Podcast: Is God done with Israel?

  I was interviewed by a neat couple of guys at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, one a Jew and the other a Gentile. Their show is called “Jew and Gentile radio.” Here it is: https://www.spreaker.com/user/jewandgentile/does-israel-matter-dr-gerald-r-mcdermott

Afraid of public speaking? Tips from famous stutterers

From the Gospel Coalition: Surveys have shown that the greatest fear Americans have—even more than going to the dentist or flying—is speaking in front of a group. Believe it or not, preachers are not free of this fear. Many—more than most of their congregations know—are terrified in the pulpit. (more…)

The Chinese Bonhoeffer

In 1931 Dietrich Bonhoeffer was enjoying study and teaching at New York’s Union Theological Seminary.  As Nazism started to become powerful in his native Germany, he realized that things could take an ugly turn for his countrymen.  He returned to Germany, understanding this could mean trouble for him.  The story of his heroic fight against Hitler and martyr’s death in 1945 is well known. In 1989 Liu Xia was a Chinese superstar.   (more…)

The New Supersessionism

I appreciate Patrick Schreiner’s sensitive and nuanced review of my Israel Matters at the Gospel Coalition on July 14.  But while he tries to steer a “third way” between the New Christian Zionism and supersessionism, I fear he runs aground on a new version of supersessionism. To his credit, Schreiner gets right the basic theses of the book—that the church does not replace Israel and that the people and land of Israel still matter to God.  He recognizes that the book rejects... Read more

20-somethings on freedom

When I was running on the beach this morning, a gaggle of 20-somethings called out, “Happy Fourth!” I was intrigued. I called back, “Yeah, here’s to freedom!” “Yeah!” they agreed.  “Freedom! But I wondered. What do they think freedom is?  So I turned around and ran back to them. There were four men and one woman.  They looked like they had had a long night.  Several were nursing a coffee . . . or something. I told them who I was... Read more

5 Reasons Why Israel Should Matter to Christians

For most of the last 2000 years Christians have thought that Israel doesn’t matter.  The people of Israel don’t matter because God (supposedly) transferred the covenant from Jewish Israel to the Gentile church.  And the land of Israel doesn’t matter because Jesus said the meek shall inherit the earth, (supposedly) leaving behind that little strip of land on the Mediterranean. But Israel should matter to Christians because  Israel mattered to Jesus. (more…)

How far back do Palestinians go?

An important part of the Palestinian story is the claim that they are the indigenous people of the land of Israel, and that the Jews are recent interlopers. We saw yesterday that the second part of this claim is false.  Jews have been on the land and have repeatedly returned to it for three thousand years.  Today we shall see that the first part of the claim is also untrue. As David Brog argues in his new book, Reclaiming Israel’s History,... Read more

Were Jews absent from the land before the late 19th century?

One of the many modern myths about Israel is that Jews were absent from the land from 70 AD until the late 19th century when Zionists came from Europe.  In contrast, it is alleged, Palestinians have been on the land for more than 2000 years. In a future post I will show that the second part of this is untrue, for Palestinians have had that identity only since 1967, and most of the current population comes from Arab and other... Read more

Fact-checking Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

In May 2011 Abbas published an op-ed in the New York Times entitled “The Long Overdue Palestinian State.”  In this piece he made two claims. First, that in 1929 his family “was forced to leave [their] home in the Galilean city of Safed and less with his family to Safed.”  Though they wished for decades to return home “they were denied that most basic of human rights.” Second, that in 1947 when the UN recommended that Palestine should be partitioned into two... Read more

Is there a Palestinian refugee crisis?

We often hear of the Palestinian refugee crisis, and how many Palestinians are still living in refugee camps.  But why do we hear comparatively little about refugees from other conflicts?  Let’s look at those other crises, and see how they compare. (more…)