The Roots of Replacement Theology

What in the world happened to make Christians believe they are the “new Israel”? The answer does not flatter the early church.
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3 thoughts on “The Roots of Replacement Theology

  1. William, great article. Thank you for your clarity. Almost a year ago I surrendered to the Lord and began studying feverishly. I’d spent my life in the Presbyterian Church and considered myself a happy Presbyterian, committed to a life that I was increasingly unable to live. My slavery to sin and worldliness left me lost, confused and miserable. All the things I’d placed my faith in, one by one, were being removed from my life. I was losing my identity. One day, when it seemed to reach a fevered pitch, I surrendered to God’s will for my life. I knew I was going to make a mess of things and He was my only hope. My wife encouraged me to begin studying the Old Testament. Our daily study, often 2-3 hours every evening, revealed the truth about God’s word, which neither of us had ever learned. At its core was God’s covenant with Israel. Fast forward a year, I find it challenging trying to introduce these new found truths to my fellow believers. Some of my friends of mine, true men of God, seem to want to understand what I’m talking about, but others reject my ideas outright. The more I learn, the more I understand how far off the rails the Evangelical Church has gone. I told my wife the other night that the contemporary church is where the Temple was during Jesus’ lifetime, which is why He fought against their false teaching so passionately. We’ve come full circle. One thought I had: The origins of Replacement Theology seem to rely upon two straw-man arguments, or maybe misunderstandings. The first is that Israel’s “chosen” status is somehow equivalent to a collective salvation. I know the Pharasees and the Sadducees believed this during Jesus’ lifetime, but my understanding is that God did not consider the Jews saved, only privileged (the Mosaic Law, the Torah, the Temple, grace throughout the OT, The Christ, etc). This leads into the second straw man argument, which attempts to distinguish Gentile surrendered believers from Jewish non-believers, not by their “believing” status, but by their “Jewishness”. It seems very strained logic when I break it down. I haven’t read “Dialogue with Trypho, a Jew”, but it almost seems as if they’d be talking past one another. Thanks for any feedback you might have. I’m still wrapping my head around many of these concepts and I appreciate hearing other perspectives, so I can explain them to others.

  2. I grew up in a non-denominational evangelical church. Our present theological understanding varies from one church to another and one denomination to another. But I would be interested in your understanding and definition of “how far off the rails the evangelical church has gone.” I ask this only for enlightenment and a deeper appreciation for my own edification. Thank you.

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