"for God's free gifts and his calling are irrevocable." Romans11:29


Church and Israel compared - Strasbourg Cathederal - replica Tel AvivReplacement Theology

(extracted from Bad Theologies)

Put very briefly, replacement theology holds that God rejected the Jews ( Israel) when they rejected Jesus.     From this it follows that the promises throughout the Bible now apply to the Church while the curses apply to Israel / the Jews.  

Actually thousands of Jews accepted Jesus, but the religious leaders rejected Him and recruited a mob to call for Jesus' death. Some will quote the parable of the wicked tenants (Luke 20 v9-19) to support their case for God's rejection of the Jews but, if you read it properly, you will notice that Israel (the Jews) is the vineyard and the tenants are the Religious leaders. Also notice that (v 19) "The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest him immediately, because they knew he had spoken this parable against them." Consider how this prophetic parable was fulfilled.

Replacement Theology is spiritualised in various ways but it is surprising how often it surfaces if you watch out for it.   Its influence can even be detected in some well respected Bible translations and their section headings.

Consider this . . . .   God made many promises to his chosen, covenant people in the Old Testament.  We Christians trust in the promises he made us in the New Testament and those we appropriate from the Old Testament.   If God can break his eternal promises to his first covenant people we do not have much assurance for the new covenant.  But thanks be to God  

" . . God's free gifts and his calling are irrevocable." (Romans 11 v29)

Ponder this parable from Jesus;   Luke 14 v7 

When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: "When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, `Give this man your seat.' Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, `Friend, move up to a better place.' Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Isn't adopting Replacement Theology taking the place of Honour which belongs to God's first chosen and much loved people.  Rather than being humbled when they take their rightful place, isn't it better to honour them and see if we are then called up to a better place when we share God's wedding feast with redeemed Israel.

However, we need to be cautious about criticising serious theologians who hold replacement views. As David Pawson pointed out in his "Replacement Theology - Too Anti Israel" (DP.1207 D from Anchor Recordings)

David Pawson points out that the replacement theologians are correct in some respects, since the Mosaic covenant is, largely, replaced ( or at least reworked ) by the "new Covenant" that Jesus /Yeshua mentioned in Luk2 22 v20,

"This cup is the New Covenant, ratified by my blood, which is being poured out for you."

Was Jesus making a remez (link) to Exodus 24 v 8

Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, "This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words."

The context of this verse shows that the Mosaic covenant was conditional on the obedience of the children of Israel.

The other covenants, especially the Abrahamic covenant in which the land of Israel was allocated, are unconditional and there is no mention of them being replaced.

Even Romans 11, the wildolive passage, talks of branches being broken off and replaced, but read the whole passage to see how they are grafted back in. See also Hebrews concerning The Messiah and the Mosaic covenant.

Here is an interesting discussion on the outcome of replacement theology

Some adherents of Replacement Theology have now re-branded it as "Fulfilment Theology"

Fulfilment Theology

In recent years a new form of Replacement Theology has arrived on the Christian scene called Fulfilment Theology. Like Replacement Theology it ends up contending that, since the time of Jesus, the Jews no longer enjoy a god-given national destiny in the land of Canaan. This time around it is not the Church that replaces Israel and takes over all her promises in scripture but in fact Jesus. He fulfils in His life and redemptive work all the promises that God ever made to the Jews; even the promise that Canaan would be the everlasting possession of the Jewish people! Jesus is the Promised Land. This allows the proponents of this theory to distance themselves from the awful evil (as in the Apartheid State) and anti-Semitic consequences (as in the Christian pogroms of history) of Replacement Theology. However, they end up believing the same thing!

Today many Christians back this thesis and even some evangelicals are beginning to abandon their traditional pro-Israel biblical position in favor of Fulfilment Theology. Also the fact that some leading Christian academics and Ministers have thrown their weight behind it is giving added momentum to its dissemination and acceptance. Nevertheless it remains a flawed theological thesis.

(full Malcolm Hedding article here)


Posted 14/01/16

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