When Nuances of Christian Theology Start to Make Jews Nervous

Last month, the Biblical Mind—a mostly-Christian publication deeply committed to learning form Jewish approaches to the Hebrew Bible—published an article titled “Jesus Restored the Original Purpose of the Law in the New Testament.” The article, and the headline in particular, elicited some sharp criticism from readers, a decision to retitle it, and then confusion over that decision from other readers. At issue is supersessionism: the idea, rejected by many Christian theologians and endorsed by others, that with the founding of Christianity God revoked Jews’ chosen status. In its more sinister versions, supersessionism implies that the Jews are, far from being a nation like any other, a people singled out by divine rejection.

In conversation with Biblical Mind’s founder Dru Johnson, Rabbi Ari Lamm discusses the original article and the responses to it, this thorny history, and some of the toughest questions of Jewish-Christian dialogue.

Read more at Biblical Mind

More about: Christianity, Jewish-Christian relations, Supersessionism


How to Save the Universities

To Peter Berkowitz, the rot in American institutions of higher learning exposed by Tuesday’s hearings resembles a disease that in its early stages was easy to cure but difficult to diagnose, and now is so advanced that it is easy to diagnose but difficult to cure. Recent analyses of these problems have now at last made it to the pages of the New York Times but are, he writes, “tardy by several decades,” and their suggested remedies woefully inadequate:

They fail to identify the chief problem. They ignore the principal obstacles to reform. They propose reforms that provide the equivalent of band-aids for gaping wounds and shattered limbs. And they overlook the mainstream media’s complicity in largely ignoring, downplaying, or dismissing repeated warnings extending back a quarter century and more—largely, but not exclusively, from conservatives—that our universities undermine the public interest by attacking free speech, eviscerating due process, and hollowing out and politicizing the curriculum.

The remedy, Berkowitz argues, would be turning universities into places that cultivate, encourage, and teach freedom of thought and speech. But doing so seems unlikely:

Having undermined respect for others and the art of listening by presiding over—or silently acquiescing in—the curtailment of dissenting speech for more than a generation, the current crop of administrators and professors seems ill-suited to fashion and implement free-speech training. Moreover, free speech is best learned not by didactic lectures and seminars but by practicing it in the reasoned consideration of competing ideas with those capable of challenging one’s assumptions and arguments. But where are the professors who can lead such conversations? Which faculty members remain capable of understanding their side of the argument because they understand the other side?

Read more at RealClearPolitics

More about: Academia, Anti-Semitism, Freedom of Speech, Israel on campus