Casual readers of this blog may reach the mistaken conclusion that I dislike Issues Etc. I’m not. I’m grateful for Issues Etc. and wish there were more programs like it.
That being said, I am sometimes given to wonder if it is meant to inform “the thinking Christian” or whether it is meant to reinforce Lutheran prejudices and keep Lutherans from engaging with different points of view.
I would take as a case in point a recent appearance by Craig Parton, a lawyer from California, who visited to discuss a recently-released report on international religious freedom [link]. Parton’s visit is mostly uneventful, but with about six minutes to go he starts to talk about religious freedom in Israel. That’s the modern nation-state of Israel, of course, the one founded in 1948; not the ancient people group descended from the biblical character Abraham via his grandson Jacob.
Parton is right to point out that Israel has a poor record on religious freedom; but then for some reason he takes what is apparently a compulsory swipe at Evangelicals when he says
Some Evangelicals give the impression that salvation has already obtained by the Jews.
Parton, as a lawyer, should know better than to make a statement like this: first because he doesn’t go on to name any names, and second because he’s using what are sometimes called weasel words [link] by placing the emphasis on a received impression (by whom?) instead of on an action actually done by his anonymous Evangelicals.
Let me be clear about this: I don’t know any Evangelicals who say salvation has already been obtained by “the Jews.” I will offer the usual reward (my undying gratitude) to anyone who can find me a YouTube video of any Evangelical leader saying anything of the kind.
In the interest of fairness I occasionally hear the same sort of anonymous aspersions cast by fundamentalists and Evangelicals when they speaking vaguely but knowingly of “replacement theology.” This is usually followed closely by a reference to Hitler, or the Nazis generally, and is similarly unhelpful. But that’s another post for another day, when I’ve got an archival example to refer to.