• The Gospel and the Land of Promise

    In a seminar at the end of October, Eden Community Church and Laidlaw College are addressing the question of how the land of Israel and its people relate to Biblical prophecy and modern day politics. Is the church the fulfilment of God’s promise to Abraham, or does that distinction belong to the Israeli community? Can God change his promises? Whose is the land?

    These and other related issues are discussed in a book of essays edited by Philip Church, Peter Walker, Tim Bulkely and Tim Meadowcroft. The book is the background to the seminar. Entitled The Gospel and the Land of Promise and published by Pickwick Publications, Oregon, it considers how the Bible seems to regard the land we call Israel and the people who live there, and asks how we might view them too. Its themes have implications for our theology, our charity and our relations to the world around us.

    Questions about Israel are not academic. Middle-eastern tensions, militant Islam, the nuclear state of Israel, influences on US foreign policy, the influence of Christian Zionists — all colour the world we live in. The vexed question of a Palestinian homeland is affected by an understanding of whether God sees the people as needy refugees or greedy usurpers. Christians who want to be God’s people are called to be thoughtful about his purposes. Eden Community Church and Laidlaw College seek to assist good thinking on central topics of faith and civics, and the book they are using seeks to open a consideration of the broad questions. I hope their efforts will be fruitful for many. Enquiries about the seminar and the book may be made to rlittle@laidlaw.ac.nz

    — Ken Edgecombe


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