Skip to comments.Defining Supersessionism
Posted on 05/07/2012 2:38:10 PM PDT by wmfights
This section we will attempt a precise definition of supersessionism. Various titles have been used in identifying the view that the church has permanently replaced Israel in Gods plan. As Marten H. Woudstra observes, The question whether it is more proper to speak of a replacement of the Jews by the Christian church or of an extension (continuation) of the OT people of God into that of the NT church is variously answered.[i] The most common designation used in recent scholarly literature to identify this position is supersessionism. Commenting on this term, Clark M. Williamson writes, Supersessionism comes from two Latin words: super (on or upon) and sedere (to sit), as when one person sits on the chair of another, displacing the latter.[ii] In addition, the title replacement theology is often viewed as a synonym for supersessionism.[iii]
Several theologians have offered definitions of supersessionism or replacement theology. According to Walter C. Kaiser, Replacement theology . . . declared that the Church, Abrahams spiritual seed, had replaced national Israel in that it had transcended and fulfilled the terms of the covenant given to Israel, which covenant Israel had lost because of disobedience.[iv] Ronald E. Diprose defines replacement theology as the view that the Church completely and permanently replaced ethnic Israel in the working out of Gods plan and as recipient of Old Testament promises to Israel.[v] R. Kendall Soulen argues that supersessionism is linked with how some view the coming of Jesus Christ: According to this teaching [supersessionism], God chose the Jewish people after the fall of Adam in order to prepare the world for the coming of Jesus Christ, the Savior. After Christ came, however, the special role of the Jewish people came to an end and its place was taken by the church, the new Israel.[vi] Herman Ridderbos asserts that there is a positive and negative element to the supersessionist view: On the one hand, in a positive sense it presupposes that the church springs from, is born out of Israel; on the other hand, the church takes the place of Israel as the historical people of God.[vii]
These definitions from Kaiser, Diprose, Soulen, and Ridderbos appear consistent with the statements of those who explicitly declare that the church is the replacement of Israel. Bruce K. Waltke, for instance, declares that the New Testament teaches the hard fact that national Israel and its law have been permanently replaced by the church and the New Covenant.[viii] According to Hans K. LaRondelle, the New Testament affirms that Israelwould no longer be the people of God and would be replaced by a people that would accept the Messiah and His message of the kingdom of God.[ix] LaRondelle believes this people is the church who replaces the Christ-rejecting nation.[x] Loraine Boettner, too, writes, It may seem harsh to say that God is done with the Jews. But the fact of the matter is that He is through with them as a unified national group having anything more to do with the evangelization of the world. That mission has been taken from them and given to the Christian Church (Matt. 21:43).[xi]
When comparing the definitions of Kaiser, Diprose, Soulen, and Ridderbos with the statements of those who openly promote a replacement view, it appears that supersessionism is based on two core beliefs: (1) national Israel has somehow completed or forfeited its status as the people of God and will never again possess a unique role or function apart from the church; and (2) the church is now the true Israel that has permanently replaced or superseded national Israel as the people of God. Supersessionism, then, in the context of Israel and the church, is the view that the New Testament church is the new Israel that has forever superseded national Israel as the people of God. The result is that the church has become the sole inheritor of Gods covenant blessings originally promised to national Israel in the Old Testament. This rules out any future restoration of national Israel.
[i] Marten H. Woudstra, Israel and the Church, in Continuity and Discontinuity: Perspectives on the Relationship Between the Testaments, ed. John S. Feinberg (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1987), 237. Woudstra believes that the terms, replacement, and continuation are both acceptable and consistent with biblical teaching. See also G. B. Caird, New Testament Theology (Oxford: Clarendon, 1994), 55.
[ii] Clark M. Williamson, A Guest in the House of Israel: Post-Holocaust Church Theology(Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox, 1993), 268, n. 9.
[iii] Diprose views the titles replacement theology and supersessionism as being synonymous. He also notes that the title replacement theology is a relatively new term in Christian theology. Ronald E. Diprose, Israel in the Development of Christian Thought (Rome: Istituto Biblico Evangelico Italiano, 2000), 31, n. 2. In this present work, we will use the titles supersessionism and replacement theology as synonyms. We acknowledge, though, that these designations may not be entirely satisfactory to those who view the church more as the continuation or fulfillment of national Israel. See Herman Ridderbos, Paul: An Outline of His Theology, trans. John Richard De Witt. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975), 33334; Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology, 2d. ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1999), 105859.
[iv] Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., An Assessment of Replacement Theology: The Relationship Between theIsrael of the AbrahamicDavidic Covenant and the Christian Church, Mishkan 21 (1994): 9.
[v] Diprose, Israel in the Development of Christian Thought, 2.
[vi] R. Kendall Soulen, The God of Israel and Christian Theology, (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996), 12.
[vii] Herman Ridderbos, Paul: An Outline of His Theology, trans. John Richard de Witt. (Grand
Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975), Paul, 33334.
[viii] Bruce K. Waltke, Kingdom Promises as Spiritual, in Continuity and Discontinuity, 274. He also states, The Jewish nation no longer has a place as the special people of God; that place has been taken by the Christian community which fulfills Gods purpose for Israel (275). Emphasis in original.
[ix] Hans K. LaRondelle, The Israel of God in Prophecy, Principles of Prophetic Interpretation(Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 1983), 101. Emphasis in original.
[xi] Loraine Boettner, The Millennium (Philadelphia: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1957), 8990. According to Bright, The New Testament triumphantly hails the Church as Israel . . . the true heir of Israels hope. John Bright, The Kingdom of God (Nashville: Abingdon, 1953), 226.
Godwin's Law may apply here.
If the “holy men” actually did believe that God is finished with Israel and had replaced Israel with the Church they had to deny Scripture to believe that and weren’t “holy” as they may have believed they were.
"Unfortunately, the Reformation produced no changes in attitude. In fact, the hatred of the Jews was reinforced and intensified by the writings of Martin Luther, the very man who launched the Reformation. Initially, Luther was sympathetic toward the Jews because he believed their rejection of the Gospel was due to their recognition of the corruption of the Roman Catholic Church. But when they continued to reject the Gospel, Luther turned on them with a vengeance. In 1543 he wrote a pamphlet entitled Concerning The Jews and Their Lies. The document was an anti-Semitic diatribe. In it, he referred to the Jews as:a"
Having dehumanized and demonized them, Luther then proceeded to make some startling proposals for dealing with them:
Needless to say, the Nazis gleefully quoted Luther as they rose to power and launched the Holocaust. In his book Mein Kampf, published in 1925, Adolf Hitler referred to Martin Luther as a great warrior, a true statesmen, and a great reformer. Keep in mind that Hitler was a professed Christian. In 1924 at a Christian gathering in Berlin, Hitler spoke to thousands and received a standing ovation when he made the following proclamation: I believe that today I am acting in accordance with the will of Almighty God as I announce the most important work that Christians could undertake - and that is to be against the Jews and get rid of them once and for all.(21) Hitler then proceeded to talk about the influence of Luther on his life: Martin Luther has been the greatest encouragement of my life. Luther was a great man. He was a giant. With one blow he heralded the coming of the new dawn and the new age. He saw clearly that the Jews need to be destroyed, and were only beginning to see that we need to carry this work on.(22) At the Nuremberg trials after World War II, the Nazi leader, Julius Streicher, defended himself by saying, I have never said anything that Martin Luther did not say.(23)
The terrible truth that Christians do not like to face, and which many are unaware of, is that the Holocaust was the product of 1,900 years of virulent Christian anti-Semitism."
Replacement theologists, Nazis. One and the same.
Hence the liberal church, no longer believes in the Word of God, believes itself to be a replacement for God's chosen people, allies itself with the Antichrists of this world (Muslims), and turns its hatred toward God's fulfillment of His Word(the nation of Israel).
Only God knows where Israel(the lost tribes)have been scattered throughout the world. Only He can unite them into one staff with Judah and Benjamin (who currently make up the modern nation of Israel).
The strange thing is that the nation of Judah(southern kingdom) now lives in what was once the land belonging to the lost tribes, and the West Bank is made up of Judah and Samaria, and considered by the liberal church as occupied land belonging to the Ismaelites.
There are those who believe the Church contains within it the lost tribes (Israel), and God is bringing them together with Judah to face in the end times the assault of the people of the Antichrist. Shiites believe they are Gog and Magog, and their Islamic theologians teach that Gog and Magog are the victors in the end time battle.
We as Christians are Zionist because we believe in a Jewish God, a Jewish Messiah (Yeshua) who will rule the world in peach from Zion. The liberal church tries to replace this with a poor substitution.
If you remember that replacement theologists are not actual, born-again true believers in Jesus Christ, it makes perfect sense that they don't believe Scripture and believe that God lies.
For Heaven's sake, they have the same belief system as the Nazis. Don't have any expectations that they are going to sound or believe or act like Christians. They are not Christians.
So, y'all let me know when the pogrom begins, OK.
FWIW, the erroneous belief in supersessionism is as old as the state church model and is a belief held by the Protestant churches and the Roman church.
I understand your anger. I am using the academic term supersessionism because I have had Reformed Brothers and Sisters in Christ indicate that the term Replacement Theology is insulting to them and I would like them to consider the subject with an open mind. The Reformed are great on Sola Scriptura but seem to have a blind spot when it comes to eschatology. I believe they are blind to how much of the Roman Theology they took with them when they left the Roman system.
FWIW, I think the author makes a great point about supersessionism. In this belief God is done with Israel, but yet the nation has been reformed and has survived repeated attacks even though their enemies greatly out number them.
I understand and thought that likely.
Soooo . . . being the helpful . . . uhhh . . . off the wall goad . . . I decided to take the role of saying such things. LOL.
I have something to contribute from Walid Shoebat’s book GOD’S WAR ON TERROR on your topic as soon as I can get to it.
The perverse irony of this is Jews today are wary of Born Again Evangelical Christians and are more inclined to trust "liberal" churches.
Thanks for really raising the level of discourse around here. /s
Let's just all demonstrate our Christian charity by denouncing all who disagree with us on any point of exegesis as Nazis.
Thanks for the ping!
Nice example of propagating the lies told about Christianity by atheists. The Holocaust was the product of a neopagan, statist, Darwinist ideology based on racism and the mindless, idolatrous deification of an individual.
The Nazis used Martin Luther they same way they used anyone else who could be twisted to agree with them. But in fact, their ideology and their persecution of the Jews had nothing to do with either the Christian or Jewish religions at all. It was solely racist hatred and scapegoating.
That is why Jews who converted to Christianity, including to those denominations of Christianity you are so wrongly denouncing as "Nazi," were murdered just as readily as Jews who held to their religion. Case in point: St. Edith Stein, born to a Jewish family in Breslau, Germany. Became a Catholic Carmelite nun in Holland. Gassed in Auschwitz in 1942.
In all the passages that we have looked at which describe the battles that take place when Jesus returns, they are all concerning the nation of Israel. In fact, the centrality of Israel in ALL end-time prophecy is an essential part of the picture which many Westerners fail to acknowledge.
. . .
Again, there is only one "gathering of the nations" against Israel: ... (Zechariah 14:2). ... (Matthew 25:32) . . . (Joel 3:2) Any honest reading of Joel 2 will have to concludde that the nations are judged according to THEIR TREATMENT OF ISRAEL. This passage is literal and is not meant to be read symbolically or allegorically in any way. . . .
. . .
. . . In Joel 3, God is in the valley of Jehosaphat (which means the Lord judges). There He will judge all who participated in dividing up His land. Read it carefully. Now, if Antichrist wants Jerusalem divided and Christ condemns this division, Yet you are for this division, which side are you on? Christ's or Antichrist's? . . .
Is this all too difficult for you to swallow? Well, everyone must swallow--either swallow God's Wrod or swallow His wrath. The choice is yours. . . .
I've increasingly been aware that there are far more Scriptures affirming God's EVERLASTING COVENANT WITH THE BLOOD CHILDREN OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB than I ever realized. They are all over the place. They are clearly so because of the whole sentence or paragraph or sometimes because of a key phrase. I should get a new print Bible and read it through and mark all of them. I'm guessing there are more than 50 that are clearly emphatic about the issue.
It only takes one such Scripture to understand God's will in the matter. . . . for those with eyes to see and ears to hear and hearts genuinely seeking God's face, values, priorities and will.
There is no reason to "remember" any such thing.
Well, if you read the Bible you'll know then who said he was the "true vine". A shoot is a shoot and a grafted one is better than one broken off. And there is only one path to become part of the vine again.
Let me know when God’s promises to His chosen, covenant people were fulfilled.
I provided proof that the Nazis took up Martin Luther's antiSemitism and replacement theology and used it as justification to slaughter six million of God's chosen people.
I guess it's impossible to "raise the discourse" with a "doctrine" and those who believe in it who have so much in common with mass murderers.
I'm not responsible for the chosen belief of replacement theology that other people hold, and I don't have to deny the filthy truth about that because it might not "raise the discourse".
There are Bible-rejecting, liberal "churches" who support abortion. Why don't we worry about the "discourse" when we speak the truth about that?
So you’re denying the direct quotes made by the Nazis in the post?
Before you answer, keep in mind the following:
For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name. (Psalm 138:2)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:1-5)
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
So, knowing that God magnifies His Word above His own name, and knowing that Jesus Christ is the Word of God, please explain to me how anyone can deny any part of Scripture and know Christ as Savior.