OST is closed for business but its spirit survives on my blog.
Joel - thanks for your response. My main response to you is that I don’t believe the bible teaches what you say it teaches about Israel and the “last days” - and I’m not an emergent person, but a conservative evangelical! Your quotation of Ishmael is a case in point - I don’t think it would go down well with a Palestinian Christian who had been ethnically cleansed from a village and lands his family had been peacefully tending for generations.
I’m impressed with the writings and work of Rev Abuna Elias Chacour, who experienced this with his family at the hand of Israelis when he was only eight years old. He has remained in Israel, and totally without bitterness is involved in educational work where Palestinians and Jews are educated together. But the story of his life is heart-rending.
Incidentally, on the Jewish people, I believe we owed and continue to owe a debt to them for being the people through whom the gospel came - and that the gospel is still “for the Jew first, then the gentile”. I’m less convinced that the foundation of the modern state of Israel tells us about God’s purposes for the world in the way that contemporary evangelicals tend to understand it. I rather think it tells us the opposite of prophecy, from a biblical understanding of what prophecy is all about, than a fulfilment of prophetic purposes.
But I wouldn’t want to be provocative.