I started this blog in February of 2012 as a platform to discuss how the Old Testament/Law/Torah (however you wish to refer to it) is relevant to Christianity. And a by-product of that journey was learning more about Jesus from a Jewish perspective. There’s been some highs and lows. The blog itself is evolving into something much more than I originally thought.
As I’m growing in my theological interests, so is the blog. The blog is starting to expand to cover a wider variety of topics so I hope you will stay tuned to find out what’s coming up next.
I wanted to reflect on a few of the major milestones in my own theological journey this year and point out some of the highlights and also discuss some of the things I’ve learned along the way.
Torah Club Volume 1
I finished a year long study of all the Torah portions in 2012 following along with the first volume of Torah Club from FFOZ. I can’t say anything bad about this study course. It’s taught from a Messianic Jewish perspective and the material is top notch, nothing comes close. If that’s something you’re interested in, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. There are 5 more volumes you can take after the first one that go into different areas such as the Apostolic Writings, the Gospels, the Prophets, etc. It was an intense year of study but the experience and education was priceless.
One way we incorporated studying the weekly Torah portion this year was to actually celebrate the Sabbath on Friday evenings (as much as our busy schedule would allow anyways). It was a great way to immerse yourself in the material. We would light the candles, say the traditional blessings over the bread and wine, eat, then have a discussion of the portion after the meal. I would have been nice to continue the tradition but it’s not really practical with my family’s busy and conflicting schedules. Try it some time, you will get a blessing.
Another thing we did as a family was to celebrate Passover with a seder. We used a “Christian friendly” and much abbreviated Haggadah to follow along with. I would highly recommend doing this with your own family.
Hayesod is 10 week bible study, also from FFOZ. It was one of the best bible studies I’ve done. It’s of the highest quality. I even signed up to be a leader so I could start my own group, but I never could generate enough of an interest. I even brought it to the attention of my pastor to but it fell on deaf ears. So I guess you could say that was a low point.
The One-Law/Hebrew roots Movement is Toxic
First, I’ll say that I highly respect the FFOZ organization. They are a first class bunch of teachers. They realized years ago that the position they took known as “one law” was wrong. They corrected it, corrected their material, and in the process lost a lot of support from people who espoused that view. And I have to admit, I was ignorant that it was even a viewpoint until I came upon a white paper discussing it on their website.
There are many “one law” teachers that have huge followings, especially on the Internet. Jim Staley and Michael Rood are two big ones. There were even 2 major live streaming networks that launched. I would stay far away from one law teachers, ministries, or churches. They are poisonous. It’s a form of supersessionism (replacement theology). Just be careful when researching on the Internet because there’s a bunch of junk scholarship out there that can be dangerous for those who do not have a good grasp on sound theology.
Where Do We Go From Here
The blog will continue casting a much wider net on many different areas of theology. I come from an evangelical background and my original intention was to introduce a Jewish understanding to an evangelical audience. I will continue that as well as introduce other ways of looking at different theological issues. Many people have only been exposed to only one side of a doctrine, usually the one their own congregation or denomination espouses. I want to change that and expose people to other interpretations so their own beliefs can be held in scrutiny to see whether they hold up or not. There are issues such as atonement, the providence and foreknowledge of God, the nature of hell, baptism, destiny of the unevangelized, the interpretation of Genesis 1 & 2, etc. that have multiple sides. These issues have been debated for centuries for a reason. Scripture can be ambiguous and it’s healthy to discuss these hot button topics.
In my own life, I plan to start up a small study group that will be a real-life extension of the blog we can come together and discuss scripture and fellowship. I don’t have any details quite yet but it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. Come along for the ride!