Messianic Apologetics is dedicated to producing high quality, doctrinally sound, challenging, and fair-minded publications and resources for Twenty-First Century Messianic people. Our broad faith community faces any number of issues requiring resolution–from newcomers to the Messianic movement and those who have been involved for many years. The books, studies, commentaries, and analyses provided by Messianic Apologetics intend to aid the legitimate needs of today’s Messianic people, so they can have the answers they seek in their walk with the Messiah of Israel.
Salvation on the Line, Volume II: The Nature of Yeshua and His Divinity–General Epistles, Pauline Epistles, & Later New Testament
In the past, the big issue which has faced the Messianic movement has understandably been the Messiahship of Yeshua of Nazareth, widely connected to the purposes of Jewish evangelism. For the present, the big issue which is staring right at the broad Messianic movement—to which no congregation, fellowship, family, or individual is entirely immune—is how to approach the nature of Yeshua (Jesus). Is Yeshua the Messiah God, or is He a created being? While many affirm Yeshua of Nazareth to be the eternal, uncreated Son of God who is indeed God—there are many others who express various levels of doubt about this, and then others who think that Yeshua is a created being and not God. There are those who will affirm that Yeshua is a supernatural being to be sure—perhaps even the first created being in the cosmic order, pre-existent of our known universe—but nevertheless created and not God.
This publication, Salvation on the Line: The Nature of Yeshua and His Divinity, affirms a high Christology. Not only does it affirm a high Christology of Yeshua being God, it very much defends the view that while understanding all of the intricacies of Yeshua being God is not required for salvation, recognizing Yeshua as the Lord (YHWH/YHVH) of the Tanach Scriptures (Old Testament) most certainly is required for salvation (Romans 10:9, 13; cf. Joel 2:32).
This resource has consulted and engaged with a wide array of resources and perspectives across the Messianic movement, into the more independent sectors of the Hebrew/Hebraic Roots movement, the views expressed by various Christians labeling themselves “Biblical Unitarians,” and even those few theologians of note who hold to a low Christology. This involves an array of articles, books, commentaries, and even a few Bible versions. Most important, would be some of the excellent, thorough, and readable resources defending a high Christology, seen within the realm of broadly evangelical Christian theology.
The considerable bulk of Salvation on the Line, while defending a high Christology, is necessarily spent going to the text of the Holy Scriptures (Genesis-Revelation). This is not only because the Holy Scriptures are to be decisively regarded by God’s people to be the Word of Life, but also because this is the venue where the rise and fall of theological concepts are to be found. None of us wants to be found holding to a view of Yeshua being God simply because of some kind of fundamentalist dogma—where if we hold to a different view our name will somehow end up on a list or in a white paper as being stigmatized as some kind of “cultists.” We want to be found holding to a view of Yeshua being God, precisely because that is where the witness of Scripture directs us, it is the genuine testimony of the Messiah and His early followers, and because it is required for our redemption from sins as fallen human beings. The author firmly believes that such a principled case can be made in going to the text of Scripture, and that those who hold to a low Christology are decisively lacking in many areas.
Bible Messages for the Practical Messianic
The Holy Scriptures are one of the most important tools that God’s people have in order to understand who He is and what His purpose is for our lives. This is especially true for those of us who are Messianic Believers, and are of the firm conviction that in this hour our Heavenly Father is restoring forgotten truths to His people, and is guiding us toward the ultimate completion of “all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26) and consummation of the Messianic Age. Knowing not only the importance of the Bible, but the unique tapestry of the Word, is something that we need not overlook if we intend to be empowered for His mission.
Today’s Messianic community has a considerable need to understand the whole Bible. This includes more than just reading the weekly Torah portion, but seeing how God’s plan of salvation history begins in the Torah and moves forward through the Prophets, Writings, Gospels, and Epistles. It may take a lifetime for the Messianic movement to have a series well thought out, verse-by-verse commentaries on all books of the Bible, engaged with contemporary scholarship (as with Messianic Apologetics’ Practical Messianic series). But this does not mean that presently unanalyzed books have to go completely unaddressed or avoided in the meantime.
Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee has produced a series of summary articles for each book of the Bible, now compiled into this volume, Bible Messages for the Practical Messianic. Each text of Scripture is examined for its place in the overall Biblical narrative, and considered for what it might teach or admonish us as the emerging Messianic movement. Controversies and difficulties are not ignored, but are addressed in the venue of an overall text of Scripture, and how we can all be edified by God’s Word as a whole.
After the Afterlife: Messianic Engagement With Heaven, Hell, and the Resurrection of the Dead
Are human beings different than the animals? Will human beings have to answer for their conduct before a Higher Power? Is history actually moving toward a culmination point, where some individuals will be ushered into everlasting communion and fellowship with their Creator, and some other individuals will be removed from their Creator’s precense in some form? Those who affirm belief in the Holy Scriptures (Genesis-Revelation), and conclude that humans have been intended for a unique destiny by the Lord God, do believe that history is moving toward such a point of culmination. A famed prophecy like Daniel 12:2 says it to be so: “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.”
Many of you have been exposed to Biblical teaching that probably has gone as far so as to say: Saved people go to Heaven, and unsaved people go to Hell. This tends to be a very under-developed and overly-simplistic way of looking at a path to redemption, and a path to condemnation. The Holy Scriptures do not at all depict the destiny of redeemed human beings as one of endless disembodiment in a celestial Heaven. Nor, should it ever be thought that the Holy Scriptures depict the destiny of unrighteous human beings as exclusively having to writhe in some sort of never-ending immersion in molten lava and sulfuric acid. A personal eschatology which sees Believers experiencing endless embodiment in Heaven as the end-all, a Hell only and exclusively involving fire and smoke and brimstone, and a personal eschatology which completely dismisses the significance of the resurrection and reconstitution of bodily remains, is one which is very incomplete.
The trajectory of Holy Scripture is very much concerned with the condition that lies beyond the intermediate state. After the Afterlife presents some key discussions for you as a reader, which indeed defend some classic viewpoints regarding human destiny, informed and appreciative of ancient and contemporary Judaism, as well as evangelical Christianity. This publication reasons through the issues and Bible passages surrounding the intermediate state, eternal punishment, and the future resurrection of the dead. It is uniquely tailored for people in today’s Messianic congregations and fellowships, intending to provide some resolution, being objective as possible for emotionally-charged subjects.