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Messianic Jewish Manifesto [Paperback]

By David H. Stern (Author)
Our Price $ 15.29  
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Item Number 37520  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   312
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.28" Width: 5.3" Height: 0.73"
Weight:   0.76 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 1999
Publisher   Messianic Jewish Publishers
ISBN  9653590022  
EAN  9789653590021  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
A detailed discussion of the history, ideology, theology, and program for Messianic Judaism. A challenge to both Jews and non-Jews who honor Yeshua to catch the vision of Messianic Judaism. You will see how Messianic Jews are poised to help heal the longtime rift between the Church and the Jewish people. Helps Christians understand God's plan for the Jewish people and their relationship in the Body, today.

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More About David H. Stern

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! David Stern (MDiv, Fuller Theological Seminary) is the translator of the Jewish New Testament and the Complete Jewish Bible.

David H. Stern was born in 1935.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A Prophetic and Brilliant Work  Nov 14, 2007
David Stern has lived a very interesting life. Born in Los Angeles, great-grandson of two of the city's first twenty Jews, he earned a his PhD in Economics at Princeton, taught at UCLA, his Alma Mater, came to believe in Yeshua in 1972, earned a Degree at Fuller Seminary where he taught their first course on Judaism and Christianity, married in 1976 and made Aliyah (emigrated to Israel in 1979). In his younger years he ran a health food store, and co-wrote Surfing Guide to Southern California, with Bill Cleary.

Stern is not only interesting, he is brilliant. He wrote Messianic Jewish Manifesto in his twelfth year of Yeshua-faith. This is a prophetic, visionary book, not only describing Messianic Judaism as it existed in 1988, but forecasting how Messianic Judaism might and must develop to serve its God-given destiny. Those of us intimately acquainted with Messianic Judaism will find some his ideas and prognostications somewhat obvious, until we remember the book was written in 1987, published in 1988. Then the astonishment sets in.

The book is in seven chapters with an Appendix. Chapter One, "Destiny," examines why Messianic Judaism is crucial to God's purposes for the Church, for Israel, and for the world, which is the theme of the entire book. It is a compelling chapter, with a compelling ending: ""It all depends on Messianic Jews whether the theological-ideological program outlined in this book will motivate action. If the present generation is too dull to grasp it rightly, a future, finer and better generation will arise to understand it. The Messianic Jews who try it, sparking the salvation of the Jews and the fulfilling of the Church's Great Commission, will be rewarded by an eternal weight of glory, and they will deserve it." Chapter Two. "Identity," defines Messianic Judaism. Messianic Jews, and Christians, and further explores the interrelationship between the Church and Israel and the crucial role Messianic Judaism and Messianic Jews must play. In setting a standard for Messianic Jewish identity and Messianic Judaism, he also addresses substandard expressions, and provides a nuanced review of nine terms that have been used self-descriptively by Jewish believers in Jesus, and the differences between the terms.

Chapter Three, "History," begins contemplating three basic questions: (1) How can one be happy? This is the concern of psychology; (2) What should one do? This is the concern of ethics. (3) What does it all mean? This is the concern of history. Briefly, history is events interpreted. Under eight categorizations, he considers how the relalationship between the Church and the Jewish people has been and should be configured, advocating "reconciliation" as the ideal. He states, "reconciliation will involve change in both Judaism and Christianity in a direction that Messianic Judaism can help make visible, even through Messianic Judaism makes no claim to have itself already arrived at the ultimate goal." Well said and well considered, and compellingly prophetic.

In Chapter Four, "Theology," Stern provides a grab-bag of theological issues to be developed and explored by a maturing Messianic Judaism He calls for an audience-sensitive theologizing, postulating four broad audiences: Messianic Jews, non-Messianic Jews, Christians, and the rest of the world. He suggests taking an Aquinan approach: stating principles, then postulating and responding to objections from one's four audiences. Chapter Five, "Torah," examines why Messinaic Judaism cannot neglect Torah obedience, as has been Christendom's habit, providing preliminary guidelines for this project. I wanted to stand up and cheer when I read this: "I am certain that the lack of a correct, clear and relatively complete Messianic Jewish or Gentile Christian theology of the Law is . . . the greatest barrier to Jewish people's receiving the gospel. Even though many Jews do not observe Torah . . . attachment to Torah is rooted deep in the Jewish people's memory, where it affects attitudes unconsciously" (1988:125). This is his largest chapter, and he delves into a rich diversity of hot button issues, including conversion of Gentiles to Messianic Judaism.

Stern views the subject of Chapter Six, "Holiness," to be the most important element in a Messianic Jewish vision. Here he examines what it is, why it is important, and how it should be lived out. He coins the world "programmatics," by which he means "the theological discipline of setting forth a program for all or part of the Body of Messiah. It involves stating for a group of people or an institution purposes, goals, means of attaining the goals, priorities among the goals, determination of necessary resources for reaching the goals, inventorying available resources and scheduling--in short, the basic elements of planning--but all in a theological and ideological context" (1988:200).

This he attempts to do, at least preliminarily.

In a crucial Appendix, "Restoring the Jewishness of the Gospel," he demonstrates how contextualization is NOT to be the agenda of MJ, because it would involve taking a Gentilized message and communicating it in Jewish terms rather than, as best as possible, restoring the original Jewishness of the gospel.

Stern cleverly speaks of the various kinds of evangelism normally postulated by missiologists, adding a fourth category to their three: Type I evangelism -- evangelizing nominal Christians in one's own culture, Type II - Evangelizing "people who share one's language and perhaps live in the same or a similar society, but whose cultural and religious presuppositions may be very different (1988:246); Type III evangelism which "brings the Gospel across cultural and lingusitic barriers that at times can seem all but insuperable [insurmountable?].

What is needed in the Jewish world is Type IV evangelism, which respects the divinely ordained unique status of the Jewish people, that they are "God's people in a sense that applies to no other people on earth" (1988:248). " . . . the Jewish people are more than a culture, they are the people of God. Therefore, the task in relation to Jews is not to contextualize the Gospel as it has come to non-Jews, with their pagan history, but rather to communicate a Gospel which is theologically correct vis-a-vis the Jewish people, whose history and role in communicating gods salvation is an eternal part of Holy Scripture. Type IV Evangelism is needed to evangelize the people of God (1988:248-249).

No Messianic Jewish missiologist or leader can ignore this book, a rich and well thought out blueprint for all later attempts at configuring Messianic Jewish life, community and theology. I found some of his pietistic and charismatic/Pentecostal presuppositions a bit confining, but this does not diminish my admiration for the work. The layout of the book shows that he developed an outline for the endeavor and worked from that, and I cannot but admire the orderliness and discipline of his thought.

You will too.

I recommend another book  Jun 27, 2007
V'Da Mah SheTashiv: Know What To Answer (To Missionaries) A Thorough Jewish response To Missionaries
How Times Have Changed  May 19, 2006
I've followed David Stern for some time and read much that has come out of the Messianic Jewish movement. I've also read many books by traditional Jews about Jesus and/or Christianity (Geza Vermes, for instance). 50 years ago, Jews didn't dare write about Jesus. Now, many traditional Jews are trying to reclaim Yeshua (Jesus) as part of the Jewish rabbinic tradition, and rightly so. How times change.

It saddens me that so many (all) of the negative reviews here simply assume 1) that Messianic Judaism must be wrong, 2) Stern is a Christian masquerading as a Jew, and 3) any such people and/or attempt must be "evil." They are criticizing Stern's motives and character, but where is the critique of the content of the book itself? I doubt if most of them have even glanced at a page. Stern's reputation alone is probably enough for many people to seek him out and attack him. Sad. But before you say it is impossible to be both Jewish and to follow Jesus, please give a definition of Judaism that both allows for all current strands of Judaism (to make it easy, I'll even let you exclude Kaballah) and exludes the Messianic variety. Just don't make it circular (i.e. "anything but Jesus.")

Granted, the relationship between Gentile and Jew has been ugly at times. No question. But then again, as Einstein and others have pointed out, it was only the genuine Christians who came to the aid of the Jews in WW2. Some might point today to the evangelical loyalty to Israel. All that aside, it is incredibly ironic to me that the central question for early Christians was whether or not anyone but a Jew could follow Jesus. (Read Acts, esp. Acts 10 where Peter apologizes for allowing Gentiles into the Jewish sect later known as Christianity. Look at the Jewish response, "so God has granted EVEN the Gentiles mercy.") Back then, people assumed only Jews could follow Jesus. Now the assumption is the exact opposite. Granted, this turnabout is historically mostly the Gentile's fault. However, many Messianic Jews were kicked out of synagogues for following Jesus. Militant followers of Simon bar Kochba didn't get the same treatment. Even today, one of my close friends was physically assaulted by Orthodox Jews in Israel for disclosing that he was a Messianic Jew. He was rescued from the growing mob by an Israeli soldier.

So where's the book review?

If nothing else, understanding this transition is reason enough to read Stern. Navigating this minefield with such aplomb is why Stern deserves a "5." His research and ample footnotes alone rate a "5." Many Gentiles today forget that Jesus was a Jew, his disciples were Jews, the first 3000 or more followers were all Jews, and the growing sect was officially recognized by the Roman Empire as a sect within Judaism. But as many Gentiles there are who forget this, there are probably more (by percentage) Jews who do the same.

Where we go from there is another question. But it doesn't do any good to deny the possibility of being both a Jew and a follower of Jesus. At least in the beginning, that's all there was.
Misleading. This is a Christian book not a Jewish one  Feb 8, 2006
Mr. Stern is practicing deception. He was born as a Jew and has converted to Christianity.
This means that the doctrine he is preaching is a Christian one. It is not a Jewish one, as it is totally out of accord with fundamental Jewish belief as to the nature of G-d.
Lies and cheats its way to gull you into buying Jesus  Nov 1, 2005
This book is designed to help convince people that Jesus is Messiah. It's nothing more than a front for Christianity, to "save the Jewish soul". It is fraudulent. There is no real Judaism in Messianic Judaism. Go consult your Orthodox Rabbi - see how much shrift he gives this kind of nonsense.

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