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Roy Millar - Israel, Church, Islam

Israel, Church, Islam

Islam, Church, and Islam are sometimes characterized as the three great monotheistic, Abrahamic faiths, but that does not tell the whole story. Israel claims that God’s covenants with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob remain valid and effective. The Church claims continuity with Israel, and that Christians have inherited her promises. Some believe that the Church has replaced Israel leaving her with no present role in God’s purposes. Islam claims that both Jews and Christians have corrupted God’s revelation of truth, that it has replaced both, and is destined to rule the earth.

The secular world is bewildered by the consequences of this clash of worldviews, blind to the spiritual forces that underlie the war of words and weapons. The return of Israel, the rise of Islam, and the widespread persecution of the Church mean that this is no mere academic issue. A study of Scripture and history will supply the tools required to interpret this complex set of relationships and discover how we can live with faith and understanding at this critical stage of world history.

 

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Roy Millar - Session 1: Introduction

Session 1: Introduction

In this initial session we define the scope of the study. We do not propose to study each of the three religions/movements in isolation but to examine their overlapping and, frequently, conflicting worldviews. At superficial glance they appear to have much in common – often described in the same sentence as “the three great Abrahamic/Monotheistic faiths”. On closer inspection deep cracks appear. Christians see their faith in continuity with the Jewish Scriptures but Jews reject Jesus ...

Roy Millar - Session 2: Israel Chosen People

Session 2: Israel Chosen People

Being a chosen people does not make for an easy life. For Abraham it meant saying goodbye to a great civilization in favour of life in tents in an unknown land and with no guarantees apart from the revelation that God gave him. For his descendents it has spelled a mixture of blessing and persecution. There is resentment at and resistance of the claim that God makes choices. But Israel was chosen by the Sovereign Lord ...

Roy Millar - Session 3: Theocracy, Covenant Community, National Failure

Session 3: Theocracy, Covenant Community, National Failure

Theocracy was a unique system, defining relationship between God and Israel. God was their King by virtue of the redemption of the nation from slavery and their acceptance of the Covenant at Mount Sinai. When, eventually, they had a human king he was to act as God’s agent and not as an independent ruler. Enjoyment of the blessing of the Covenant with Abraham would be in proportion to their obedience to His laws. National life ...

Roy Millar - Session 4: Messiah in the Feasts of Israel

Session 4: Messiah in the Feasts of Israel

The LORD said that He would choose the place where He would place His Name and where He would dwell in the midst of His people. When He revealed it in the days of David it was the very place where Abraham had been willing to offer his son Isaac in obedience and faith. Three times a year the community of Israel was to gather there in the city of the Great King – Jerusalem ...

Roy Millar - Session 5: Messiah through Jewish eyes

Session 5: Messiah through Jewish eyes

“All the prophets prophesied not but for the days of Messiah … the world was not created but only for the Messiah”. These words from the Talmud represent a common way of interpreting the Scriptures in the period prior to the birth of Jesus. In this study we explore the writings of the scholars of that period and discover the astonishing ways in which they described the Messiah – names that go far beyond a ...

Roy Millar - Session 6: Jesus rejected by Israel

Session 6: Jesus rejected by Israel

Jesus came at a time of high expectation of the Messiah. His life and ministry fulfilled many aspects of the prophetic Scriptures and corresponded to interpretations by many Jewish scholars. Nevertheless He was rejected, handed over to the hated Roman authorities, and crucified. How are we to understand this enigma and the subsequent stubborn refusal to repent of this attitude in the light of the resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit? Jesus represented ...

Roy Millar - Session 7: Disaster, New Judaism, Anti–Semitism

Session 7: Disaster, New Judaism, Anti–Semitism

The destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in AD70 marked the end of Jewish religion as practised for 1500 years. The priesthood had been eliminated and sacrifices were no longer possible – the foundations were gone. Out of the ashes a new form of Judaism arose, based on study of Torah and detailed interpretations of how it should be applied in the new situation. We trace the events and how the new arrangement maintained Jewish ...

Roy Millar - Session 8: Replacement Theology

Session 8: Replacement Theology

Replacement Theology is the belief system that all of the Old Testament promises and Covenants with the Jewish people have been transferred to the church. Jews rejected Jesus as Messiah and their special position as a chosen people has been abrogated. The “church fathers” were generally hostile to Jews on account of their rejection of Jesus and some were frankly anti–Semitic. The theological position was formalized by Augustine and this has had disastrous consequences for ...

Roy Millar - Session 9a: Jewish/Christian History, Zionism

Session 9a: Jewish/Christian History, Zionism

The first part of this study documents the sad history of persecution, libels, pogroms, expulsions and attempted genocide of the Jewish people in “Christian” lands, a consequence of bad theology response to their uniqueness and disproportionate achievements. In the second part we address the subject of Zionism – what it is and is not. First we look for a Biblical definition and then at the process that resulted in its modern expression. Zionism does ...

Roy Millar - Session 9b: Jewish/Christian History, Zionism

Session 9b: Jewish/Christian History, Zionism

This follows directly from session 9a.

Roy Millar - Session 10: Origins of Islam

Session 10: Origins of Islam

Islam is shaped by its origins and early history and sacred texts. Understanding this is the key to understanding what is happening in our contemporary world. The revelations in the Qur’an are closely interwoven with the life journey and teaching of Mohammed and together they form the pattern for Muslim belief and practice to the end of time. In this study we follow that journey from rejection in Mecca through the migration to Medina and ...

Roy Millar - Session 11: Development & Spread of Islam

Session 11: Development & Spread of Islam

Soon after arriving in Medina Mohammed established the first Mosque. He was making a big statement for a mosque is not simply a place of prayer and worship; it is also the seat of government and military headquarters for jihad. It is a symbol of power and supremacy. This pattern is still valid. When Mecca was subdued its mosque became the central focus, declaring victory over the pagan idols and linking it to a pre–history ...

Roy Millar - Session 12: What does Islam teach?

Session 12: What does Islam teach?

In this session we consider the basic beliefs and teachings of Islam. The Qur’an is an essential source but the Sunnah – the life, sayings and teaching of Mohammed – is almost equally important and the Shariah, derived from these texts in the early centuries, comprises the law of Islam. The oneness of God is the core belief, transcendent and beyond the realm of human relationship. Allah is very different from the One revealed in the ...

Roy Millar - Session 13: Islamic Strategy & Mission

Session 13: Islamic Strategy & Mission

Like Christians Islam is involved in mission, but with a very different objective. In Christianity the call is to personal salvation and personal relationship with God through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The objective of Islam is to bring territories and populations under submission to Allah. In Christian mission there are, or should be, no coercion or financial inducements or violence or threats of violence, but rather a presentation of truth in the context of ...

Roy Millar - Session 14: Jihad & The Middle East Conflicts

Session 14: Jihad & The Middle East Conflicts

Jihad – fighting in the cause of Allah – can be considered as the logical climax of Islamic mission. Politicians often respond to some violent episode with a statement such as “Islam is a religion of peace” or “This has nothing to do with Islam/religion”, despite the explicit claim of the perpetrator. The secular mind seems to have difficulty in grasping the fact that religious motivation is very powerful, that violent jihad emerged at the ...

Roy Millar - Session 15: How then shall we live?

Session 15: How then shall we live?

We face daily news reports of global Islamic violence, scenes of desperate refugees seeking to escape from conflicts, ruthless persecution of Christians in their ancient homelands, and the growing threats within our own societies. It would be easy to sink into despair or denial, ignoring the situation and getting on with personal and church life as if nothing had changed. We may be tempted to react in anger and hostility against those whom we see ...

Roy Millar - Session 16: The End of the Age and the World to come

Session 16: The End of the Age and the World to come

This last session examines the “end times” world view of Islam and as taught in the Jewish/Christian Scriptures. There are certain features in common but the detail and application are very different. The belief the catastrophic events are necessary to usher in the return of the Mahdi fuels some of the current religious fervour and associated activity. Jesus will return but to destroy the crosses and convert Christians to Islam; He will die and will be ...

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