The digital world never ceases to amaze me. People I might otherwise never meet show up in my email and make my day.
So, a little background. Arnold Fruchtenbaum is the author of a book that I found very helpful and encouraging. The somewhat daunting title of his book is: Israelology: The Missing Link in Systematic Theology. According to the Ariel Ministries website, “This study was created from Dr. Fruchtenbaum’s landmark research for his doctoral thesis.”
What makes it so special? Well, twenty years ago I was working to understand Israel’s place in God’s economy. Israel permeates the Bible and the vast majority of the sacred text either refers directly to, or is influenced by, God’s promises to His chosen people, Israel. I was tracing the “seed” promises at that time. David Morris was encouraging me to write a book called “Seedology.” It was this time of study and wrestling that eventually led to writing the book “Is the Church Israel?”
Dr. Fruchtenbaum’s book landed in my lap at a providential moment and sewed together pieces I was wrestling to reconcile. To be blunt, this is an area of study that is often lacking in general theology and especially in Reformed Theology. Hence, the title of his book.
What I especially appreciated in reading Dr. Fruchtenbaum’s material and listening to some of his lectures is that he approaches the New Testament from a Jewish perspective — you know, the way Jesus’ original followers would have. And that perspective is missing in far too much of 21st Century Gentile teaching and preaching. So, all in all, a very helpful book.
Cut to: three months ago.
I was culling through email, as I do pretty much every day — answering questions, steering folk toward resources, thanking people for their encouraging words — when I saw a return address that said “Arnold Fruchtenbaum.”
My first thought: No way.
But, sure enough. It was a short note from the good doctor saying how much he enjoyed my book. You could have knocked me over with a feather. He said some very kind things and asked it I had any plans to publish it. I told him that the book was free on our website as a pdf download (which I suppose would be the only format he could have read) and that we were working on a Kindle version.
Then I decided to be bold, since he had opened the door, and asked for a quote I could use to promote the book on Amazon. It took a few months. He’s a busy guy. But this past week I received a very nice email and a quote he said I could use. Coolness. Absolute coolness.
So, I thought I’d share it with you all. It’s not everyday that I get this sort of shot in the arm from someone I respect so highly. Here’s what Dr. Fruchtenbaum wrote:
“At a time when Replacement Theology is growing, at a time when more and more churches are turning against Israel, at a time when churches are losing interest in Jewish evangelism, Jim McClarty’s work makes an important contribution towards making believers understand God’s plan and program for Israel and provides valuable biblical tools to prove the church is not Israel, nor has the church taken over Israel’s covenantal promises and that God still intends to fulfill any promise He has made to Israel.” Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum. President/Founder of Ariel Ministries.
I’ve added that endorsement to our Kindle page. But, while we’re on the subject, allow me to remind you that we now have three books available on Amazon as Kindle downloads. And you can get your copy of Is the Church Israel? via Amazon or via our website (under the “Read” link).
Thanks again to Dr. Fruchtenbaum for his kind words and for reaching out.
Arnold finished his email with this sign-off: “Yours for the salvation of Israel.”
I’m right there with you, brother. I’m right there with you.
“Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.” (Romans 10:1)