An Update on the Battle against Replacement Theology

We see momentum inside and outside of our circles.


TheologyMar 10, 2021

TheologyMar 10, 2021


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Replacement theology is a viewpoint that says that the church has replaced Israel as the people of God.

As First Fruits of Zion has taught extensively elsewhere, [1] replacement theology has many layers and components. It will take time to root out this way of reading and applying the Bible. However, I am grateful to report that more positive things are happening in the battle against this destructive ideology.

As the Torah Club Director for Outreach and Communications, I have the privilege of interacting with various Christian and Messianic groups. It is a fun and meaningful role to be focused on developing friendships with Christian and Messianic leaders. One of the most important frequent conversations I have with leaders is how they observe and process replacement theology in their circles. As the days and months go by, I witness the layers of replacement theology peeling back in numerous corners of God’s kingdom. Below, I will share a few promising developments.

Within our own circles at First Fruits of Zion, the battle against replacement theology is gaining momentum through a remarkable increase in Torah Clubs being started by Christian leaders. Last week, a new Torah Club began in Greece. The leader there is a Christian who has a wonderful teaching ministry in the ancient city of Athens. This leader has been teaching the Bible for many years. However, he came to a point when he realized “something was missing.” He found Torah Club and was convinced that this teaching needed to be shared with those to whom he ministered.

Now, in our third year of Torah Club, we have over 700 clubs meeting worldwide. Every week, thousands of people gather to study and apply the Bible in a way that affirms the role of the Jewish people, the Torah, and the Jewish Jesus. As Torah Club continues to grow, it will continue to deal a blow to replacement theology.

As excited as we are about what is happening in Torah Club, we are equally encouraged by what is happening outside of Torah Club and FFOZ circles. Last week, I met with the hosts of “The Apocalyptic Gospel” podcast. [2] This podcast is led by three Christian leaders who desire to understand and teach the Bible in its first-century Jewish context. Recently, a colleague shared a link to one of their podcast episodes. Up to that point, I had not heard of this podcast. As I listened, I was amazed to hear three astute Christian leaders speak positively about traditional Jewish prayer. They also strongly affirmed the work of scholars such as Paula Fredriksen and Mark Nanos. They are scholars at the forefront of advancing the viewpoint that Paul should be understood within Judaism.

Listening to the Apocalyptic Gospel podcast hosts interact positively and freely with the above sources was a sign of progress. During our meeting, they also indicated their great respect for the work of First Fruits of Zion. The battle against replacement theology will continue to gain strength as more Christian leaders like this emerge.

A final front that I would like to report on involves the continued growth of Yachad B’Yeshua. [3] This organization seeks to unite Jewish disciples of Yeshua who are affiliated with a broad range of Christian and Messianic entities. I am blessed to have been at the inaugural meeting of Yachad B’Yeshua several years ago. Since then, this organization has grown substantially. As more Jewish disciples of Jesus are encouraged to embrace their identity, it makes it more difficult for the church to be indifferent about this topic. In other words, the affirmation of Jewish identity within the church is a powerful tool in the battle against replacement theology.

Positive things are happening in the battle against replacement theology. As we look back over previous months and years, this damaging theology is being rooted out little by little. At FFOZ, we are honored to be part of this important restoration process.

Footnotes:
  1. See our Malchut 2020 lectures for more on this topic.
  2. https://www.apocalypticgospel.com/
  3. https://www.yachad-beyeshua.org/
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About the Author: Ryan Lambert is the Director of Outreach for First Fruits of Zion. He connects with pastors and leaders so that FFOZ can better serve the church and the Messianic Jewish movement in the area of Messianic Judaism and the Jewish roots of the faith. More articles by Ryan Lambert