All Christians know our faith grew out of the Jewish religion—but few of us really understand those Jewish roots, or the theology that informed the New Testament writers. Patrick Lumbroso's Under the Fig Tree takes readers through Psalms and Proverbs from a Messianic Jewish perspective, demonstrating the presence of Christ in the Old Testament by utilizing Jewish teaching methods. Passages are presentedout-of-orderin daily readings that correspond to the Jewish calendar.
Much of the language Lumbroso uses will be foreign to most readers. He uses Hebrew names for God, Jesus and Messiah, and speaks of them from within a deeply mystical tradition unlike the self-consciously anti-agnosticism of most Protestant churches. While this may make some readers uncomfortable, the author's deep respect of Scripture and both Jewish and Christian tradition are enough to dispel any unease and draw readers into a new way of thinking about Scripture that is still familiar.
As reformed Christians, we at Exodus would take exception with Lumbroso's representation of so-called "replacement theology."In his view, God still has a plan for national Israel, and he criticizes those "replacement theologians"who suggest the Church has replaced Israel as God's people. In our view, God didn't replace national Israel, He simply broadened the covenant to include all people who trust His Son because it was national Israel that had rejected Him. This position doesn't inform too many of the readings, however, and this is a valuable text both for personal devotions and for learning more about our faith in the context of its Jewish origins.
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