There were two points that caught my attention in this 2007 Adventist Review article —
How Should Christians View Israel? — that I think are important.
Adventist theologian Angel Manuel Rodríguez, who directs the church’s Biblical Research Institute in Silver Spring, Maryland, said church members need to exercise care in considering Israel today.
“These are matters that need a more careful analysis and more careful expressions,” Rodríguez said in a September 2007 interview. “It is unfortunate that sometimes Israel has been seen by some as a people rejected. I had a friend who said, ‘Israel is the only nation on the face of the earth that has been rejected by God.’ That should not be the case.”
It is one thing for this perspective to be held at BRI or in the Universities, but am not sure that this point of view has made its way out to the average member. I continue to hear “rejection theology” in Sabbath School discussions.
Israel Field president Elofer agrees that handling the question of so-called “replacement theology” is a delicate one: “Today it is not rare that Jews come to me and ask me, ‘What does your church believe about Israel? Have they been rejected and replaced by the church or not?’ If we say the traditional answer to this question, we have no chance to be listened to in Israel.”
My sense is that informally we are saying the traditional answer. Much more work needs to be done to get a correct perspective out to the people.