A Bethlehem Reality Check

With the controversial, anti-Zionist Christ at the Checkpoint conference starting on Monday in Bethlehem, here's a revealing counter-narrative by my colleague Robert Nicholson: In 1990, Christians made up a majority of Bethlehem's residents; today they make up only 15%. Some say Israel is the reason for the decline, but then why is the Muslim population… Continue reading A Bethlehem Reality Check


Chosen? An expanded review

Here's an expanded and upgraded version of my review from January 23, which is used by permission of Kesher: A Journal of Messianic Judaism, where it will appear in its next issue. Special thanks to Kesher book review editor Yahnatan Lasko. Chosen? Reading the Bible amid the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, by Walter Brueggemann When I first… Continue reading Chosen? An expanded review

Book Review: Chosen? Reading the Bible amid the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, by Walter Brueggemann

When I first learned that Walter Brueggemann had written a book opposing Zionism and contesting modern Israel’s claim to the land of Israel, I was worried. Brueggemann is an outstanding Christian scholar of the Old Testament and a highly credible voice. After I read the book, though, I was a bit relieved, because it’s really… Continue reading Book Review: Chosen? Reading the Bible amid the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, by Walter Brueggemann

A Messianic Rabbi Measures 2015 . . . for Prayer

As 2015 winds down, it seems like it’s been an unusually full, and troubling, year. This blog focuses on 2015 events that are relevant specifically to the Jewish and Messianic Jewish community, so I’ve left out some really major general issues like global climate change, the US presidential race (even though there’s one major Jewish… Continue reading A Messianic Rabbi Measures 2015 . . . for Prayer

Justice, justice

You may have read the recent story about reggae/rapper Matisyahu being disinvited to perform at a music festival in Spain. According to the Times of Israel (http://timesofisrael.com/matisyahu-expelled-even-as-spain-says-its-making-nice-to-jews/, accessed 8/18/15), the Rototom Sunsplash festival said it was canceling Matisyahu’s performance after the nearby Valencia chapter of the BDS movement described him as a “lover of Israel”… Continue reading Justice, justice

Sizer Held Accountable . . . At Last

Stephen Sizer is an Anglican vicar and author of Christian Zionism: Road Map to Armageddon (IVP, 2004), who has served as program coordinator for Christ at the Checkpoint (an anti-Zionism conference hosted by Bethlehem Bible College). I told one of the other CATC organizers, a Palestinian Christian whom I consider a friend, that I could never attend their conference… Continue reading Sizer Held Accountable . . . At Last

The purpose of particularity

Questions are among the sharpest tools for Jewish Bible study. For millennia, Jewish sages and scholars have been probing the sacred text with questions and uncovering priceless truths in the process. Next week, on Simchat Torah, we'll roll the Torah scroll back to the beginning for another year of reading, and the ancient sage Rabbi… Continue reading The purpose of particularity