As always, Baruch Maoz makes you think about things of God in a new way, but always centered on God’s Word. I thought I already had a grasp of this issue, now I know better. What a unique perspective and edifying book.
People from a Jewish background face difficult choices when they come to trust in Jesus. To be Jewish, maintains Baruch Maoz, is a blessing from God. But how should Jewish Christians worship? If they join churches, there is real risk of assimilation. But if they establish synagogues, Gentile Christians feel excluded.
Some Jewish Christians have tried to solve these problems through Messianic Judaism, which allows them to proclaim Jesus as Messiah while retaining Jewish lifestyle and worship. Baruch Maoz maintains that the two cannot so easily be combined. He maintains that it is possible to be both Christian and Jewish without Messianic Judaism, and he points the way for Jewish Christians to retain their cultural identity without losing fellowship with other Christians.
Table of Contents:
Part 1: A Theological Assessment
1. Should we Preach the Gospel to the Jewish People?
2. The Mosaic Covenant
3. Rabbinic Customs
4. The Biblical Argument
5. Making Churches Comfortable for Jewish Christians
Part 2: A Practical Assessment
Appendix A: A Letter from a Gentile
Appendix B: A Short History of the Messianic Movement
Appendix C: Messianic Judaism or Judaizing Christianity
Appendix D: Justification in Judaism
Baruch Maoz has been a missionary with Christian Witness to Israel, during which he served as Israel Field Leader, and has been pastor of Grace and Truth Christian Congregation. He is senior editor of the Modern Hebrew Bible, coeditor of the Annotated Hebrew New Testament, and founder and coeditor of Mishkan: An International Theological Forum on Jewish Evangelism.
"This is a supremely helpful analysis of Messianic Judaism and a host of biblical questions raised by that controversial movement. To what degree is it appropriate for Jewish believers in Jesus to preserve Jewish ceremonies and rabbinical traditions in their worship? Baruch Maoz is uniquely qualified to write on the subject, and he has done so with a charitable tone and point-by-point thoroughness that will benefit people on all sides of the controversy. I greatly appreciate his relentlessly biblical approach." - John McArthur
“Jewish believers in Jesus have long been plagued with critical questions. . . . Are we to worship in churches with our Gentile brothers and sisters, or are we to commit ourselves to Messianic Judaism? This book is must reading for anyone who cares about the Jewish people.” — Stan Telchin, Jewish Christian and Author of Betrayed!
“An excellent treatise . . . as well as an effective and appropriate critique of the current Messianic Movement.” — Harry L. Reeder III, Senior Pastor, Briarwood Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, Alabama