A Response to Comments on July 25 Blog

I wrote on July 25 about a statement just released by Dayeinu, a network of theologically conservative Messianic leaders. Several of my friends and a few I don’t know wrote to object to Dayeinu’s statement and my agreement with it.

Sean said, “You seem to pose that dayeinu is pro-Yeshua faith and Hashivenu, specifically the teachings of Rabbi Dr. Mark Kinzer as less than pro-Yeshua faith.”

Sean, I am a disciple of Dr. Kinzer and one of his biggest fans. Yet we disagree about this and a few other issues. I am in agreement with Hashivenu’s sociological outlook, but not all of its theological outlook. Regardless, I would not characterize Dr. Kinzer’s or Hashivenu’s position as less that pro-Yeshua faith. They are very pro-Yeshua faith. The issue is rather about the reasons for and the solution to the problem of separation from God.

Sean also said, “though lewis was speaking about those who have never been exposed to the gospel, i think it is worth considering that the all sufficient sacrifice of Yeshua could and may be applied to those who had not specifically called upon Yeshua or were prevented from seeing Yeshua as the Jewish messiah, whose followers in the church was killing Jews left and right.”

If you will read the paper that I included as a link at the end of the July 25 post, you will see my response to this idea, specifically to John Sanders who argues your case cogently. I would be thrilled to hear your response to my paper.

Susan said that my blog article implied that her deceased child was certainly in hell.

Susan, I am sorry for your loss. I am a father of seven. I can relate to the pain of losing a child. I did not say that anyone’s child was categorically destined for hell. I said I agreed with the Dayeinu paper, including the statement that scripture does not address exceptions to the need for Yeshua-faith. I leave the justice to God.

Rabbi Stuart, my good friend and mentor, said that I implied some in Hashivenu are denying the corruption of humanity and the need for Yeshua-faith. I did not mean to imply that. I do think, however, that in declaring that people may be forgiven of their sins and included in the life to come and filled with the Spirit apart from Yeshua-faith, you are guilty of taking the problem of human corruption lightly. While I am not certain exactly how the sacrifice of Yeshua atones, I lean towards a notion of penal substitution. Our faith is our participation in the sacrifice to derive its benefit. Without leaning the hands on the sacrifice, so to speak, it cannot benefit. That would be a great discussion for a longer article and more time.

Rabbi Stuart also suggested that I am saying peolpe must receive Christ personally to be saved and that this is an external act. This is a subtle argument and deserves more than the cursory answer I am forced to give (I need to take a shower and get downstairs to the conference): Yes, the revivalism of the early twentieth century created many silly ideas about salvation, such as the sinner’s prayer and altar calls. My position has nothing to do with that. There is something the Bible recognizes as active faith. That, my mentor and friend, is what I’m talking about.

I will be back today with an on-site post about the UMJC Conference. Please note the exciting story below about a First in Messianic Judaism!

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3 Responses to A Response to Comments on July 25 Blog

  1. Susan says:

    Derek wrote, “Susan, I am sorry for your loss. I am a father of seven. I can relate to the pain of losing a child. I did not say that anyone

  2. GracieRuth says:

    I think you are trying to force things into a preconceived box. Sometimes the scriptures can’t be reduced to simple theologies. In the specific case of the Jews, Paul clearly teaches an exception. We know from the letter to the church in Rome (chapter 11) that Jews who are not Yeshua-believers are still part of the ELECT. “With regards to election, they are beloved for the sake of the patriarchs.” “All Israel shall be saved.” It’s not a matter of whether you wish to argue with Hashivenu, but whether you wish to argue with Rav Shaul.

  3. GracieRuth:

    Thank you for participating in this discussion. You bring up an interesting argument, that Romans 11:28 is declaring Jewish people as a whole rightly related to God because they are elect.

    I would not be alone in telling you that being Chosen does not necessarily mean rightly related to God. Elect and redeemed are very different ideas.

    Let me know if you have a response. BTW, I attend Hashivenu forums when I can and I am in many ways a disciple of Hashivenu leaders. This is simply one area where we disagree.

    Derek

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