Understanding a World in Crisis
A friend writes:
Last Saturday we went to a series of lectures at Grace Community Church called “Understanding a World in Crisis”. Three lectures were delivered by Mathias Kern. Professor Kern is an adjunct professor at the Masters College, and has been involved in advising senior government officials in a number of countries for many years. He is […]
Grab the podcast using this link, or download / listen to the MP3 files individually here:
As a follow-on from the previous post, this get interesting. From Calvin Smith’s blog:
The RPP website has posted a link to a statement just issued by the Council of Christians and Jews critical of Stephen Sizer for linking to anti-Semitic websites from his blog. The Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch, Bishop of Manchester and chair of CCJ, said.
The content and the delay in removing the link from Mr Sizer’s Facebook page was disgraceful and unbecoming for a clergyman of the Church of England to promote. Members of the CCJ have described the website as ‘obscenely antisemitic.’
The full CCJ statement is available here. It is important to note that this statement is issued by a longstanding interfaith organisation and a Bishop of the Anglican Church. This is not (as some extremists will claim) a Zionist conspiracy.
Is Stephen Sizer anti-Semitic? It is a serious charge and not for me to say (others in the Anglican Church will now decide). I have sought to avoid some of the more extreme language in the current debate and avoid this term unless absolutely proven. In negotiations prior to our televised debate Stephen made clear he felt there was no place for discussing anti-Semitism (and other issues) in such a debate. I believe such a position is dangerous as it can be misconstrued, unfortunately it also meant we never had the opportunity to discuss this issue reasonably and openly.
But one thing is clear: when CCJ state, “We are conscious that The Revd Stephen Sizer’s contributions have caused widespread disquiet and hurt in both communities and led to confusion and polarization of views” they have identified a key aspect of this whole debate. Indeed I raised this very issue towards the end of my television debate with Stephen. The polemical and unnecessarily pejorative nature of the current debate is not helping anyone, and it’s certainly not contributing to a nuanced understanding of the complexities of the Middle East. For that Stephen must take his fair share of blame.
I do hope we can all, at some stage, get to a less emotive and more objective examination of the Middle East crisis and the relationship between the Church and Israel.
“Has the Church Replaced Israel?” A live debate between Calvin Smith and Stephen Sizer broadcast on Revelation TV 9th November 2011.
This 1h 30m debate is well worth a watch if you are interested in Israelology and Christian Zionism (small PDF).
Stephen Sizer has published a number of books dealing with this subject, and turned his PhD thesis into a book titled “Christian Zionism”.
Calvin Smith is the principal of King’s Evangelical Divinity School (UK).
Sizer’s polemical writings are offensive to many Christians (myself included), and Smith did well to highlight and condemn Sizer’s labeling of Christian Zionism as “deviant heresy” and “another gospel” (around 1:06 in the debate).
Other critiques of Sizer can be found here: seismic-shock.com
Arnold Fruchtenbaum is a Messianic Jewish scholar and expert on the life of the Messiah from a Jewish perspective (MP3s and DVDs are available — scholarly and popular books by that title may be on the way). Arnold was born in Russia and escaped Hitler before landing in the USA.
Arnold is a Bible encyclopedia — rumor has it he even studies the Bible in the shower. His scholarship is perhaps best evidenced during the Q and A times following each lecture. Arnold appears to know the Bible off-by-heart including the ability to cite chapter and verse for almost everything.
Arnold’s lectures are highly structured and methodical, and delivered in an accented monotonic manner. Notes are provided including lots of whitespace for you to add your own notes on them. Every lecture section ends by a Rabbi joke.
Following the lecture given in the photo above, one questioner asserted that the Jews have a debt owing to the church. Arnold replied correctly that the actual debt is the other way around. The church is hugely in debt to the Jews, and part of that debt should be an apology for the disgraceful treatment the Jews have received at the hands of Christians during their diaspora. This disgraceful behavior continues in parts of the anti-Semitic church today.
Some good quotes from the speech are here: networkedblogs.com/nuT8K
What a sham the UN is. A sham. An evil sham. For example:
Netanyahu criticized the hypocrisy of the United Nations, noting that the UN Security Council is now headed by Lebanon, who is controlled by Hezbollah – a group considered a terrorist organization by the United States, Israel, and the European Union.
Let that sink in. Meditate upon it. How could this possibly be…?
H/T to arielb.org/archives/272
And in other news:
Al Shabaab, a hard-line Islamist group linked to al Qaeda which controls most of the southern part of Somalia, banned food aid last year and kicked many groups out, saying aid creates dependency.
Some 3.7 million Somalis are at risk of starvation in the worst drought in decades, including some 2 million in rebel-held regions were most major aid agencies cannot reach.
Those behind the Turkish flotilla evidently see justice through different eyes than mine. Consider for example the Turkish method for helping solve the “Palestinian problem”. 1. repeatedly lobby the press with the terribleness of the Palestinian plight. 2. Load boats full with activists and set sail for Gaza. 3. Provoke the Israelis at every step. 4. Bash Israeli soldiers with metal bars and throw them off the upper decks of the ships. 5. If the Israelis use force to defend themselves against the “peace” activists, then condemn the Israeli soldiers as violent warmongers.
How stupid are people — that they gullibly fall for these sorts of tactics.
The “Palestinian problem” could be solved overnight if the oil-rich Muslim nations (with ~400 times the land area of tiny Israel) dug deep and assisted their brothers in arms. But these the Islamic nations (including Turkey) prefer to use and abuse the lives of people made in God’s image, as political and military pawns. Yes, these Muslims care little about the lives of their fellow Muslims, so long as they can be used to provoke and antagonize the Israelis, and fulfill their hate-filled demonic agenda.
Now the Turks are going to have another go at being jerks. They realize of course that Israel is effectively in a no-win. If “peace activists” again set out for Gaza, but this time with bigger ships, what are the Israelis to do? Back down and appear weak? Or just let these scoundrels run amok, ultimately letting future ships move weapons and rockets into Gaza so Palestinian thugs can rains rockets down upon Israeli civilians?
In the Palmer report, New Zealand’s Geoffrey Palmer says the Israelis used excessive force. No, this is false: the truth is that Palmer’s conclusion is an excessive farce. The Israelis did what they had to do, and if anything should have defended themselves more vigorously against the “peaceful” (do words mean anything?) flotilla.
Here are some reminder videos of the “peaceful” thugs, some wielding metal pipes and knives.