Is There Serious Error in the New Book, "In Defense of Israel?"

by Dr. Michael Brown

Pastor John Hagee’s new book, In Defense of Israel: The Bible’s Mandate for Supporting the Jewish State (Lake Mary, Florida: Front Line, 2007), was publicized by announcements stating that the book would “shake Christian theology.” The following positions are explicitly laid out in the book:

1. The Jewish people, as a whole, did not reject Jesus as Messiah.

2. Jesus did not come to earth to be the Messiah.

3. Jesus refused by word and deed to be the Messiah.

The Jews cannot be blamed for not accepting what was never offered.
Statements like this must be evaluated in light of 1 John 2:22: “Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ [i.e., Messiah]. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son.” As commentator Stephen S. Smalley explained, “The true believer is the one who accepts the Christhood of Jesus, whereas those who deny his messianic identity declare themselves to be on the side of the antichrist” (Word Biblical Commentary).

What could possibly be the motivation for teaching such error? First, In Defense of Israel desires to dispel once and for all the notion that all Jews are Christ-killers, a terrible lie that has fueled anti-Semitism in the Church for more than 1,500 years. Second, the book wants to refute the false teaching of replacement theology, explaining that, “Replacement theologians have said that ‘the covenant with Israel was broken because she would not accept Jesus Christ whom God sent.’” (See p. 132 of In Defense of Israel.) Tragically, in the attempt to fight against these serious errors, a more serious error has now been introduced. Yet some believers and even leaders! are buying into this error hook, line, and sinker, and some have begun to teach and preach it as well.

Since the publication of the book, Pastor Hagee issued some clarifying remarks, but the clarifications only complicate the issues and fail to renounce and remove the error.

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