I am letting some scholars who disagree with Mark Kinzer’s Post-Missionary Messianic Judaism write a few articles on the blog. Rich Robinson here offers a respectful view of the role of Torah that differs with mine. I do think Rich is wrong, but I am pleased with a bit of a higher view than is sometimes held. I do hope Rich doesn’t imagine for a second I couldn’t write a paper challenging some of his points here. Maybe that would be a fruitful debate for a future week on the blog — to Torah or not to Torah, that is the question . . .
The Torah and the New Covenant
by Rich Robinson
I am grateful to Derek Leman for allowing me space on this blog.
Today I want to put forward some thoughts on one theological issue concerning the Scriptures, namely the place of the Old Testament and of the Law of Moses in Christian theologies and teaching.
I appreciate Derek’s honesty in sharing his own spiritual journey both here and in his books, because he has put his finger on one problem that is endemic in the American evangelical church, and that is the comparative neglect and de-valuation of the Old Testament in favor of the New. I’m reminded of Walter Kaiser, in the days when he taught Old Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He had his finger on the very same problem, and insisted that the OT not be neglected nor devalued. He even gave it hermeneutical priority over the NT. “Antecedent theology” was his name for this approach. Though he always had a twinkle in his eye as he said it, he had strong words for those who spoke of the “Ooooooold Testament” as though it were a relic of a bygone era.
So I can sympathize with Derek’s reaction to a very real problem. However, I fear that he has greatly misunderstood evangelical theology of the Old Testament; whereas my concern with Mark Kinzer’s book is that he has neglected to interact with these same evangelical theology(ies) of the Old Testament.
As to misunderstandings, and this is not to single out Derek, because I think many, many people in the messianic movement share a similar view