With the celebration this week of Passover it is interesting to read about Orthodox Jewish journalist David Klinghoffe, who presents his arguments on why Jesus was not the Messiah, but of more appeal to evangelicals, challenges Jewish liberals who are not faithful to Jewish teachings, and commends the impact orthodox Jews and Christians can have on a Western culture that has lost the meaning of truth.
“For example, Christians have for centuries pondered the unique Jewish role in “salvation history,” a mystery often summed up in the familiar statement, “How odd of God to choose the Jews.” Meanwhile, Jewish scholars have faced a paradox of their own. As the Jewish intellectual Franz Rosenzweig once said: “Israel can bring the world to God only through Christianity.”
Without Judaism, there is no Christianity. But without Christianity,Klinghoffer argues, there would be no Western civilization as the world knows it and, without Christendom, Europe would have remained pagan and almost certainly fallen to Islam.
Despite their many differences, Klinghoffer is convinced that traditional Jews and Christians can find unity on many controversial questions — from abortion to euthanasia, and many hot moral issues in between. Christians and Jews are supposed to believe that “we can say, with a straight face, that there is such a thing as ‘truth,’ ” he said.
This matters in an era in which many want to blur the doctrinal linesbetween world religions. Others want to deny the existence of religious truth altogether.
“This raises all kinds of questions,” said Klinghoffer. “Who gets todecide what is right and what is wrong? Does God get to play a role inthose decisions or do we just put that up to a vote among ourselves? Where does moral authority come from? Do we just pluck it out of the air or does it come from somewhere?
“When we start asking these kinds of questions, Jewish and Christian believers can stand side by side.”