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Like a lot of American evangelicals, the faith I was taught as a teen-aged convert was a sort of Dispensationalism. There were no charts that I recall but I did learn that Jews are God’s earthly people and that the church is God’s spiritual people. I also learned that we are in “the church age,” which is a sort of parenthesis, until after the secret rapture, after the tribulation, and the re-institution of the temple and the sacrificial system.
When I encountered Reformed theology and the Reformed Church one of the first questions I asked my first Reformed teacher, Warren Embree, was, “What about Israel?” To which he replied, “the dividing wall has been broken down.” Again I asked, “But what about Israel?” Again he replied, “The dividing wall has been broken down.” A third time I asked, “Yes, but what about Israel?” and a third time he replied, “The dividing wall has been broken down.” Quite rightly Warren refused to accept the premise of my question. That premise was that there are two peoples of God, an earthly people (ethnic Jews) and a spiritual people (Christians). To be honest, it was never entirely clear to me whether a...
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