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Book Review : How Jewish is Christianity?

December 20, 2010

I decided to read, How Jewish is Christianity? 2 Views on the Messianic Movement by Louis Goldberg editor (Zondervan, 2003) because I am interested in Jewish history. I recently completed a church history subject yet discovered the subject matter quickly moved away from Jerusalem and focussed on Rome. I was left wondering but what was happening in Jerusalem? This book provided me with some of this history but this was not the main focus of the book. The book largely concerns itself with whether it is legitimate for Messianic congregations to exist. There are convincing arguments on both sides of the debate.

Some of the arguments for them not forming separate congregations are that they are likely to fall into legalism. Yet this is a danger for any congregation. Another argument is that they are meeting solely to please themselves without considering the needs of outsiders. Again this is a danger for any congregation. In the end it seems to me that it really doesn’t matter. If people want to congregate in Messianic gatherings why try to stop them? They will face the same challenges as well as some unique problems yet if they can meet and deal with these they can be as much a part of what God is doing in his world as any other congregation.

I was glad I persisted and finished the book although at times it got bogged down with tedious arguments because it gave me some interesting insights into Jewish thought and practice.

by Susan Barnes
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Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith