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The Christian Problem, by Stuart Rosenberg 1986 Part 1

The Christian Problem, by Stuart Rosenberg 1986 Part 1

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Published by Nick Dahlheim
The following is a summary of the first 30% or so of Stuart Rosenberg's The Christian Problem: A Jewish View. The book provides an excellent analysis of the fundamental differences with which Jewish and Christian religious perspectives interpret the world. As such, to use the term "Judeo-Christian" too flippantly invites willful ignorance of the salience of the approaches of each faith to questions of community, aesthetics, soteriology, theology, ethics, history, ritual, language, and Divine Inspiration.
The following is a summary of the first 30% or so of Stuart Rosenberg's The Christian Problem: A Jewish View. The book provides an excellent analysis of the fundamental differences with which Jewish and Christian religious perspectives interpret the world. As such, to use the term "Judeo-Christian" too flippantly invites willful ignorance of the salience of the approaches of each faith to questions of community, aesthetics, soteriology, theology, ethics, history, ritual, language, and Divine Inspiration.

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Published by: Nick Dahlheim on Jan 10, 2012
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The Christian Problem: A Jewish View 
By Stuart E. Rosenberg1986Hippocrene Boooks, Inc.[DQ ]= Direct Quote[S] = SummaryTable of Contents
Part One: Christian Myths about Jews and Judaism
Pages 15-16Page 115—Quotation from Eliezer Berkovits (“Facing the Truth,”
 Judaism
, (Summer 1978),Pages 323, 325
 In light of the real issues, thr Jewish –Chritisan dialogue has been a singular  failure. It has failed because the Jews as well as the Christians who are engagd in it do not have the moral courage to face the truth about Jewish-Christianrelationships. The matter at hand is not one of differences in creed and dogma;the task is not to further mutual theologial understanding of religious differences.The fundamental issue is the meaning of the Jewish experience in the midst of Christendom all through history. The first truth to note is the realization that, inits effect upon the life of the Jew and the Jewish people, Christianity’s NewTestament has been the most dangerous anti-Semitic tract in history…… To face this truth is the first condition of a meaningful Jewish-Christiandialoguye. Is Christianity morally capable of doing it? And what is it able to doabout it?
Page 16
We project upon the Jews our own hatred of Christ. Yet to utilize “the Jewishcrucifixion” of Christ both as a means of ridding ourselves of Christ and exonerating any trespass of ours is to aggravate our plight, for in continuing to punish the Jews we merely sharplen the apprehension of ult over having rejected Christ in them…[Speaking as a Christian] suppose that one day we must face the agony of choice between the “true faith” and reconciliation with our elder brother.  speak for no one save myself here, but I beleve that I shall pray for the courage tochoose reonciliation, in the name of Jesus Christ himself. For we cannot work around our disavowal of Christ; we can only pierce through it to something else. And the only provision we may ourselves bring for the journey is a handclaspwith the brother we have wronbged.(2)
A. Roy ERckardt, “Anti-Semitism,” in
 Jews and Christians,
ed, by George A.F. Knight
 
(Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster Press, 1965), page 161 ff.
To be effectve, an act of contrition must include a firm purpose of amdnement,and our amendment could begin with a resolve to do what we can to dissipate themultidudinous misconceptions and the lying fables that Christians have oftenused in the past to justify their harsh treatment of the Jews.(3)
(3) John B. Sheerin, “Evaluating the Past in Catholic-Jewish Relations: Lessons for Today fromthe Pain of the Past,” in
Torah and Gospel,
ed. Phil Scharper (New York, NY: Sheed and Ward,1966), Page 24.
Chapter 1: Jesus Was Not a Christian
Jesus as the Christ: The Heart of the Christian ProblemPage 17—Christians must still deal with the ambivalence about their own inherited Jewishidentity via the historical person of Christ. “They must deal with his life, not only with his deathand resurrection. As the discilles of Jesus on Earth—the man, the teacher, and the Jewish heraldof their own salvation—they must somehow acknowledge and appreciate his own Jewish ways.Yet they are to be found in their churches, which they call his, while he, as even their ownsacrted texts attest, never left his synagoguge.Page 18—Christians could have been neutral towards the Jews as they later became towards theRomans once the Roman Empire and the Gentile populations within it were converted toChristianity. Tertullian had once spoken of the seemingly intransigent bigotry of Roman rulerstowards Christians—as Romans had once blamed all quakes, famines, diseases, et al. onChristians who needed to be thrown to lions.[Quoted directly] hereChristianity, however, has remained to this day neither neutral towards the Jews nor relaxed intheir historical presence. Politically, the Jews, too, had been vanquished—long years before, byRome itself. But spiritually and psychologically the Jews became, and still remain, thequintessential Christian problem: rival claimants who would not go away. They were anenduring puzzlement: if the mighty Roman Empire could convert to become the Holy RomanEmpire, why should not the synagogue also join the Church? Because Jews…Page 19…held firmly to their own ground, their universal survival became an affront to a powerful andexpanding Church. Christian leaders never forgave or forgot that.That Jews should possess a divine right to follow leaders of their own choosing never seemed toimpress the Christian mind. And that Jews should have been as critical of Jesus as of 
all of 
their would-be Messiahs-both before and after him—still remains unacceptable, or at best,inexplicable, to many Christians.A profound irony here…. Jews think of Jesus as a living person, a maverick apocalyptic Jew to
 
 be sure, but they do not deny Christians the right to worship and adore him as they please. ToChristians, however, Jesus is the crucified Messiah, a veritiable Christian God, who was brazenlyrejected by his own people. To put the matter bluntly: to Jews Jesus was a human “Jewishoption” they did not follow; to Christians he is the singular, divine, “Christian option.”To Christians (at least in their deepest psyches)—Jesus the Jew now Jesus the Christian.[Direvt quote] And Jews are guilty of offending his—and now, their—Christianity. As aconsequence, what many Christians widely trumpeted and labeled as the “Jewish problem” isreally their own.
The Christian problem
starts with Jesus, the living Jew, before his death andresurrection and continues with the whole Jewish people who survived him and who still see himas a Jew, in human, not Christian terms.The starting point for all Christian-Jewish interfaith dialogue—to begin to understand the human,Jewish Jesus.Page 20[Direct quote here]Indeed, the Christian-Jewish dialogue depends for its integrity upon the ability of the Christanto detach himself from all attempts to make Judaism the object of the Christian mission. Thesehangovers from the past often block Christians from permitting Judaism to serve as its ownsubject. … Indeed, such awareness is acutely necessary to help my neighbors understand whyJews wish to remain faithful to Judaism to the end of their days, even as Jesus had done.Another Christian problem—how they view the meaning of Jesus’ death. “If the death of Jesusresulted in the universal and glorious benefit they believe it to have done—the atonement for allhuman sin—then why do they continue to impose unforgiving blame, whether on the Romans, or more often, on the Jewish people as a whole, for causing the benefit? ---‘…Why blame meremen for acting out the preordained human role?’[Paraphrasing from same paragraph as above]—Christians cannot begin their dialogue with Jewswithout first disposing of their own long-standing, self-imposed Christian problem: they must piurge themselves of any inditifcation with that part of their Christian heritage which vilifiedJews and Judaism in the name of the crucified Jesus.The psychological game Christians have been playing for some time—a “theology”—to helpChristians relieve themselves of their own problems by loading them onto the backs of Jews. ¶Christianity had been avoiding such problems by overly focusing on the death of Jesus rather than upon his life. (Example: Christmas not celebrated until over three centuries after Christlived and that was only when the post-Constantine Church needed a replacement for theDecember 25
th
celebration of the then deposed Sun God). Easter, the primary Christian feast,focuses on the death and resurrection.Page 21The Cross and not the Star of Bethelheme the essential symbol of Christianity; Calvary, not

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