Well, we have had a heated debate here about Mark Kinzer’s Post-Missionary Messianic Judaism. I have made some strong statements. Others have made some strong statements. I think I have learned some things from my elders (Dr. Brown, Rich) about scholarly dialogue. Of course, in the beginning it wasn’t all that much about scholarly dialogue — I was simply denouncing a paper which I thought misrepresented Dr. Kinzer and which I thought was too preachy.
I have learned that it is far more important to address the substantive issues than to denounce rhetoric.
Still, one of my critics and friends has made the remark that I seem to be emotionally vested in Post-Missionary Messianic Judaism (PMJ). Well, I am. I thought I might share a few reasons why.
First, I have made the journey from various anti-Torah theologies that see the Bible as a divided book to a holistic Biblical theology of Torah and election and redemption and grace. Even in my early days as a believer at Georgia Tech (I grew up non-religious in a non-Jewish home) I struggled with what I was learning at church. First they told me the Bible was the Word of God, which took me a while to swallow, and then, after I swallowed it, they practically emasculated the Old Testament.
I was not the only one who had trouble understanding the typical anti-Torah theologies (