In this interview (in two parts), Professor R. Kendall Soulen, author of the book The God of Israel and Christian Theology (Fortress Press, 1996), explains that the universality of Jesus cannot be fully understood without also comprehending God’s ongoing faithfulness to the Jewish people.
For many Christians, the New Testament has replaced the Old, and the Church has replaced the Jews as God´s people. Simply put, most Christians believe (consciously or unconsciously) that Jews should become Christians and leave behind their Jewishness. This way of approaching the Bible is usually referred to as “replacement” or “supercessionist” theology. In this interview, Dr. R. Kendall Soulen explains how the Old and New Testaments in fact do not support this line of thinking. On the contrary, the universality of Jesus and the gospel revealed in the New Testament can only be fully understood if it is seen in the context of God’s stated ongoing faithfulness to the Jewish people. The God of the Old Testament is the same God as the God of the New Testament. Dr. Soulen explains how and why supercessionist thinking developed in the early church. He demonstrates why Christians must abandon this line of thinking we are to understand God’s purposes with this suffering and broken world. And he offers suggestions for a Christian theology that fully embraces the redeeming work of Jesus Christ, but which also does justice to God’s majesty, His love for all peoples, and His faithfulness to His own promises.
Dr. Kendall Soulen (Professor of Systematic Theology at Wesley Theological Seminary) deals with issues as:
· Did God make a mistake when He chose the Jewish people?
· Has the church replaced Israel as God’s people?
· What is supercessionism, and why is it wrong?
· How do the Jewish people fit into God’s plan of salvation and redemption of all people?
· Do Jews need to stop being Jews?
· Why is all of this important for Christians today?