Source: Religion and Politics
The same sentiment, with all its strengths and weaknesses, is on display in a new collected volume from InterVarsity Press, The New Christian Zionism: Fresh Perspectives on Israel & the Land, edited by Gerald R. McDermott. Developed from a 2015 conference hosted by the Institute for Religion and Democracy, a conservative watchdog group within mainline Protestantism, the volume features articles from an array of scholars identifying as evangelical, mainline, and Messianic Jewish (Jews who then adopted the Christian belief that Jesus is the Messiah). The purpose of book and the conference, which was held in Washington D.C., was to ask how Christian Zionism can be updated to the twenty-first century theological and political situation.
The inclusion of conservative mainline Protestant perspectives makes this volume unique in a field of largely non-denominational evangelical and fundamentalist Christian Zionist voices. Taken as a whole, the volume fuses conservative Protestant theology with the legacy of mainline Protestantism’s most vocal proponent of Zionism, Reinhold Niebuhr, who, for most theological conservatives, has been anathema because of his liberal views on the Bible. By offering, in McDermott’s words, “a new theological argument for the twenty-first century,” the volume is both synthesizing conservative Protestant voices and announcing its intention for building a more ecumenical Christian Zionist theology.