The Changing Christian World: A Brief Introduction for Jews

A book from Jewish Lights, SkyLight Paths’ sister imprint

Designed to answer Jews—common questions about Christianity, this enlightening overview resource will help all readers understand the changing Christian climate and its implications for the future of Judaism and interfaith relations.

Rabbi Leonard A. Schoolman

5½ x 8½, 176 pp | 978-1-58023-344-6

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An insightful exploration into Christianity today—written especially for Jews.

For many Jews, discerning the differences among various Christian groups is perplexing. As a result, they are stuck with an outdated understanding of Christian beliefs, practices and attitudes, especially with regard to their relationship with Judaism, Jews and Israel.

But Christian views are evolving, particularly since the landmark 1965 Catholic statement known as Nostra Aetate that forever changed the landscape of Jewish-Christian relations. This intriguing, brief introduction focuses on the changing Christian currents within the Roman Catholic Church, Protestant denominations, nondenominational megachurches and the emergent church. It also explores the essential doctrines that undergird most Christian belief, including sin, salvation, Jesus as the Messiah, the Second Coming and Christian Zionism—and compares them to the Jewish understanding of these issues.

Designed to answer Jews’ common questions about Christianity, this enlightening overview is also an excellent interfaith resource that will help all readers understand the changing Christian climate and what its implications are for the future of Judaism and interfaith relations.

“[A] splendid treasure-trove of information—conveyed simply but not simplistically.... Indispensable for Jews trying to navigate the modern Christian world. A book that will only grow in value.”

Rabbi Michael J. Cook, PhD, professor of intertestamental and early Christian literatures, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion; author, Modern Jews Engage the New Testament: Enhancing Jewish Well-Being in a Christian Environment

“Quick-paced and insightful ... an informative introduction for any Jewish reader [and] a reassuring [interfaith] message for today's world.”

Rev. James Massa, PhD, executive director, Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

“Stimulating.... Helps Jews frame their questions about contemporary Christianity, and gives them answers. Gives us much to think about.”

Rabbi Alan Mittleman, PhD, director, Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies, The Jewish Theological Seminary

“Upbeat and enjoyable.... Readers will find here a nuanced view of [a wide range of] topics including evangelical Christianity and Jewish-Christian relations.”

Deirdre Good, ThD, professor of New Testament, General Theological Seminary

Acknowledgments vii
How the Christian World Has Changed 1
1 A Jew Looks at Theology 9
2 Sin 23
3 Jesus 37
4 End Times 53
5 Is the Bible True? 65
6 Are We Still Waiting for the Messiah? 77
7 Do Christians Still Want to Convert Us? 87
8 Israel and the Christians 99
9 Protestant Churches Today: Bigger and Smaller 109
10 Religious Influences on the U.S. Government 117
11 What Might the Future Hold? 131
Appendix 1: Dabru Emet 134
Appendix 2: Nostra Aetate 139
Notes 145
A Glossary of Christian Terms 148
Suggestions for Further Reading 154
Bibliography 159