Eckert sees a dimension for Israel which I don’t see (2/3)



Steven Paas

I cannot discern this second dimension, says Steven Paas. Photo AFP, Yaov Lemmer

Yes, there is a ‘promised land’. No, that is not Israel. Everyone who believes in God has a heritage in the worldwide Kingdom of God on the new earth. That says Dr Steven Paas in response to Harald Eckert.

Harald Eckert answered my article on CNE.news. In that contribution, I stated that the Bible focuses on the Messiah, not on Israel.

He disagrees because of his idea of two dimensions of God’s plan for the world: One dimension concerns the salvation of believers in Christ. The other dimension is supposed to continue the unique religious significance of ‘Israel’ as an ethnic and geographical nation.

However, I cannot discern such two lines or perspectives in the Scriptures. I read the Bible as God’s one-dimensional message of love and admonishment to a world fallen in sin and death. Temporarily, God chose the nation of Israel to make this message known to the world through them. Through Jesus, this uniquely chosen position of Israel as a demonstration to the world of God’s actions has been fulfilled and completed.

In Christ, God shows that His promises of salvation and judgment apply to all nations. In Him, the theological instrumental extraordinary position of the Jewish people has been widened to all nations.

This does not debase the Jewish people, neither does it diminish God’s love for them. On the contrary, Christ allows ‘all nations’ to share in God’s exceptional love, as is evident in Rahab, Ruth, or the Roman centurion. His continuing love for the Jewish people is also evidenced by the many Jews whom God the Father has embraced in the whole of church history, from the first Christian congregations until now.

Therefore, Eckert is not right in suggesting that I am in danger of adhering to a replacement theology or even worse to the evil of antisemitism. I do not deny God’s continuing faithfulness to the Jews.

God does not reject anyone who, in faith, accepts His Son as Saviour. Moreover, in Jesus Christ, there is no distinction between Jews and non-Jews. All people who believe in Him honour the same heavenly Father.

For those justified by faith, the ‘promised land’ is the worldwide eternal Kingdom of God on the new earth. This Kingdom is foreshadowed by the Church of Christ, consisting of all the Jews and non-Jews who live from the gift of His Son.

Dr. Steven Paas studies views on ‘Israel’ and is active in the fields of church history, missiology, and the lexicography of Chichewa, a widely spoken language in Central Africa



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