Forsaking Israel: How It Happened and Why It Matters is written by five members of the faculty of Shepherds Seminary: Doug Bookman, Dave Burggraff, Stephen Davey, Larry Pettegew, and Tim Sigler. Dr. Pettegrew is the editor and has written several of the chapters in the book. Dr. Erwin Lutzer has written the Foreword. The book is divided into two main parts. The first half of the book, How It Happened, is a historical study of how the church has forsaken Israel down through the centuries of church history, focusing on the church fathers’ and the Protestant Reformers’ dismissal of, and animosity toward, Israel. The second half of the book, Why It Matters, is devoted to an analysis of why the church’s historical disregard and opposition to Israel is theologically and biblically wrong.
The authors believe that how one views God’s promises to Israel impacts how one understands other important doctrines. Thus, replacement theology and covenant theology, the theological systems that teach that the church has permanently replaced Israel in God’s program, are defective ways to understand the Bible. Instead, dispensationalism, which teaches that God has not forsaken Israel and that the nation of Israel has a future culminating in the millennial reign with Christ on earth, is the better way to understand the Bible.
The authors are not arguing that Christians necessarily should support secular Israel in every decision that it makes. And Jews without Christ are just as lost as are unbelieving Gentiles. The authors believe, however, that the Scriptures are clear that God made irrevocable covenants with the nation of Israel to which He will eternally be faithful. The book is an academic book, but is written clearly and with respect to those Christians who disagree.
This book is now available through Kress Biblical Resources.