When it comes to polemical discussions about Jesus’ messiahship, Messianic Jews are often accused of taking verses from the Hebrew Bible out of context, and deliberately christianising them, so that they appear to refer to the man from Nazareth.

Ironically however, many Christians are going in the other direction, and rejecting the relevance of Hebrew Bible prophecies to Jesus’ life!

Look at this quote from Christianity’s most popular academic theologian, N.T. Wright, from God and the Authority of Scripture Today [emphasis mine]:

  • The West is drowning in a sea of double standards and moral relativism in which murderers and tyrants are allowed to wallow in their crimes, while global indignation is turned only against the sole democracy in the Middle East: Israel.

  • Israeli hospitals have never stopped treating Palestinians, even during wars in Gaza. In Syria, by comparison, Bashar Al-Assad continues to bomb the country's hospitals.

  • Instead of scapegoating Israel, perhaps these "goodists", if they really care about helping oppressed people, as they claim, will finally promote a freedom flotilla to liberate Gaza from Hamas's tyranny and Syria from Assad's butchery?

It all happened around the same time, 200 kilometers apart. In one photo, Israeli schools were involved in a national drill in the event of a missile attack. In the other photo, a real missile attack in Syria caused 200 deaths, many of which were of children. On one side, you have Israel, a democracy forced to protect its children. On the other side, you have Syria, a brutal dictatorship where the civil war has caused more than 400,000 deaths.

Many Christians know their Bible back to front – when they should know it the right way round! David Andrew offers an appreciation of a recent two-part teaching from Chuck and Karen Cohen… 

There’s a consistent note of sober purpose here, so don’t expect a snappy title. As it is, the title gets right to the point – and describes exactly what’s in the tin: “Breaking Down the Middle Wall of Partition: Confronting the Man-Made division between the Old and New Testament.”

Now some will be thinking: “This is clearly off-beam right from the title. Surely Jesus has already broken down the wall between Jew and Gentile? Surely Paul used a past tense?” No arguments there – but just because God has done something has never stopped us mortals from disagreeing with Him or revising the ‘truth’ to make it suit our prejudices. The clue to the title is in the ‘man-made division’ . As early as the early church, even Peter needed correction as he unwittingly started to rebuild the wall that Jesus had demolished (Galatians 2:11-21). Our authors are not in denial of Ephesians 2:14. Their argument – entirely dependent on Scriptural support – is that, historically, the Church in general has done a thorough job of rebuilding the wall by creating a false (distorting) division between the doctrine of the apostles and the ‘Old Testament’ writings they used to support their writings! The effect of this is two-fold: 

It’s both a continent and an idea, with an alternately heroic and ignominious past and, until recently, an enviable present. Can the heart of the West survive the 21st century?

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Tough, tender, Gospel

Let’s analyse the first-ever sermon – you know the one delivered on that first Day of Pentecost that added 3000 people to the church in a single day… (Acts 2: 1-41) 

One saviour , one focus

In increasingly hostile times, Christians need clear answers to two questions. David Andrew considers the‘why’ and ‘how’ of our existence…

Who is on the Lord's side? Those who love their enemies - and go to war on their account! David Andrew reflect on God's kindly warfare ...

As disciples of Jesus, we have good news – the very best news – for our enemies... and unless we go to war, we cannot obey God's command to love them.

Ignorance laughs at voters. Do you know the spirituality that drives the EU?

‘The United States of Europe must be a political reality or it cannot be an economic one.’Arthur Salter,

Throughout Europe the media has been dominated by discussion of the huge influx of migrants, some refugees fleeing war and persecution in places such as Syria and Iraq, many from elsewhere, but predominantly from Muslim majority countries. They range at one end of the spectrum from Christians fleeing persecution, to at the other end jihadists such as Ahmed Almuhamed, who blew himself up at the Stade de France during a football game between France and Germany in November, or as we report in this week’s Operation Nehemiah, even IS members directly responsible for persecuting Christians in Syria.

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