Christianity and Judaism

Here is my wife’s article about interfaith issues between Christianity and Judaism, titled “How I Became a Witness“:

In 2008, Amy-Jill Levine, the Orthodox Jewish author and scholar of New Testament at Vanderbilt, became the first non-Christian headliner for the William L. Self Preaching Lectures at Mercer’s McAfee Theological Center. Her first lecture was entitled “Christians Say the Darndest Things.” It was on anti-Judaism in Christian preaching and teaching. The lecture was replete with cautionary tales to support her thesis that Christians need to be careful what they preach. They don’t know when their words may be traumatizing Jewish children visiting a church, giving inadvertent aid and succor to some rising young neo-Nazi, or providing fodder for an unstable mind.  A-J Levine is a great speaker, and Dennis and I were lucky to have found out about that lecture series and to have been able to attend.  It was the first of several times that we’ve been able to hear her.

After the lecture, when we were standing in line for the luncheon, two men behind us, presumably preachers, were talking between themselves, saying that, no, you really didn’t have to be concerned, if you just knew your audience. In other words, they didn’t seem to get what they had just heard. They thought they could still carry on preaching as usual, with confidence in having their familiar audience. They thought they could just know their audience, and presumably talk one way to them, and another way when others were listening, with the expectation that would alleviate any problems.  The immediate situation itself illustrated the fallacy of being able to control one’s hearers as the two preachers thought they could, since I was hearing them.  I was their witness. . . .

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