We have been posting a lot lately about the way evangelicals and other Christians think about Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. As I try to sort all of this out myself, I found Gavin D’Costa‘s recent review essay in First Things to be very helpful. D’Costa reviews three books on Christian Zionism:
- Samuel Goldman, God’s Country: Christian Zionism in America
- Gerald McDermott, ed., The New Christian Zionism: Fresh Perspectives on Israel and the Land
- Gerald McDermott, Israel Matters: Why Christians Must Think Differently about the People and the Land.
Here is a taste:
McDermott and his contributors argue that while Israel is not perfect, it seeks to be just. What one does not find in either of McDermott’s books is a sustained or serious recognition of the justice of the Palestinian cause. This is where emergent Catholic Zionism might have an edge on new and old forms of Protestant Zionism. The Vatican has made a formal fundamental agreement with the Palestinians (2000), not unlike the fundamental agreement made with Israel (1993). The Vatican, which formally recognized Israel’s legal right to exist in 1985, also recognized the Palestinian State in 2015. These alliances with the Palestinians arise from three factors. First, there are Palestinian Catholics whom the Vatican seeks to support and aid. Second, since Vatican II, Catholic social doctrine has emphasized justice and peace. Church leaders have been led by this emphasis to seek justice for the Palestinians, currently understood as a two-state solution. Third, while the Vatican is not starry-eyed about Islam, it constantly seeks constructive and positive relations with Muslim states.
Read the entire piece here.