Refined not Redefined

I’ve seen the discussion about replacement theology on Andrew Strom’s forum that I mentioned a few days ago  has spilled over to a few different sites. I wrote about the issue several times on my earlier blogspot site. Here is one article from that site. (originally posted here: )


Refined not Redefined

Two of the proof texts favoured by the promoters of replacement theology are:

Rom 2: 28-29 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit


Rom 9: 6-8 For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.

But to use those texts as support for their theology, the replacement promoters need to totally ignore the clear context of their proof texts.

Regarding Romans 2:28.

Go back several verses and you will read in verse 17:

“ Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God…”

It is specifically addressed to Jews who were trusting in their blood heritage and their relationship to the law. Paul was saying their heritage was not enough. It was not addressing gentiles and saying they have been made Jews through “circumcision of the heart”. It was addressing Jews, saying that MORE than heredity and law observance were needed to be part of God’s people. An inward change worked by the Spirit is necessary.

Regarding Romans 9.

When Paul writes “not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.” He is referring to a faithful remnant of the descendants of Abraham Isaac and Jacob.

The statement is excluding SOME of those descended from Israel – it is NOT a statement intended to include others who are not descended from Israel.

It is not a statement that redefines what Israel means. It is a statement that refines what Israel means.

It does not shift the identity of Israel from one group to another – it narrows down the identity of Israel from a wider inclusive ethnic group to a smaller specific section of that wider group.

It pinpoints the faithful remnant AMONG the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is not transferring attention outside of those descendants.

It’s like saying that not all born into a Christian family are Christian – only those who have their own faith in Jesus

2 thoughts on “Refined not Redefined

  1. As a Holocaust educator I appreciate the de-bunking of Replacement theology as being legitimate. Unfortunately, it is alive and well is some segments of Christianity, still. Thanks for taking a stand against it.

  2. I have to confess Dan, that I was well along the way to believing in replacement theology – basing my belief on a few out of context verses (like those mentioned above) and also on political prejudice informed by biased media reports.

    But I found I couldn’t maintain those beliefs when I started to read scripture as a whole instead of in random segments presented a s”proof” texts by preachers.

    An honest application of scripture AS WRITTEN can only lead to one conclusion about God’s continuing relationship with Israel: He hasn’t finished with them yet, and there is a glorious future ahead with God promising their return to the land (never to be uprooted again) and their entry into the new covenant through recognition of their Messiah.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s