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Friday, 3 April 2020
Messianic Jewish Outreach (7)

Last time, we looked at the first of three differences between Messianic Jewish outreach and evangelism as defined by Stuart Dauermann. Today, we are looking at the second difference - and this difference turns around what the word 'outeach' (or kiruv in Hebrew) means. So let's start with hoe Duaermann explains the Jewish meaning:

The term 'outreach' is borrowed fron the wider Jewish world and has its own connotations and valence that influence the meaning of the term for Messianic Jews. In the Jewish world, outreach is termed kiruv (drawing near), from the phrase kiruv rechokim (drawing near those who are far off). In the Jewish community, the term 'those who arew far off' is most commonly used to describe Jews who are as yet nonaffiliated, nonobservant, or both.

That seems quite straight forward, but let's now see what that means for 'us' those drawing in and 'them' those being drawn.

While the missional and Hebrew christian paradigm is a bounded set model, seeing the 'us' as Christians and the 'them' as non-Christians being sought to become one of 'us', the Jewish model is more a centred set model, seeking to draw nearer to the centre those who already regarded as 'us'.

This is seen in the way such a process is evaluated.

In the missional/Hebrew Christian paradigm, the evidence of having been evangelised is most often subscription to a declaration of faith and testimony to an inward spiritual experience. In the Jewish world, outreach is judged effective by communal and covenantal behavioural criteria.

So it all depends on what you are trying to do. Dauermann works this out for us:

Messianic Juwish outreach assumes and values covenantal relationship between those reached and those reaching out, seeking not simply doctrinal affirmation and personal testimony but also deepened and even transformed communal and covenantal behavioural markers as evidence of new allegiance to Yeshua the Son of David, in the power of the Spirit, and in anticipation of the fullness of Israel. This is what it means to make Jewish disciples of Yeshua: not disciples of Yeshua who happen to be Jewish, but Jewish disciples who follow Yeshua in the context of a renewed vision of Jewish community, covenant and consummation.

Next time we'll move on to Dauermann's third difference.

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