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The God of My Enemy: The Middle East and the Nature of God Bernard Reitsma

The God of My Enemy: The Middle East and the Nature of God

Bernard Reitsma

Published December 17th 2014
ISBN : 9781498217316
Paperback
240 pages
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 About the Book 

The establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 for the Church in the West has been the starting point of a rediscovery of its own roots. In the Middle East the effect has been exactly the opposite: Christians have become estranged from their OldMoreThe establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 for the Church in the West has been the starting point of a rediscovery of its own roots. In the Middle East the effect has been exactly the opposite: Christians have become estranged from their Old Testament roots, because they have been expelled from their land exactly because of an appeal to the Old Testament. The concept of Israel changed from a nation in the Bible, with which they could associate, to an economic, political and military power that was against them. Bernhard Reitsma lived and worked among Christians in the Middle East for several years. He has shared their struggles and was challenged to reconsider different kinds of Israel theology. In this the core questions is whether the God of my enemy can also be my God. How can the God of the present State of Israel also be the God of the Palestinians? How can the God who orders the total extinction of Jericho be the same God as the Father of Jesus Christ? Is God supporting Israel against the Arabs, including Arab Christians? In order to answer these questions Reitsma starts with Jesus Christ as Gods ultimate revelation. That forces him to think about two fundamental issues: what does it mean for the revelation of God that Jesus was a Jew, and how is Gods revelation in Christ related to his revelation in the Torah? Reitsma develops a hermeneutical framework, which he subsequently applies to three fundamental and recurring issues in the Christian theological discourse about Israel: (a) Is Israel today still the people of God? (b) How should we interpret the presence of Israel in the land? (c) What is the place of the so called Old Testament in Christian Theology? Central to the book is a re-reading of Romans 9-11. In closing Reitsma formulates a number of theologi