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Saving Grace in Judaism and Messianic Hope in Christianity
ISBN: 9780814659892, 5989
Details: 224 pgs , 6 x 9
Publication Date: 11/01/2007
Growing up in an ethnic suburb in Cleveland, Aaron Milavec was an impressionable adolescent whose religious and cultural influences made it natural for him to pity, blame, and despise Jews. All of that began to change in 1955 when Mr. Martin, a Jewish merchant, hired Milavec as a stock boy. Milavec’s initial anxieties over working for a Jew surprisingly gave way to profound personal admiration. This, in turn, plunged Milavec into a troubling theological dilemma: How could God consign Mr. Martin to eternal hellfire due to his ancestral role in the death of Jesus when it was clear that Mr. Martin would not harm me, a Christian, even in small ways?
This book is not for the faint-hearted. Most Christians imagine that the poison of anti-Judaism has been largely eliminated. In contrast, Milavec reveals how this poison has gone underground—disfiguring not only the role of Israel in God’s plan of salvation but also horribly twisting the faith, the forgiveness, and the salvation that Christians find through Jesus Christ. This painful realization serves as the necessary first step for our healing. At each step of the way, Milavec’s sure hand builds bridges of mutual understanding that enable both Christians and Jews to cross the chasm of distrust and distortion that has infected both church and synagogue over the centuries. In the end, Milavec securely brings his readers to that place where Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity can again be admired as sister religions intimately united to one other in God’s drama of salvation.
Aaron Milavec holds a STB from the University of Fribourg and a ThD from the Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley). For twenty-five years he has been occupied with the training of future priests and lay ministers. Over the years, Milavec has presented numerous workshops, classes, and lectures on issues of concern to Jews and Christians. He recently authored The Didache: Text, Translation, Analysis and Commentary (Liturgical Press)—a window into the mid-first century faith, hope, and practice of a Christianity within the boundaries of Judaism.