Stephen Sizer Q & A at Taylor University


Early this morning, while preparing and eating breakfast before leaving for work, I was able to listen to Stephen Sizer field questions from students at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana regarding the 2010 film, “With God On Our Side.” As far as I can tell, this event took place on March 2, 2011. It was posted yesterday, however, on Sizer’s blog.

Taylor University is an interdenominational, evangelical Christian university founded in 1846, and presently has an enrollment of approximately 2600 students, according to its official website. A 2012 US News & World Report survey shows that Taylor has been the top college among 109 Midwest Regional Colleges for the last five years.

This video is 33 minutes long, and features questions from students regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Christian Zionism, Dispensationalism, John Hagee’s eschatology, Jeremiah 31, Ezekiel 37, the Samaritan woman that Jesus encountered, and more. I thought Stephen Sizer did a great job responding to these questions, and I believe that everyone can learn from this session.

I wrote a review of the film “With God On Our Side” which can be seen here.

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3 thoughts on “Stephen Sizer Q & A at Taylor University

  1. It is an error to confuse Israel and the church of God. The church consists by the Grace of God (i.e., we are NOT in a covenant relationship) only of the saints of this dispensation. Israel is God’s covenant nation consisting of believers and unbelievers. The believing remnant of Israel was the basis of the church of God’s grace which was perfected with the addition of Gentiles apart from Israel and apart from covenant/law. Israel is to be kept distinct (yet not separate altogether) from the church. God will still honor his covenant with Israel or He must be considered unfaithful and unworthy of trust. Covenant theology has failed to establish its two imaginary covenants and has obliterated actual distinctions in Scripture. Dispensationalism is vibrant, growing and refining and true to the reformation, always reforming where CT is stagnant and dead. Sizer’s antisemitism has been typical of the historical church promoting itself as “true Israel” or such and stands responsible. This needs to change and it can without promoting wild zionism,

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    • Ross, I completely disagree with just about everything you said here, but thanks for sharing your opinion. Are you saying that followers of Christ are not in a covenant relationship with God? And that God has a covenant nation that includes those who reject His Son? I’m sorry, but I don’t believe you’ve even begun to understand the teachings of the New Testament.

      I do agree that Christ’s church began with a believing remnant from 1st century Israel, and that Gentiles were then added to the church. God is honoring His covenant with Israel, but you and I seem to disagree on the identity of Israel. First and foremost, Israel is Jesus, and Jesus chooses to grant this status also to all who belong to Him through faith. This is very evident from Galatians 3, and elsewhere. Please see my latest post for a more detailed breakdown of this argument:

      http://kloposmasm.com/2013/02/13/why-i-abandoned-replacement-theology/

      What are the “two imaginary covenants” that you see within covenant theology?

      Stephen Sizer is not antisemitic, and you certainly haven’t demonstrated that he is. Many people have defended him well against this baseless accusation.

      Concerning whether or not the church is Israel (along with Jesus, that is), consider how these passages from Ezekiel 37 and II Corinthians 6 compare to each other:

      “My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. The nations also will know that I, the Lord, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.” (Ezekiel 37:27-28)

      “And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them, and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.'” (II Corinthians 6:16)

      Paul takes what God said to Israel in Ezekiel’s day, and applies it to a largely Gentile church in his own day. That’s just one of many such examples in the New Testament.

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      • Hi Adam,
        The Body of Christ has a grace relationship with Him. Israelites have a covenant relationship with God. The believing remnant of Israel had both while unbelieving Israelites only had a covenant relationship. Christ is Israel just as David was or any king of Israel was. But furthermore Christ established the new covenant with Israel and also became the executor of the blessings of the everlasting covenant. As sovereign executor, He is free to distribute the blessings to covenant Israel as He sees fit or withhold it as He pleases. Yet He is also free to distribute the blessing with those whom He has no covenant, namely, the rest of the nations. Since the covenant nation has been temporarily set aside, all must approach upon the leveled ground of the cross which is grace apart from Israel and apart from covenant/law. Those who believe in Israel’s messiah as the savior indeed of the whole world are identified with Christ, not as Israel, but as the son of Abraham having exercised the same faith as Abraham when he was yet uncircumcised! The church is not Israel.

        Two imaginary covenants: covenant of grace and covenant of works. These are purely theological constructs which cause more problems then they solve.

        No I have not demonstrated that Sizer is antisemitic but Horner’s book “Future Israel” has totally convinced me that Sizer is indeed antisemitic just as has been most all the historic church as a practical result of its doctrinal supersessionism.

        Those OT figures of God’s relationship to Israel which in the NT are obviously applied to Gentiles are wonderful and beautiful things. Of course, the OT has always envisioned blessings upon all peoples but it is rarely demonstrated in the OT itself and there it is always in the large shadow of national Israel. Given only the OT revelation, it appears that no one came near to grasping the huge scope with which God was going to relate to all peoples. The requirements of covenant status that Israel enjoyed was, I believe, the main reason to such myopic foresight. Thus, through the apostle Paul, the revelation of God’s grace towards all men apart from covenant and law keeping and apart from national Israel blows open a wide vista and scope that is now international and global in its effect. this does not turn every believer into an Israelite for we see that the nations will retain their identities and distinctions within the greater empire of God. Israel too will maintain its national identity and its Davidic kingdom but they will then properly fulfill their ministry to the rest of the nations. So I appreciate the nuance of Christ as Israel rather than as national Israel being replaced by the church. Jesus Christ was a type of national Israel and even Paul was more so a type doing a ministry to the nations when national Israel balked at their duty. But as Israel may have succeeded at times in serving God properly in ministering to the nations and as Paul succeeded also and blessings were distributed without preference and prejudice, it did not result in an automatic identification with Israel. It rather results in an identification and union with the God of Israel Himself. Thus, the promises to Israel are precisely that and God’s literal faithfulness in fulfilling those promises to national Israel comforts all the rest of us who have no privilege or special covenant status before God except that of His marvelous grace which is freely available to all.

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