Saturday, 19 February 2011


updated Monday

Theo Hobson writes in The Guardian about Evangelicals turning to Jewish customs? It’s complicated. “Evangelical Christians have become increasingly admiring of the sacramental richness of Judaism.”

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times about A false ideal that erodes self-worth.

Scott McLemee writes for Inside Higher Ed Let Us Now Praise KJV.
Wayne Clarke asks Should we revere the Authorised Version?
And at The Guardian Jeanette Winterson, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Alexander McCall Smith, Michèle Roberts, David Crystal and Diarmaid McCulloch each write about The King James Bible’s language lessons.
Also in The Guardian David Edgar writes The King James Bible reconsidered. “We are steeped in the idioms and phrases of the King James Version. On its 400th anniversary, David Edgar questions how revolutionary it really was.”
The Guardian also asks its readers to Help us spot phrases from the King James Bible. “As the King James Bible celebrates its 400th anniversary, help us build a picture of how its phrases are used around the web today.” It provides a list of Phrases from the King James Bible, although as the first commenter points out many of these are not original to the KJB, but come from Tyndale.

Johann Hari writes in The Independent Get bishops out of our law-making. “Is Nick Clegg even going to abandon his atheism, and give the forces of organised religion yet more power over us?”
update: The Church Mouse has written this response to Hari’s article: Fact check: Johann Hari’s attack on the Lords Spiritual in the Independent.

Mark Vernon writes in The Guardian about Ultra-Darwinists and the pious gene. “Richard Dawkins won’t like it, but he and creationists are singing from similar hymn sheets, according to a new book.”

Gordon Brown has given a lecture on Faith in Politics?

Carl McColman writes for The Huffington Post about After a Century, Why Mysticism Still Inspires.

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 19 February 2011 at 11:00am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

"A traditional evangelical belief is that Christians 'supersede' Jews as God's chosen people." from the Theo Hobson article

Thank you Theo Hobson, for your well-written article on why some evangelical Christians are becoming philosemitic.
I'm Jewish, and forgive me for not assuming positive intent for many of these evangelicals. There are still "Jews for Jesus" movements out there that try to persuade Jews that they can worship Jesus of Nazareth as the Mashiach, the Annointed One, the divine Son of God and still be Jewish. There's a rich, fascinating, diverse 2,000-year-old theological tradition for people who believe Jesus is the divine Son of God. It's called Christianity. Jews are Jews and Christians are Christians. There should be amity between the two, but there are profound differences.
There are evangelicals who admire the State of Israel, because they see Israel as signifying the End Times are at hand. These evangelicals can be more vociferous against any land concessions by Israel than even the most ardent of Zionist Jews. What they don't tell their Jewish pro-Israel allies is that they believe that at the End of Days, only 144,000 Jews -- out of the current 18 million -- will survive. That's 17.9 million Jews dead. Those 144,000 Jews will then see Jesus and believe, thus becoming Christian. Voila! No Jews! Some of these believers want to save Jews from death -- by making them Christian.
Protestant Christianity can be rather devoid of symbol and ceremony, but if these Christians want a sacramental richness to their life, why not adapt Christian symbols and rituals that have served for millennia, rather than borrowing/poaching of Christian ketubahs, Christian bar/bat mitzvahs, Christan seders, and the like?
I wonder whether the latter is indeed an example of the Hobson sentence I quote above put into action?

Posted by: peterpi - Peter Gross on Saturday, 19 February 2011 at 7:13pm GMT

Even a firm Christian believer can sympathize with much of Johann Hari's essay on the role of religious leaders in a secular legislature. We might sympathize even more if he had gotten more of his history right. (As Senator Moynihan put it, "You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.")

Some of us settled the "establishment of religion" issue well over 200 years ago. Ah, but that's just American silliness, you may say. Tell me, my cousins, how has the establishment of the Church of England been working out for you lately? (Non-establishment has been working out pretty well for us -- albeit in sometimes rather bizarre forms.)

Posted by: Bill Moorhead on Saturday, 19 February 2011 at 9:39pm GMT

Several Evangelicals have become they take the pagan corruption theory of the early Church to its " logical " conclusion.

Meanwhile messianic jews ( Jews who become Evangelicals) do not have a Church to show them what customs to maintain).

As for the KJV ...its fatal flaw is its dependence on the Textus Receptus..whereby a liturgical gloss is added to the Lords prayer.
Furthermore the KJV relegated the deutero -canonical books to a section entitled Apochrypha.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Saturday, 19 February 2011 at 11:20pm GMT

The happy-clappy music director at my very middle-of-the-road Episcopal Church has taken to blowing a shofar on certain occasions.

I'm thinking of slipping into the choir loft and hiding it, along with her tambourine.

Posted by: JPM on Sunday, 20 February 2011 at 12:27am GMT

I remember once at theological college where our Head of College wanted us to concentrate our devotions on Holy Thursday to a Celebration of the Passover Feast - without any reference to the Christian Eucharist. Being an older student, and wanting to celebrate the New Passover - with at least equal emphasis - I demurred. Was I wrong?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 20 February 2011 at 10:05pm GMT

After the long dreadful history of Christian complicity with antisemitism, I pray we keep our grimy little hands off Judaism-- for G-d's sake!

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Monday, 21 February 2011 at 1:11am GMT

"As for the KJV ...its fatal flaw is its dependence on the Textus Receptus.."
It's even worse... The 16th century translators deleted the Byzantine additions, exchanging them for the more familiar Parisian Versio Vulgata additions of the 12th century...
So they definitely were aware of what they were doing!

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Monday, 21 February 2011 at 7:44am GMT

The Church Mouse has published an article questioning the accuracy of Johann Hari's article on bishops in the House of Lords. I have added a link to it above.

Posted by: Peter Owen on Monday, 21 February 2011 at 9:57am GMT

JPM, you might want to hide her Wonder, Love & Praise as well and replace them with Common Praise, a remarkably beautiful hymnal from England, a successor to Hymns, Ancient and Modern.

God forbid that she'd discover Hylton-Stewart Anglican Chants.

Posted by: evensongjunkie on Monday, 21 February 2011 at 4:06pm GMT

>>>God forbid that she'd discover Hylton-Stewart Anglican Chants.

She would find some way to work "Shine Jesus Shine!" into them. Seriously.

Posted by: JPM on Monday, 21 February 2011 at 6:15pm GMT

"After the long dreadful history of Christian complicity with antisemitism, I pray we keep our grimy little hands off Judaism-- for G-d's sake!"

Much, much too late. There are all sorts of Christian groups that have, in some form or other, appropriated Jewish practices and customs.

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Monday, 21 February 2011 at 9:50pm GMT

What we all need to remember is that: Jesus was a Jew, brought up in the tradtion of Moses and The Prophets. His mother Mary and his foster father Joseph were Jews. John the Baptist was a Jew. We need to honour the Jewish tradition - as we honour our forefathers (and mothers) in the faith.

We need to honour the faith of all people who believe in the One True God. We don't have to become Jewish (or Muslim)to do that, but we do need to honour the Jewish Tradition that brought forth the One we have come to accept as the Jewish Messiah, Jesus; whose incarnation from the flesh of his Jewish mother, Mary: and whose spiritual lineage from his foster-father Joseph; has given us our own spiritual heritage from our common human ancestor Abraham, whose spiritual *seed* we are all a part of.

That we are all heirs of Abraham, through our relationship to Jesus, son of Mary & Joseph, is a profound reality for which we need to be thankful to God. We cannot divest ourselves of our Jewish heritage, nor should we ever want to.

I am thankful for my relationship, for instance, to 'Peterpi', whose helpful comments on this site remind me of our common roots in The Faith. I want to celebrate that. God be praised!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 21 February 2011 at 11:14pm GMT

Mice -- even church mice would be well advised not to grind axes !

We all know the 26 bishops do not attend Parliament en masse -- don't we ?

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Monday, 21 February 2011 at 11:20pm GMT

FWIW, I know several ethnic Jews (w/ various degrees of past Jewish practice) who have become Christians...

...but because they're the sort of Christians *I* know (Mainline Protestant or Anglican), none of them feel any burden to "convert the Jews" (unlike the execrable, IMO, "Jews for Jesus" and their ilk).

Posted by: JCF on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 at 1:47am GMT

The Bishop of Leicester wrote to the Independent in response to the Johann Hari article, see here (scroll down for the letter)

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 23 February 2011 at 4:04pm GMT

Re Bill's comment "Much, much too late. There are all sorts of Christian groups that have, in some form or other, appropriated Jewish practices and customs." All the more reason for concern. Instance the practice of Christians "adapting" Passover Seder during Holy Week. If one feels a compulsion to do so, then doing so with inter-faith consultation and advice from the Jewish community is advisable. Better still, celebrate passover in a Jewish home if you are fortunate enough to be invited, and leave the "Christian adaptation" at home.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Thursday, 24 February 2011 at 1:15am GMT
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