What’s Wrong with the World

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The meaning of the Passion


The bloody violence of the death of Jesus Christ – the skin torn by scourging, the nails driven through hands and feet, the thorns pushed into scalp and forehead, the spear thrust into the side – naturally impresses upon our minds His fleshly humanity. But it is in contemplating the Passion, perhaps more than in any other context, that we must fixate our minds precisely upon Christ’s divinity, lest we miss the event’s significance entirely. Modern people think they understand it well – a miscarriage of justice on the part of a corrupt political system, an affront to freedom of conscience, an expression of reactionary hostility to novel ideas comparable to the execution of Socrates. Thus is Christ transformed, absurdly, into something like an early martyr for Liberalism. (This gets the death of Socrates completely wrong too, of course. The popular understanding of both events reflects a Whiggish narcissism: “He was a great man; ergo he must have been anticipating us moderns in some way.” But that is another subject.)

In fact the significance of the Passion has nothing to do with such comparative trivialities. “We preach Christ crucified,” wrote St. Paul; “to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness.” The Jews and Greeks of old were (here as in so many other ways) closer to the truth than the moderns. For whatever else the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was, it was, first and foremost, the supreme blasphemy. It was Pure Act, esse ipsum subsistens, That Than Which No Greater Can Be Conceived, the “I Am Who Am” of Exodus, our First Cause and Last End – spat upon, beaten, and nailed to a cross. All other meanings – political, socioeconomic, legal, moral – fade into insignificance in light of this most incomprehensible of sins. Unlike us moderns, always trying to wedge moral and religious truth into our narrow, this-worldly horizon, the ancient Jews and Greeks knew this, and rebelled at the thought. How could it be? How could Being Itself be put to death? How could the Most High allow Himself to be brought so low? A metaphysical impossibility! An inconceivable sacrilege! And yet it happened.

The “death of God” of Nietzsche’s “madman” parable was not the crucifixion. Nor, of course, was it a literal killing of any sort. But the moral (if not the metaphysical) magnitude of deicide was not lost on him:

"How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”

No silly talk here of “Flying Spaghetti Monsters” and the like; Nietzsche, unlike so many of his successors, still had a sense of the noble, indeed of the Holy. (The New Atheist is none other than Nietzsche’s Last Man in rationalist drag.) And what he said of the modern, metaphorical “death of God” is true of the real thing: We are each of us guilty of it. We are each of us the worst of murderers. We have, each of us, slain our Maker and sought to make ourselves gods in His place. And we cannot possibly atone.

For the crucifixion, in its sublime gruesome blasphemousness, lays bare the true meaning of sin. It is Non serviam, “My will, not thine, be done!” pushed through consistently. To rationalize evil, we must obliterate the Good. To justify lawlessness, we must put to death the Lawgiver. And yet there can be no “rationalization” of any action in the absence of Good. There can be no “justification” without Law. In the crucifixion we see the sheer, satanic madness of sin.

And we cannot possibly atone. Yet we are not without hope. For the Supreme Lawgiver against Whom we offend is also Infinite Mercy. The God Who can lay down His life can raise Himself up again. And He lays it down willingly, for those He calls His “friends” – for us, His very killers! Even as we commit the greatest of crimes against Him, His thoughts are – astoundingly – with us: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Having put Him on a cross, we can but humbly kneel before it – in sorrow, in thanks, in worship.


Comments (33)

I read Peter Kreeft's Socrates Meets Jesus which was written in mock Platonic dialogue style. In one chapter, the titular Socrates was asking students of Have It (Harvard) divinity school why Jesus was such an important person. The students, who were all allegories of modern liberal stereotypes, aped all the modern liberal answers for the question (He was a good man, He stood for equality, He spoke of deeper spiritual truths, He died for what he preached). To each point, Socrates replied "So did I."

It was not until the token skeptic blurted out "People believed He was God" that Socrates was floored by gravity of the Gospel message. Which I guess goes to show that when one separates Christ from His divinity, indeed he is merely a liberalish guru.

But we have it on Jesus' (or, at least, Luke's, 23:34) authority that "they know not what they do."

And the Roman centurion "which stood over against him" (Mark 15:39) seems to be taken by surprise.

Can one commit blasphemy without knowing it?

Just at first glance, that seems to me like a conceptual impossibility.

But we have it on Jesus' (or, at least, Luke's, 23:34) authority that "they know not what they do."

Sure -- I quoted that line myself.

Can one commit blasphemy without knowing it?

Yes, in the sense that one's act can be objectively blasphemous even if one is unaware of the fact. The lack of knowledge affects one's culpability, but not the nature of the act itself.

Some years ago when a correspondent was strongly questioning the justice of the Christian doctrine of the atonement, I was much struck in answering him by the incredible importance of the deity of Jesus Christ to the doctrine of the atonement. I realize that this should not have been news to me as a lifelong Christian, but it was when trying to spell out why this wasn't just a case of God's unjustly "deeming" (!) the death of some poor innocent bloke to atone for our sins and why it wasn't God's unjustly condemning some poor innocent bloke to death in our stead that it became particularly clear to me. All sin is sin against God. In the crucifixion, God put Himself in the way of mankind's evil literally and physically.

Well, OK...but I guess *objective* blasphemy, when not accompanied by *subjective* blasphemy, strikes me as more an occasion for sympathy than blame.

It's like when Philoctetes unknowingly steps into the Sacred Precinct, and spends most of the rest of his life in agony.

Those Greeks - they knew a thing or two about what life is like!

Nietzsche, of course, is a more complicated case. He seems to be in a constant state of inspired resentment against an enemy in whom he insists that he does not believe.

Maybe he achieved real, honest-to-goodness, *subjective* blasphemy.

I dunno.

I would not wish to diminish anything about the death (murder) of Jesus, but for me, it is really only his humanity that counts in the matter.

Everything else we surmise, interpret, analogize, assert about the matter are metaphors, similes, ideas, and analogies about ultimate reality, and with God, images and ideas we use to explain or describe him and his actions tend toward failure.

All men are mortal. Jesus was a man, therefore Jesus was mortal. Same as we.

What does it mean that he dies the same as we die (and thousands have been crucified before and after Jesus).

It means no more or less what it means for anyone. But then comes the Resurrection and that puts a whole new light on the subject, the matter, the death.

But what light exactly?

Well, that when we experience the Risen Jesus, we are meeting God certainly and perfectly. And we come to know that just as Jesus remains a man even as God, that his exemption from annihilation into nothingness by death is our exemption, too; we are equally immortal.

If you have seen, known, experienced, realized that - then everything must change. We must become as real, as pure, as alive as God, as Jesus.

The Resurrection of Jesus causes us to confront a holiness that must become our own or we shall wail and gnash our teeth a long, long while.

It sounds silly but I occasionally find myself saying, thank God for God.

Steve, here are a couple of things I would say in response to your comments about blasphemy: First, it has always seemed to me that part of the mystery of the passion is that the people involved, especially "at the top" (Pilate, the Jewish leadership) had every reason to know that they were doing something very wrong. They were killing an innocent man, the chief priests, etc., out of envy. Now, one thing that Christian literature often emphasizes even in fiction is that when we do badly wrong things, we are doing something more wrong even than we know. Which is a good reason for not doing badly wrong things. I don't find this theme (that I can recall) in Greek literature. Their consciences must have warned them that what they were doing was wrong, even if they didn't realize that it was blasphemy. I think that in a sense this is an important theme, because it is a warning to all of us: Don't go violating your conscience, or you may be doing something even worse than you realize. In killing an innocent man, they were violating the image of God (which the Jews believed in), and they were violating justice (which the Romans believed in). By violating the codes they knew, they also ended up committing objective blasphemy.

Second, both Pilate and the Jewish leaders had hints, at least, that there was something more going on. This should have warned them still further. The Gospels report, for example, that the Jewish leaders were looking for a way to get rid of Lazarus, because it was being said that Jesus had raised him from the dead. That sort of makes the Climategate e-mails look small by comparison. You know, "Quick! This guy's being alive makes it look like something is true that we don't want to be true. Let's kill the guy!" Pilate was understandably unnerved by Jesus' eerie responses to his questions in the judgement hall, and the message from his wife about her bad dream doubtless didn't help to make him more comfortable. Pilate should have taken a clue that there was something weird going on here.

All of this is fully compatible with Jesus' statement that they "know not what they do." They didn't. Not fully. But they were treading on dangerous ground, in more than one sense. This is all part of the complex nature of sin, and I think we find it in our own lives as well.

We were just reading Luke's passion narrative, and I was struck anew by the blatant lie the Jewish leaders tell to Pilate. They say that Jesus was forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, when of course that's exactly what Jesus _didn't_ say. Kind of reminds me of that "if you don't give them any excuse, they'll just make stuff up" thing. This was, of course, a classic breaking of the Commandment against bearing false witness. I was struck by the fact that they doubtless justified this to themselves on the grounds that Jesus had committed blasphemy by claiming to be God. (In fact, one of the other evangelists records their mentioning this very thing to Pilate: "We have a law, and by our law he ought to die..." etc.) But of course Pilate wouldn't care that he had claimed to be the Jews' God. That wasn't a punishable offense under Roman law. So they trumped up the whole thing about Jesus' teaching against giving tribute, trying to get the Romans to crucify him as an anti-Roman troublemaker. Pilate didn't believe it but gave in to them. But their idea clearly was that the end justified the means: Jesus _deserved_ to die for claiming to be God, so it was okay to _lie_ to Pilate to try to get the Romans to crucify him.

Again and again you see this pattern of people's doing things they knew to be wrong, but this time, it turns out that they are doing them *to God*. It's as though you stifled your conscience and did something wrong that caused someone's death, and then you found out that the person you had killed was the son of your best friend. When our wrong actions, which we ourselves know to be wrong *by our own lights*, turn out to have even worse consequences than we had envisaged, it casts a harsh light backwards on our own rationalizations and choices along the way.

Granted, there's a distinction worth making between Philoctetes, or Actaeon, who commit "objective" blasphemy without ever having the slightest reason to believe that they've done anything wrong, and those who condemn Jesus to The Cross, thereby committing "objective" blasphemy, while having pretty good reason that they're doing *something* wrong - even if it isn't necessarily blasphemy.

Christianity also has the message of forgiveness. Peter says some harsh things in his speeches early in Acts about how his audience killed the Christ and so forth, but his message isn't, "So, you're going to be hounded by the gods and live in misery for the rest of your days, because you messed up big-time! Didn't know it was that bad, did you?" Instead, he calls upon them to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins.

I would say that one of the things Christianity definitely teaches, Steve, is that we should strongly distrust that little voice that whispers, "It's not that bad. Don't be too hard on yourself. What other options did you have? You were just doing your job." And so on and so forth. I'm sure that's exactly the kind of thing Pontius Pilate said to himself. It's the voice of Corruption.

Lydia, those are excellent points, all of them.

it turns out that they are doing them *to God*.

And this, of course, is really true of ALL of our sins, even though we like to listen to the little lie that we are "only harming ourselves" for example. When the Israelites tell Samuel they want a king, God tells Sam, in effect, it is ME they are sinning against, not (only) the judges and prophets.

Another aspect of the Passion that hit home to me yesterday (again) is that Jesus did not merely submit to events that happened to catch him in their fold, and did not merely not complain when forced into scourging, beating, and crucifixion. At every moment, He willed to hold back and not overcome His enemies with Divine power, He willed to keep His enemies in existence while they were torturing Him, He willed the very form of death instead of any other which He could have chosen, and He willed to supernaturally keep His human nature going long past the point where it should have died so as to experience the bitterest dregs of that form of death. It was literally impossible that He should die until He chose to give up His spirit - the moment of death did not come upon Him as it does us, without our consent and without our aid. His life was His to lay down, and His to take up again.

For whatever else the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was, it was, first and foremost, the supreme blasphemy.

I'm sure I'm not the first to notice if you go to a parish with, to put it charitably, fluffier liturgy, we rarely see a true crucifix. If there is a body and a cross, it is of the variety where Our Lord on the cross has free hands raised up (ascending?) which I've heard called "touchdown Jesus." It's nice and non-confrontational and when you get down to it conveys the message that there is no sin, it's just a Big Misunderstanding.

I've seen that sort of thing, Scott (mostly in pictures), and I've also seen the "Rock Monster Jesus," or as one friend called it "Easter Island Jesus," where instead of a crucifix it's just a head. Literally, just Jesus' head sort of perched up there and staring down at the congregation.

Some Protestants dislike crucifixes, but at least they usually substitute a cross, not something weird and doctrinally mis-leading.

Let's not forget the contrast in this week's Gospel between the morally indifferent Romans and the hard-hearted, rejectionist Jews. Catholics are constantly excorciated by the media for crimes 30, 50, or several hundreds of years ago. When will the Jews, who wanted Jesus murdered and mostly hate him to this day, apologize for their conspiracy to murder Christ and their hate against Christianity and the Pope today. If you don't believe this is true, look at their reaction to the movie the Passion among other things.

Ecumenism has gotten more than a little out of hand. The American Bishops had to revise their 2000 Catechism on account of their bending over backwards about the continuing validity of God's covenant with the Jews. It's only valid in the sense that all of its prophecies have been fulfilled, and the Judaism of the bible is alive and well in the form of Catholic Christianity. What calls itself Judaism today is no different than the homicidal Pharissees of Jesus' time, whose irrelevance was cemented with the providential destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 A.D.

Judaism today is an anti-Christian heresy, born in the wake of Golgotha, and utterly devoid of any truth or beauty other than by accident.

"Today is hung upon the tree
He who suspended the land in the midst of the waters.

A crown of thorns crowns Him,
Who is the King of Angels.
He is wrapped about with the purple of mockery,
Who wrapped the Heavens with clouds.
He received buffetings,
Who freed Adam in the Jordan.
He was transfixed with nails,
Who is the Bridegroom of the Church,
He was pierced with a spear,
Who is the Son of the Virgin.

We venerate Thy Passion, O Christ: Show us also Thy glorious Resurrection!"

Eastern Orthodox Matins service, Great and Holy Friday

Hey Roach, you're obviously still stuck in the Council of Trent. This is the Vatican-II era, the civilization of love. We're cool with Deicide now. Haven't you ever read Nostra Aetate? Accept Christ, reject Christ, what's the difference? All you need is love -- and dialogue, of course.

Roach and George, I myself (being a Protestant) owe no allegiance to modern "interfaith" efforts and consider them mostly misguided. But Roach's comments about Judaism are, to put it mildly, shallow. Let's can that and concentrate on what the Prayer Book calls the "meditation of those mighty acts, whereby [God has] given unto us life and immortality."

Rob G., I hadn't seen that liturgy before. The Reproaches for Good Friday are also wonderful, liturgically.

Lydia - very, very unfortunately, I have to sorta' kinda' sympathize with Christopher Roach here.

Even though American Christians - and especially American Evangelicals - are, nowadays, just about the best friends that the Jews and the state of Israel have every had, American Jewry *as a whole* remains the most reliable & influential anti-Christian constituency out there, on pretty much any policy question you care to name.

It's a huge problem, with deep historical roots. I wish I thought there were something that could be done about it. But I fear there's not. I fear that American Christianity, in its present incarnation, might die from unrequited love for Israel & the Jews.

Wellll, Steve, I'm inclined to think that what you're talking about politically, whether true, false, or a mix (I lean unto "mix") is not strictly speaking a theological matter anyway, though of course historically it is all tied up with the way theology and history have interacted. I took Roach to be making a theological statement. I think it's outrageously false, theologically (see how restrained I was?) to say that Judaism contains truth only "accidentally." I mean, that's nonsense, from a Christian perspective on history and theology. Christians believe that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob really _is_ the God we Christians worship. Mind you, I don't expect the Jews to agree with me on that (of course not, or they would be Christians), but as a Christian, I am definitely bound to affirm it.

But I think this is a little off-topic on the meaning of the passion.

And when he also says "the Jews, who wanted Jesus murdered and mostly hate him to this day..." - which bunch of Jews is being referred to? Most Jews I know (living, today) don't 'hate' Jesus. They just don't believe in him. Rather than stoke our disdain, maybe we could pray for them, since Jesus probably died for them too.

Hey Roach, you're obviously still stuck in the Council of Trent.

It's good to see the pot snuggling up to the kettle.

Judaism today and the Judaism of the Bible are night and day opposites. The Judaism of the Bible is only true in light of the New Testament, the Incarnation, the Passion, and the truth of Christianity. If you deny those truths, the prophecies do not mean what they in fact mean, as they have been fulfilled. It is clear from the Bible, the Talmud, and the history of Jews and Christians that the Jews are affirmatively anti-Christian in their beliefs, and this defines them more now than ever as so many are "ethnic Jews" without the moral beliefs of the Torah (which are in fact true) but the shreds of Judaism, the belief in supriority and the hatred of Christianity. But even religious Jews deny Christ, even if they adhere to natural law and parts of the Old Testament revelation (in light of the numerous heresies of the Talmud, of course). Most important, if you deny Christ, you deny the God of Abraham, Jacob, and Issac. Don't forget what Jesus said, in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me."

Or in Matthew 21:

Hear ye another parable. There was a man an householder, who planted a vineyard, and made a hedge round about it, and dug in it a press, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen; and went into a strange country. 34 And when the time of the fruits drew nigh, he sent his servants to the husbandmen that they might receive the fruits thereof. 35 And the husbandmen laying hands on his servants, beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.

36 Again he sent other servants more than the former; and they did to them in like manner. 37 And last of all he sent to them his son, saying: They will reverence my son. 38 But the husbandmen seeing the son, said among themselves: This is the heir: come, let us kill him, and we shall have his inheritance. 39 And taking him, they cast him forth out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 When therefore the lord of the vineyard shall come, what will he do to those husbandmen?

41 They say to him: He will bring those evil men to an evil end; and will let out his vineyard to other husbandmen, that shall render him the fruit in due season. 42 Jesus saith to them: Have you never read in the Scriptures: The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? By the Lord this has been done; and it is wonderful in our eyes. 43 Therefore I say to you, that the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and shall be given to a nation yielding the fruits thereof. 44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone, shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it shall grind him to powder. 45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they knew that he spoke of them.

I guess Jesus, like me, missed the meeting about the optinality of Christianity for Jews.

Roach, stop it, already, and don't betray your ignorance about the people you are in contact with. In case you missed the memo, I'm not some "all roads lead to Rome" interfaith dialogue director. Not by a long, long chalk. _Of course_ there is only one way to heaven, and that is through faith in Jesus Christ. But as the Apostle Paul said, "My heart's desire and prayer for Israel is that they may be saved."

Enough, already.

I suspect that Roach is somewhat of a Jew-hater, but what he is saying here is essentially correct. That the Jews are the enemies of God and are rejected by God, as long as they adhere to Judaism, cannot be denied by anyone who takes Christianity seriously. Furthermore, to deny that Judaism is evil is to deny that Jesus was the Christ and the Son of God. It’s logically unavoidable. It seems insulting, I know; but it’s the truth, and the kind of truth that needs to be admitted.

This is ridiculous. And I'm what's usually called a "supersessionist," too. The New Covenant really does supersede the Old, as far as I can see from Scripture. But I cannot imagine the Apostle Paul ever saying "Judaism is evil." What he said instead were things like, "They have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge." And "to this day, the veil is over their heart."

Now, really, this unpleasant threadjack has gone on long enough, IMO.

Without trying to sound blasphemous here. I was recently giving a free booklet from a Jehovah's Witness, he was going door to door in my town handing them out. The book was called What Does The Bible Really Teach?. One piece I thought was of interest (especially with Easter here) in the booklet was a passage called Why True Christians Do Not Use the Cross in Worship. I will precede to quote from this sequence.

THE cross is loved and respected by millions of people. The Encyclopædia Britannica calls the cross “the principal symbol of the Christian religion.” Nevertheless, true Christians do not use the cross in worship. Why not?

An important reason is that Jesus Christ did not die on a cross. The Greek word generally translated “cross” is stau·ros′. It basically means “an upright pale or stake.” The Companion Bible points out: “[Stau·ros′] never means two pieces of timber placed across one another at any angle . . . There is nothing in the Greek of the [New Testament] even to imply two pieces of timber.”
In several texts, Bible writers use another word for the instrument of Jesus’ death. It is the Greek word xy′lon. (Acts 5:30; 10:39; 13:29; Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 2:24) This word simply means “timber” or “a stick, club, or tree.”

Explaining why a simple stake was often used for executions, the book Das Kreuz und die Kreuzigung (The Cross and the Crucifixion), by Hermann Fulda, states: “Trees were not everywhere available at the places chosen for public execution. So a simple beam was sunk into the ground. On this the outlaws, with hands raised upward and often also with their feet, were bound or nailed.”

The most convincing proof of all, however, comes from God’s Word. The apostle Paul says: “Christ by purchase released us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse instead of us, because it is written: ‘Accursed is every man hanged upon a stake [“a tree,” King James Version].’” (Galatians 3:13) Here Paul quotes Deuteronomy 21:22, 23, which clearly refers to a stake, not a cross. Since such a means of execution made the person “a curse,” it would not be proper for Christians to decorate their homes with images of Christ impaled.
There is no evidence that for the first 300 years after Christ’s death, those claiming to be Christians used the cross in worship. In the fourth century, however, pagan Emperor Constantine became a convert to apostate Christianity and promoted the cross as its symbol. Whatever Constantine’s motives, the cross had nothing to do with Jesus Christ. The cross is, in fact, pagan in origin. The New Catholic Encyclopedia admits: “The cross is found in both pre-Christian and non-Christian cultures.” Various other authorities have linked the cross with nature worship and pagan sex rites.

Why, then, was this pagan symbol promoted? Apparently, to make it easier for pagans to accept “Christianity.” Nevertheless, devotion to any pagan symbol is clearly condemned by the Bible. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18) The Scriptures also forbid all forms of idolatry. (Exodus 20:4, 5; 1 Corinthians 10:14) With very good reason, therefore, true Christians do not use the cross in worship.*

Its obviously controversal (and I'm sure you'se will want to refute it) but I thought it may be of interest.

Sorry, some of the passages got stuck together.

Chaps, how about if we contemplate the _meaning_ of the Passion. You know? As in: God died a horrible death for our sins. Men crucified God, and by that most unjust death, He atoned for us. "And was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate." Most of the people in this thread believe this, and those who don't I earnestly ask to reconsider. Re-read some of the better comments above.

And tonight we remember that at dawn on Sunday, He arose, which is the way that we know that His death wasn't just another unjust death and that our sins can be forgiven.

A blessed Easter Eve to all of you.

A blessed Easter Eve to you to Lydia

Thanks, P.B. Just found a great bit of liturgy for Easter Even. It's from the exhortation that the priest is supposed to say from time to time to urge the people to get themselves ready for Communion. (Emphasis added.)

Judge therefore yourselves, brethren, that ye be not judged of the Lord. Repent you truly for your sins past, have a lively and steadfast faith in Christ our Saviour. Amend your lives, and be in perfect charity with all men, so shall ye be meet partakers of these holy mysteries. And above all things ye must give most humble and hearty thanks to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, for the redemption of the world by the death and passion of our Saviour Christ, both God and man, who did humble himself, even to the death upon the Cross for us miserable sinners, which lay in darkness and in the shadow of death, that he might make us the children of God, and exalt us to everlasting life.

the Jews are the enemies of God and are rejected by God, as long as they adhere to Judaism

No such thing as a good conscience for a Jew, huh? I've been trying to find a way to beam you up, George, but can't figure out what planet you're on. Have a happy Easter wherever you are, and don't forget to pray for the Jews, of whom Our Lord was one.

Lydia, I'm sorry you took offense. My points were broader and aimed at anyone reading and I didn't mean to suggest you were a blind ecumenists. Second, I don't hate Jews, but I think dispensationalism is false, is leading to blind support for Israel among Evangelicals, and misstates the facts. Three, I think Jews are at the heart of liberalism and anti-Christianity in American and European life, that this is rooted in their long-standing traditions, and that Christians need to be aware of this when they make tactical alliances or otherwise evaluate Jews in our common life. FInally, I think Jews should convert to Christianity and that strategic conversions while retaining Jewish identity have been a problem throughout CHristian history, particularly in Spain.

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