Michael Brown and Mark Kinzer, Part 2

Dr. Michael Brown responded to my heated post denouncing his review of Dr. Mark Kinzer’s Post-Missionary Messianic Judaism. Please read Dr. Brown’s comment under the first post,

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9 Responses to Michael Brown and Mark Kinzer, Part 2

  1. PB and J says:


    i think stuart gave the best defense for kinzer when he said “Fortunately, Dr. Kinzer is a man of God and not given to retaliation. He has the intellectual acumen and depth of knowledge to return evil for evil and best his adversaries in the shame game

  2. PB and J,

    Please read my paper carefully rather than Derek’s version of it. There is nothing for which Dr. Kinzer should turn the other cheek. He wrote a book with some bold proposals, and I replied plainly to those proposals. Let him respond if he chooses. That is the world of scholarship.

    The fact that Derek reponds with ad hominem, off base attacks does not relect what I wrote, which is based on decades of careful reflection on the issues — not being a demagogue. If anyone should turn the other cheek, it is me towards Derek!

    In any case, I’m happy to dialogue publicly with Dr. Kinzer on this if he desires, and I’m happy to meet with him privately and discuss the issues at length.

    Don’t go for the all the rhetoric and victimology here. Let’s look at the issues, which is what I did, also speaking respectfully of Dr. Kinzer despite our differences.


    I could easily refute each of your points, but I don’t detect a strong desire on your part for a disappasionate dialogue, and I am not critiquing your book but Dr. Kinzer’s. Should you refrain from the angry judgments (e.g., the ridiculous statement about our school of ministry that was in Pensacola) and name calling (“demagogue”) and should you recognize that my paper was based on serious differences based on a careful reading of the Postmissionary book, perhaps we could enter into a dialogue.

    I have nothiing against you personally, and I do not hold your mistatements and angry tone against you. But if you want to dialogue, you’ll have to step a little higher.

  3. PB and J says:

    dr. brown

    i think you missed my pt. i wrote that comment to derek, not you. i agree that ad hominem isnt appropriate and certainly not turning the other cheek.

    you see, i think the best defense for any person is the willingness to allow their enemies to criticize without responding in anger or in attacks or being defensive. i love hannaniah, mishael and azariah’s responses in daniel. they tell the king that they dont need to defend themselves against the accusations. and you find Yeshua doing the same thing at his trial. so i wasnt criticizing anyone. i was trying to make the point that maybe as brothers in Messiah, we could all find more unity with more selflessness.

    may the shalom of Messiah be with all

  4. Peter,

    Thanks for your gracious and wise words, with which I concur. May all of us walk in that same spirit!

    My point, of course, remains the same: The whole issue was being wrongly framed, as if Dr. Kinzer were the victim of an unfair assault, and anyone reading the blog without knowing the real issues would come away with a wrong understanding. He has put forth some very bold and highly controversial theses; I took exception to these in a public, constructive paper; he has every right to clarify his position or differ with mine — for the sake of the truth and for the sake of the Body.

    Should all this be done in an irenic spirit? Absolutely, and so again, we concur.

    Shalom and blessings,


  5. To Peter and Dr. Brown:

    If the comments had been irenic in the original paper by Dr. Brown, there would be no problem. My contention is that Dr. Brown’s paper, delivered at the LCJE in San Antonio, was not irenic. It imputed motives. It misrepresented Dr. Kinzer’s position with reductionist and absurd “translations.” It was hardly a theological treatise, but a sermon preached against a straw man.


  6. Derek,

    Simply repeating error does not change the facts, and your post is filled with error.

    The paper is clear and uncompromising, but quite irenic. Read it through carefully, note every reference to Dr. Kinzer, and point out one sentence that is not respectful in tone.

    As for motives, I spoke in general terms about some Messianic believers, other times speaking of “us.” In any case, I have heard such things from the lips of various MJ’s, and therefore I did not falsely impute motive. In fact, your last blog on Postmissionary MJ only reinforced the question of motive that I raised.

    As for the “translations,” again, read the paper carefully (as everyone on this blog should do firsthand). I wrote there, “I suspect that some of you may be a little uncomfortable at this point, thinking that my ‘translation’ is over the top. Rather, what is over the top is the thesis being put forth by Dr. Kinzer and others, and it calls for a strong and unambiguous response. Anything less than that allows us to entertain concepts that, in my opinion, fly in the face of key biblical truths, most centrally, that our people are lost without explicit faith in Yeshua and that it is our sacred mission to be unapologetic witnesses for Him, to them.” I then devote the rest of the paper to backing up these statements with clear, biblical arguments — not one of which has been challenged yet.

    There was no straw man being attacked. I took issue with a written, clearly articulated position. Let it either be defended or abandoned, but all this straw man talk goes nowhere.

    Step higher, my friend, and take the time to deal with substance, and show me where I misquoted Dr. Kinzer or misrepresented the Word. You are getting out on a limb that you will soon find cannot be supported.

    Dr. Brown

  7. Dr. Brown:

    It is my assertion that the following are misrepresentations of Dr. Kinzer in your paper:

    1. You say Dr. Kinzer concludes that “Jewish believers should embrace Orthodox Judaism.” You are too bright to miss the nuance. Dr. Kinzer says that MJ’s should keep normative Jewish halakhah. Very different.

    2. You assert that outreach with the message of Yeshua will not happen in Post-Missionary MJ congregations. Dr. Kinzer says in his book, “The Jewish ekklesia will not hide its light under a bushel.”

    3. You say that Dr. Kinzer is calling for us to cease all witness until we have learned from Orthodoxy what we must believe. No, when people talk about listening before speaking, this is an idiom for listening as well as hearing. It is not a literal statement about waiting for a degree in Orthodox Judaism.

    4. You say that Dr. Kinzer wants us to become students of Orthodox rabbis as if we are prepared to give up New Testament truth. No, once again you are reducing the idiom of listening before speaking to an absurd straw man.

    5. You say that a call for a sensitive, discreet witness is abandoning the bold proclamation of Paul. You overlook the difference between Paul’s situation and ours: he came from within the synagogue. Dr. Kinzer is calling for us to get back into a position like that: coming from within, like Paul, not from without, like a missionary.

    6. You ridicule Dr. Kinzer’s call for sensitivity by translating, “From here on we must assume that every Jew we meet (even the most secular, anti-traditional, detached from his or her roots Jew) is keenly aware of the painful wounds of Christian anti-Semitism and will not respond to a compassionate and clear call to repentance.” This is a ludicrous reduction of Dr. Kinzer’s call.

    7. You make generalizations about “some in Messianic Judaism.” You may say these are not meant to characterize Dr. Kinzer, but the reader naturally assumes they are. For example, you say that “some in Messianic Judaism” are letting their Judaism define them instead of letting Yeshua define their Judaism. This is not at all what Dr. Kinzer is advocating. He is advocating a thoroughly Yeshua-centered Judaism.

    8. You impute motives to Dr. Kinzer and those who think like him. You say that Dr. Kinzer is guilty of promoting a watered-down witness to become accepted by the Jewish community. In other words, desire for acceptance is allegedly the motive. Dr. Kinzer has been clear again and again, the motive for covenant obedience and normative Jewish halakhah is not for acceptancel. That is the missionary paradigm (if I wear a yarmulke, I’ll meet more Jews). Dr. Kinzer’s paradigm is, “God’s people wear yarmulkes and MJ’s should participate halakhically with our people because God expects it.”

    It is easy for you to tell me to step higher. It says to all these blog readers, “Derek is taking the low road.” Well, I wish people would read your paper. It would be best if they had read Dr. Kinzer’s book first. I think people would be able to see that you started the low road. I am calling your bluff.


  8. Derek,

    I just now realized that you posted these assertions, about which we dialogued via email. Here, then, is how I responded to your email in brief.

    “1. You say Dr. Kinzer concludes that

  9. BTW, the smiley face should have been: 8). Hopefully, that was clear.


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