Page 70 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 38

Basic HTML Version

6 0
the Jewish mission to the world, and the negation o f the Christian
conversionist mission to Jews.
On the foregoing sub-topic, see the additional articles in the
above-mentioned special number o f
Face to Face
on the theme
“Christian Mission and Jewish W itness” ; Ba lfour B rickner ,
“Christian Missionaries and a Jewish Response,”
(1978), 37-41; David M. Stowe, Gerald H. Anderson , R ichard R.
De Ridder, and Thomas Robbins, “Christians Challenge the Rab­
bi’s Response,”
21 (1978), 42-46, including a reply by
Rabbi Brickner; and Johannes Verkuyl,
Contemporary Missiology:
An Introduction
(Eerdmans, 1978).
Jesus and Christology.
Faith and Fratricide
Rosemary Rue ther
puts the all-decisive question and offers an all-decisive answer: “Is
it possible to say ‘Jesus is Messiah’without, implicitly o r explicitly,
saying at the same time ‘and the Jews be dam ned ’?” “It is possible
only if the Christian affirmation is ‘relativized’ into a ‘theology o f
hope’which will free it o f anti-Jewish imperialism, and indeed o f
all religious imperialism .” “T he self-infinitizing o f the messianic
sect that empowers itself to conquer all mankind in the name o f
the universal is a false messianism.” From this perspective, the
Christian preach ing o f a fulfilled messianism wrongfully ignores
the church’s eschatological emphasis and hope. T he eschatologi-
cal dimension must not be historicized. Whenever it is, the Chris­
tian negation o f Jewishness remains, and the wheels are tu rn ing
once again in the direction o f T reb linka and Auschwitz. For a
major European effo rt to reform u late Christology in a way tha t
takes into account and seeks to offset the theological incentives to
anti-Semitism, see the work o f the Dutch theologian Edward
An Experiment in Christology
(Seabury Press,
1979). For an a ttem p t at mediation, see Isaac C. Rottenberg ,
“Fulfillment Theology and the Fu tu re o f Christian-Jewish Rela­
The Christian Century,
97 (1980), 66-69.
A happy whimsy o f ou r time is the renewed interest in Jesus o f
Nazareth on the pa r t o f Israeli scholars. In Israel the by-your-
leave o f a Christian majority has been vanquished, with freedom
o f attention and inquiry a happy consequence. Why must the
Christian world have a monopoly upon Jesus? Were he alive
today, he would be identified as a sabra. Recent publications here
(H e rd e r and H erder , 1969) by the Hebrew U n iver­
sity historian David Flusser; and Pinchas L ap ide ,
Israelis, Jews, and