What Does Your View of Israel Say about Your Theology?

We are regularly reminded of Israel’s prominent role in history and current events, but where is Israel in your systematic theology? As you reflect upon Scripture, what does the Bible say about the land and people of Israel and how does your view of Israel shape your theology? Has the Church replaced Israel? What is the relationship between the Church and Israel? What is the role for Israel now and in the future?

Israelology: The Doctrine of Israel

In the Mobile Ed course Israelology: The Doctrine of Israel, speaker and author Arnold Fruchtenbaum is your guide to a thorough understanding of a theology of Israel. Dr. Fruchtenbaum is a messianic believer and founder and director of Ariel Ministries, an organization dedicated to evangelism and discipleship of Jewish people. He is the author of Israelology: The Missing Link in Systematic Theology, a detailed expansion of his doctoral dissertation.

In this course, Dr. Fruchtenbaum explains how Israel fits into major systematic theological systems within evangelicalism. You’ll understand the place of Israel according to covenant postmillennialism, covenant amillennialism, covenant premillennialism, and dispensationalism. Learn how your view of Israel determines whether you are a covenant theologian or a dispensationalist—and how it could lead to anti-Semitism, pro-Semitism, or indifference to the issue.

Join Dr. Fruchtenbaum in the study of Israelology. Pre-order Israelology: The Doctrine of Israel today and save!

Comments

  1. Dear Faithlife

    The title of this post really is the worst kind of click-bait imaginable. The article offers nothing to answer the question ‘What Does Your View of Israel Say about Your Theology?’, and, by the looks of things, does the course being promoted. It is perhaps too strong to say that it constitutes dishonesty, but it is not far from it.

    Please consider changing the title and reviewing blogging guidelines to preclude click-baiting in future.

    • Tyler Smith says:

      Hi, Liam.

      The title of the post truly is relevant to the course. It was taken from the following line in the post: “Learn how your view of Israel determines whether you are a covenant theologian or a dispensationalist—and how it could lead to anti-Semitism, pro-Semitism, or indifference to the issue.”

      It’s true that the post didn’t go into depth answering the question raised by the title. I’ll take your feedback into consideration as we create titles for future posts.

      Best,

      Tyler

  2. Isn’t this thesis a stretch to logic? The developing and rising/falling of theological systems are covenants first. Then, the covenants determine how you articulate ancient/modern/eschatological Israel. If anything, perhaps is SysTheo would benefit from “Covenantology,” pulling covenant discussions out of other categories and then dealing with Israel more in-depth?

    Then, as I have heard many in dispensational circles do, there is a subtle shaming of Covenant theology because its supposed progression is Anti-Semitism. This is uncharitable! What about names, like Corrie Ten Boom and Oskar Schindler, working under Convenant framework or something akin.

    Finally, subscribers of each theological system are guilty of apathy or hostility towards image of God. It is well-documented that the movers and shakers of dispensationalism in US were often active in racism, whether maintaining status quo of segregation or friendly with the Klan. Now, this is not reflective of modern dispensationalism, but it is a skeleton in the closet in its 1900’s development, which is akin to Anti-Semitism and Covenant theology. Perhaps this tells us that the sin of racism, no matter ethnicity, is not due to lacking theological categories but sin of not living them out?

    As there never end to learning and I need to discensure value, I will probably not engage (buy the course or book) with Dr. Fruchtenbaum’ thesis on linking systematic category to ethical category at the present (Eccl 12:12). However, I think if this is of value to the “Church,” it would be strengthened by acedemic peer reviews of classic/historic premillennial and amillennial theologians. Else this is throwing red meat to dispensational camp, especially the classic variant, and they will eat it up. Outsiders of that camp will feel alienated by the course’s thesis.

    • First of all I know Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum. I have sat under his teachings MANY times. He is a scholar of scholars.

      But it sounds to me as if you are the ignorant one having no understanding that God’s covenant with Israel and the Jewish people is the very foundation of Christianity.

      No Israel? No church!

    • Jared,

      You well point out that the central issue in viewing Israel is the covenants; but having read many such works, the views come down to two – either Israel has been replaced by the church (majority opinion), or not (the two are separate in the plan of God). Perhaps this is brother Fruchtenbaum’s motivation in approaching the discussion inductively – beginning with the answer he believes is correct, and working back to the covenants. The rest of your comment is puzzling. In the diverse world of Logos, there are hundreds of perspectives contained in the Mobile Ed courses on theology alone, to say nothing of the (exponentially greater number of) books. Dispensationalism is just one, yet you react to it so stridently. Why? Your discussion makes its history seem closely intertwined with evil. Is this as “well-documented” as you indicate? If so, please advise where.

      Finally, worrying that something in Logos is “red meat” for a theological perspective with which you disagree, misses the point – there is much in the vast Logos catalog we all will disagree with.

      Grace and peace, Bob

      • Bob,

        Thank you for your engagement. Yes, I follow that the major point divergence between camps, and thereby the one with most heat, is “1) either Israel has been replaced by the church (majority opinion), or 2) not (the two are separate in the plan of God)”. However, what both sides have to wrestle with is how do covenants exist in parallel, flow together, or replace and where does this fit within Gospel of Christ. These are generally healthy conversations that can help the entire Church not be blinded by their own view or “hobby horse.” I think both views are wrestling with points of orthodoxy.

        I concede and apologize for my statement of “red meat.” Logos is broad platform, which is part of value. Many works on Reformation could probably use some charity towards Catholics and vice-versa; Arminianist views on Calvinist and vice versa; etc etc. On the other hand, we are going to feel passionate and need to give grace to those who have equal passion in other view (this is not to say to concede the theological point, but to acknowledge our limitation to change another’s heart.)

        I should have stuck with entry on my contention with course agenda item #:4 “determining how a theological system may lead to anti-Semitism, pro-Semitism, or indifference to the issue.” I want to completely acknowledge the evils done by those holding covenant positions (this blog entry sees four systems: covenant postmillennialism, covenant amillennialism, covenant premillennialism, and dispensationalism). Anti-Semitism is a fair charge.

        Yet, this often allows dispensationalism to stand at arm’s reach and claim a theological high ground because their system leads to a better practice/ethic. However, many have researched sermons and letters of the greats of US Dispensationalism, going through the libraries and personal collections, to emerge indifference to full support of racism (I appreciate outsider historian approach of Matthew Avery Sutton in American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism). It is not to say that you couldn’t do the same with Covenant theologians at the time, too. My point is that practices, like Anti-Semitism and anti-race, emerge from 1) not living out theology (how can anyone reflecting on image of God and salvation of nations through Abraham’s seed treat anyone group poorly?) and 2) blinded by our personal agenda, which is a great evil that will be judged greater than those without such knowledge.

        Getting to specific names/activities, we think about: Luther was blinded by his zeal for German nationality and “Gospel.” Southern US Christians of all stripes justified their behavior and argued best for people in slavery (not to mention their pockets). Lutheran Germany needed an escape goat in economic depression; at that some point, Rome placed themselves under Hilter’s thumb because they wanted to maintain their imperialism. This is all practice and personal agendas that we either make theology fit or we ignore it, but are any of these ethical failings permissible from either Covenant or Dispensational positions? I would argue, “No,” because their theology should have driven different practice.

        My position, having been in both camps for some time, is that, “No form of Christian theology can justify anti-Semitism nor anti-any race; if this exists, the problem is practice of people, who are possibly out-right unbelievers, deceived unbelievers, or misled believers, justifying un-Christian behavior and then importing into theological traditions.” Maybe this is where, if I had the time (I didn’t mean to say “discensure value” but “discern value”), I would take Dr. Fruchtenbaum’s course to see if he points out, anything that I have not studied already, as 1) short-comings in theological systems that are not explained by failings of believers and 2) that there are truly ethical failings within Covenant theology.

        Randy,

        Yes, if there is no Israel, there is no Messiah/Second Adam, if there is no Messiah/Second Adam, then there is no salvation of the world/the Church.

        My concern, which may have been poorly presented in heat of moment, is the move/logic of claiming a ethical high-ground of a theological system. As I see it, followers of each theological system have a history of falling short of their beliefs and have blood on their hands. The challenge is owning camp’s shortcomings before claiming any strength over another position.

  3. Genghis says:

    Contrary to the earlier comment, I think this course sounds intriguing and is certainly worth a look. My wife is Jewish and she certainly thinks that one’s attitude to Israel reveals much about a believer’s theology.