Monday, 15 October 2007

Conversation between A Christian and A Rabbi

ChristianyToday publishes a rather interesting interview between an evangelical leader, R. T. Kendall, former minister of Westminster Chapel, and a Rabbi, David Rosen, former chief rabbi of Ireland.

According to CT, both leaders were introduced by George Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury, and Andrew White, Carey's envoy. In the course of the meeting, Rosen kept talking about Pharisees in a complimentary way. Kendall finally said, "Rabbi Rosen, I almost get the impression that you're a Pharisee and proud of it." Rosen replied, "You're exactly right!" That led to more conversations, and finally, a book titled The Christian and The Pharisee: Two Outspoken Religious Leaders Debate the Road to Heaven (Warner Faith, 2007).

During the interview, some of the questions raised include the following:

In your first meeting, it was your different understandings of Pharisee that sparked conversation. What understanding do you each now want Christians to associate with the word?

As you wrote this book, both of you remained firm in your own traditions. Why is it important in inter-religious dialogue for people to be rock solid in their beliefs?

Jews have traditionally been insulted by "replacement theology"—the idea that the body of Christian believers has taken the place of the Jewish people in God's covenant.

Some people say Christians have theology but Jews have halakhah, or religious practice. Is that true?

Many Jews have a deeply negative view of Jesus' followers. What would it take to rehabilitate that view for Jews?

Wonder what is the response from the Christian and the Pharisee?

To find out about their conversation, read the rest of the interview. We might even learn a lesson or two here.

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