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.
Men & Women in the Body of Messiah: Answering Crucial Questions
Anyone who receives a broad-based theological education today, will quickly find that there are a number of issues upon which scholars, congregational leaders, and laypersons not only disagree about—but will starkly divide over. One of the biggest, divisive issues in contemporary evangelical Protestant theology, involves women in ministry. There are Christian denominations which support females serving alongside of males as co-leaders of the assembly, ordained as pastors, and there are other Christian denominations which strongly oppose females serving in such a capacity. When it comes to marital relationships, there are those who support marriages where husband and wife are co-leaders of the family, and there are others who believe that a husband leads the family while the wife follows.
It is no secret that in both Conservative and Reform Judaism, as well as in many evangelical Protestant denominations, that both men and women can be ordained as either rabbis or pastors. For certain, both men and women can serve side-by-side within the leadership structure of various local synagogues and churches, as both facilitators and teachers. In stark contrast to this, most Messianic congregations are led entirely by males, few females serve within the leadership structure of the assembly, and almost no females would be expected to give a teaching on Shabbat. This is then widely reflected in the marriages of many Messianic men and women, where the husband is the leader of the family, and the wife is expected to follow and defer to him. In terms of congregational and familial leadership, the broad Messianic movement is a virtual carbon copy of complementarian Protestantism, where male leadership and authority is upheld as the ideal.
The Messianic community is hardly one-hundred percent complementarian. There are many people who attend male-led and male-directed Messianic assemblies, who keep their opinions to themselves. More frequently than not, those who are egalitarian leaning, are younger people. When such young men and young women ask legitimate questions from the Holy Scriptures, they are often patronized, ignored, and silenced. A refusal to address the concerns of what is commonly labeled the “Millennial generation,” could very well lead to seeing many young people in today’s Messianic movement leave at a later time. This resource, Men and Women in the Body of Messiah: Answering Crucial Questions, engages with both Christian complementarian as well as common perspectives regarding gender roles witnessed in the broad Messianic community. It reflects an emerging egalitarian philosophy, where the gifts, talents, and skills of all Messianic men and women can be employed within our congregations and fellowships.
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.
The Messianic Walk
Hebraic Roots: An Introductory Study
Hebraic Roots: An Introductory Study was the first major publication released by Outreach Israel Ministries, originally in 2003. It was written as a primer, following the journey of the Huey and McKee family, as evangelical Christian Believers being drawn into the Messianic movement in 1995, and with it a more comprehensive grasp of the ancient roots of our Biblical faith. This workbook was originally produced to help non-Jewish Believers have a good overview of what the Messianic movement was all about, based on our family’s experience. We were not alone, as the Holy Spirit prompted many other non-Jewish Believers to tangibly embrace their Hebraic Roots in the Tanach (Old Testament) Scriptures, and Jewish Roots in the faith practices of Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) and His Disciples, specially calling them into the Messianic movement.
Have you heard about the Messianic movement? Have you heard about the significance of the Torah for a Believer’s walk of faith? Do you know why you might be involved with it? Do you need a foundational introduction to the Hebraic Roots of our faith and who Yeshua truly is in His Biblical and historical context? Do you want to know more about what God is doing in this hour? If you have ever asked any of these questions, then this workbook can help get you started.
This volume examines a number of areas for study and discussion, and will prompt questions for personal reflection or group exchanges in twelve easy lessons. Each chapter has study questions which will enable you to think and examine the Scriptures, and key issues as they involve components of the Messianic lifestyle and theology, often different from contemporary evangelical Protestantism. If you are unfamiliar with the Messianic movement, some of its basic beliefs and lifestyle practices, and the great potential it offers God’s people today—then Hebraic Roots is the book for you! This is a resource that can definitely get many you started on a journey into the Messianic walk.
Salvation on the Line, Volume III: The Messiahship of Yeshua
Messianic Circumcision Helper
Circumcision is the memorial sign of the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 17:11). The Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were all circumcised. Yeshua the Messiah was circumcised (Luke 2:21). The Apostle Paul was circumcised (Philippians 3:5). If we intend to appreciate the spiritual example and lives of these figures, then men should not at all look down upon the practice of circumcision. None of us should consider circumcision to be a salvation issue, though, as the power of the gospel is blind in saving males who are either circumcised or uncircumcised (Colossians 3:11).
The Messianic Circumcision Helper is a publication that has been put together out of necessity, given how the topic of circumcision—while present throughout the Bible—tends to be a little “inconvenient” for those in the broad Messianic movement, being among the most frequently avoided Torah issues. Circumcision has to be properly evaluated and weighed for what it meant for Ancient Israel in the Ancient Near East, what it meant for Second Temple Judaism and the formal rituals associated with proselytization, and consequently also what the people of God in more modern times should be considering.