolph and Elliott Klayman, “Messianic Jewish Synagogues.” The chapter includes pictures of a few Messianic Jewish synagogue buildings in the U.S. Some basic issues of membership and practice are summarized.

The book is filled with interesting topics beyond the gamut of our first book discussion about it. I wanted to give a small, manageable reading for the first discussion, though I’m sure many will want to jump the gun and discuss later chapters. If the event goes well, perhaps we will continue and have another session or two in the ensuing weeks. Further topics in the book by a wide range of Messianic Jewish and Christian writers include:

  • Messianic Jewish Worship and Prayer
  • Messianic Jews and Scripture
  • Messianic Jews and Jewish Tradition
  • Messianic Jewish Ethics
  • Messianic Jewish Outreach
  • Messianic Judaism and Women
  • Messianic Jews in the Land of Israel
  • Messianic Jewish National Organizations
  • Messianic Jews and the Jewish World
  • Messianic Jews and the Gentile Christian World
  • Messianic Jews and Jewish-Christian Dialogue
  • Matthew’s Christian-Jewish Community
  • The Restoration of Israel in Luke-Acts
  • James and the Jerusalem Council Decision
  • interdependence and Mutual Blessing in the Church
  • The Relationship Between Israel and the Church
  • The Redemption of Israel for the Sake of the Gentiles
  • Paul’s Rule in All the Ekklesiai
  • Equality in the Church
  • The Supersessionism and Superfluity of the Law? Another Look at Galatians
  • The Bride of Messiah and Israel-ness of the New Heavens
  • Mission-Commitment in Second Temple Judaism and the New Testament
  • The Son of David and the Gospel
  • Jewish Priority, Election, and the Gospel
  • The Standard Canonical Narrative and the Problem of Supersessionism
  • Summary of the Chapters
  • Conclusion

I’d love to have some comments now by any who have the book and have something to say about it. Yes, I do know (unfortunately) of the review on the Rosh Pina Project blog by Joseph Weissman (the same review listed under “Jack Horner” on amazon). Yes, I think Joseph Weissman made a grand mistake in choosing the tack he did for his review of this much-needed book. It’s just too bad that some Jesus-believing Jews have so much difficulty with Judaism and Jewish tradition. I think a primary error in such a view is its lack of recognition of the wide, wide world that is Judaism and the broad room for differing views of how to keep Torah. In choosing to negatively review the book because it did not reflect Weissman’s own strange view of what it means to be Jewish and follow Yeshua as Messiah, I think he lost an opportunity. He chose to take what is the best representation those outside of Messianic Judaism will see of Messianic Judaism and color it negatively. The sad effect of a review like Weissman’s is that it affirms the suspicions of Christians and mainstream Jews that Messianic Judaism is quirky and possibly dangerous. In other words, he shot his own foot (and the foot of Messianic Judaism).

You may wonder: should I participate if I have some disagreements with the views of Torah that are generally represented here on MJ Musings? Sure, if you wish to participate constructively and not to preach your pet view which is counter to MJ. This book is not an introduction to Hebraic Roots or Two House theology or the One Law movement. If your views fit more into those categories than into a (Jewish) Messianic Judaism, feel free to discuss. And Christians, Messianic Gentiles, non-Messianic Jews, your constructive comments are welcome.

See you right here March 12. Now, go order the book and get started . . .