Nasty, Brutish and (Mercifully) Short
a review by Dexter Van Zile (August 2013)
Christian Zionism Examined
By Steven Paas.
Hamburg, Germany, 2012. 135 pp. $29.95
Steven Paas, a Presbyterian minister from the Netherlands with advanced degrees from the University of Amsterdam and the Theological University of Apeldoorn, has a problem with Christian Zionism, a movement that attributes religious value to the modern state of Israel.
Paas has written a relatively short (135 page) book about the movement and it is simply astounding to see how many problems Paas lays at the feet of Christian Zionists.
The movement, Paas writes “cripples mission to Jews and gentiles,” hinders the spread of Christianity in the “Southern Hemisphere” where many people side with the Arabs. And Western Christian support for Israel “infuriates Muslims,” and “saddens Christian minorities in Islamic countries.”
Paas even blames German Christian Zionists for failing to stop the Holocaust, the development of which “showed the deficiency of Christian Zionism.”
To be sure, Paas does not like anti-Semitism but is willing to give Martin Luther a pass for his anti-Jewish polemics.
Relying on Joel McDurmon, Paas argues that “Luther was not at all a proto-Nazi racist or a Holocaust propagating anti-Semite.” Yes, his tracts were “immoderate,” but were initially targeted at the “religion of Judaism, which had rejected Christ.” (Just FYI, McDurmon, has also written that gays should be executed.)
There are two messages in Paas’s book. The first is that there is no vitality left in Judaism and that whatever is good in the Jewish faith and covenant has been taken possession of by Christianity. The second message is that many (if not all) of Christianity’s problems are somehow rooted in Christian support for the Jewish people.
Readers could take some solace in that Paas is not blaming the Jews directly for these problems, but it’s not much of a comfort.
Dexter Van Zile (@dextervanzile) is Christian Media Analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (@cameraorg).
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