Dec 06

Come Let Us Reason Together, by Baruch Maoz ★★★★★

I had met Baruch Maoz at church a number of years ago, and found him to be quite thought provoking regarding the nature of the Messianic Jewish movements. Maoz is Jewish, grew up in Israel, and now is retired, though served many years as a pastor and evangelist to a Jewish Christian church in Israel. I decided to read this book after noting how some Christians are quite enamored with things Jewish, many of whom incorporate Jewish traditions into a Christian worship service, and speak Hebrew phrases in an attempt to have a Jewish flavor to the worship. Maoz notes that there is a wide range of Messianic Jews, many of whom are actually Gentiles, to some who would not even call themselves Christians, to a few that would disavow the doctrines of the trinity.  Maoz notes several things.

1. Messianic Jewish movements often have the wrong focus, being more concerned about Jewish tradition than on the Lord Jesus himself.

2. Jewish tradition, especially in Gentile hands, is often seriously confused, misplaced, poorly performed, and oftentimes insulting to real Jews, of whom this movement is attempting to reach.

3. Rabbinic Judaism is to be adamantly repudiated, since it places focus on a works righteousness, and is definitely not Biblical.

4. Well intentioned Messianic Jews often do more harm than good by forcing a Jew-Gentile split, yet failing to adequately reach Jews. As evidence, it is noted that most Jews that came to Christian faith did it outside of Messianic movements.

While reading this book, there were many times when I wished to give it only 3 stars. It is very poorly edited, and often one will find incomplete sentences. The content and arguments in this book are superb, Maoz is highly competent, reformed, and exceptionally knowledgeable in matters of Christian faith and Judaism. This is a book that many should read and take to heart. Maoz skillfully focuses the attention away from traditional Jewish cultural practices, to focus on the Bible alone to guide worship and Christian practice.

 

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One Response to “Come Let Us Reason Together”

  1. Uncle Dennis says:

    “… Maoz notes that there is a wide range of Messianic Jews, many of whom are actually Gentiles,”

    Who is Maoz referring to when he says “Gentiles”? I doubt if he means what the word means etymologically: those who are not citizens of the Roman empire. Presumably he means those who are not Jews, but what does that mean? If he is intending to relate being Jewish to being a descendant of the tribe of Judah – a Judahite – or even an Israelite – a descendant of any of the tribes of Israel – then many and perhaps most Jews are not Judahites nor are they Israelites but would be, by the above proffered definition, Gentiles.

    Anyone who gets into this area of relating “Jew” and “Gentile” needs to clarify the vast confusion surrounding these words. Ted Weiland goes a long way toward doing so, but does Maoz? It does not sound like it. The result is to merely add to the confusion.

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