Book Review -- By: Anonymous
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The People, The Land, and The Future of Israel. Darrell L. Bock and Mitch Glaser (eds). Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2014. 349 pages. $15.99
The eyes of the world are fixed upon the Middle East. The tiny nation of Israel has been thrust onto history’s center stage once again. A cloud of mystery covers the Jewish people by day and the fire of controversy lights up the Jerusalem skies by night. Even the name of the land currently controlled by Abraham’s seed is the subject of debate. Many argue that Jacob’s offspring have forfeited their right to the promised land and covenantal blessings of God. In response to this assertion, a team of scholars from a broad spectrum of evangelicalism assembled in New York City in October 2013. Together they collaborated to produce a biblical theology for the origin, history, persecution, perseverance, hope, and future of Israel, both as a people and as a nation.
In The People, The Land, and The Future of Israel, Bock and Glaser compile seventeen chapters from eighteen different scholars who gathered in New York to discuss the theological implications of the nation of Israel. The contributors are introduced with an annotated biography at the onset of the work. The book itself is divided into four main sections that examine Israel in the Old Testament, New Testament, history, and practical theology. Each chapter opens with scannable QR codes that link the reader to conference videos, interviews, and panel discussions; and the chapters all close with helpful discussion questions. These innovative features make the book a valuable and practical resource.
Section one pays homage to the Tanakh in both form and function as Merrill, Kaiser, and Chisholm examine God’s dealings with Israel in the Torah, Writings, and Prophets respectively. Kaiser’s OT exposition shines as he masterfully weaves the Abrahamic, Davidic, and new covenants together, demonstrating Israel’s hope of God’s future blessing even as a people in exile. Brown concludes the section by examining the traditional Jewish interpretation of the biblical texts. Collectively, these four
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authors convincingly argue that the blessings God promised to Israel include their occupation of the land.
Section two outlines Israel’s relationship with the church in the NT. In the post-reformation era of Christianity, supersessionism rules the day. Wilkins, Bock, Vanlangingham, and Evans push back against this predominant theological viewpoint by arguing that God’s inclusion of Gentiles does not equate to his exclusion of the Jews. To support their thesis, priority is given to Romans 9–11 and
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