Bill is a fellow member of the Frontier Mission Fellowship and is a teacher & scholar specializing in Jewish studies and contemporary Western Culture. He has been a believer for over forty years.
Here are my notes below. You can read his full article here in the IJFM.
The Book of Romans = The Apostle Paul’s theology.
But the thrust of Romans is missiological, not just theological
“Israel” and the Jewish people are synonymous to Bill.
Paul starts Romans saying, “I’m not ashamed of the Gospel”…”It is to the Jew first and also to the Gentile.”
Romans 9-11 contains the climax of the mystery of Israel & Paul’s missiology.
Romans 11:25-26 says hardening has happened in part UNTIL the fullness of the Gentiles comes in.
We have been all about the fullness of the Gentiles coming in. There is coming a time where there is a shift to the focus of Israel coming in.
Fullness = Strong’s Greek: 4138. πλήρωμα (pléróma) It is a qualitative fullness of the Church. It comes by recognizing her mandate to Israel.
William Carey was shut down by his contemporaries on the sovereignty of God and frontier mission. Is there a parallel on this Israel issue? Many early church fathers were anti semitic. They segregated our faith from its Jewish root. Their views have carried over into our day.
In the early days of IHOP, they had the Israel mandate. Is there a connection between their success and their prayers night and day for Israel?
Bill critiques both Messianic movement (focused on Israel only) and the church (the nations and not Jews).
An Interpretive View of Romans 1:16
Historical Obligation- The Gospel IS to the Jew first, not WAS to the Jew First. “of first place, above all, especially.”
Mission Strategy- “Book of Acts shows strategy to reach them first, this does not exhaust its meaning. Romans describes the theological/missiological principle.”
Born from Israel. Back to Israel. The goal is to have such a strong faith in God and relationship with him that we actually “provoke them to jealousy.” Romans 11:11-14
Present Positional Priority
1. Mechanical Protocol View– Jesus instructed and Paul practiced “to the Jew first.” Not a rigid protocol but based on God’s covenant faithfulness to his people.
What is at stake here? The character and reputation of God. If we think God is done with Israel as a nation and the land of Canaan as an everlasting inheritance, his character is at stake.
2. The Meaningful Present Priority View (Olive Tree Theology) (the position the Bill holds)
Romans 11:18- The root supports you. Don’t be arrogant. Don’t neglect them.
Knowledge of, gratitude, respect, love for the Jews
Hudson Taylor, pioneer missionary to China, story (in Bill’s longer article) Taylor sent a check (offering) every year with the writing “to the Jew first.” A check was sent back “and also to the Gentile.”
Psalm 122:6 The Church is commanded to pray for the shalom of Jerusalem and the Jewish people.
Romans 15:27 Our “blessing” can and should include practical help as well, not just prayer.
Theology Drives Methodology
Few evangelicals seminaries recruit and train missionaries to the Jewish people.
Moody Bible has a program.
Fuller Seminary used to have one when Glasser was there. After he left, it left.
King’s University has a messianic Jewish studies program.
The German church cut her self off from the “Olive Tree” roots in the early 20th century, a major cause of the Holocaust. Luther himself was involved in this process.
We still have the embedded in our theologies that the church is the “new Israel.” It is not.
3 Missiological Implications:
Rom 9:5 “a remnant at the present time.” This is the faithful Messianic Jewish movement.
They have a responsibility to the three corporate believers.-the Jews, the Church, the nations.
Toward the Jewish people– Rom 9:1 Paul would rather be cut off from his own salvation than have Israel lost.
This issue is strategic for the FMF. This should be one of the key strategies.
Some Key Quotes
“Don’t think we can be a little more anti Semitic and win more Muslims. Don’t give into that.”- Bill Bjoraker
“If the church is not rooted in the Old Testament it will become just another gnostic religion.”
“The Jewish people are not just another people group.”
Asks, “Would be there be more blessing on our FMF community if we aligned ourselves more with God’s heart for Israel?”
What do you think? How do we honor God’s mandate in Romans 1:16, Romans 9-11, and Gen 12:3 practically?
What does this look like as we engage in frontier missions, especially among Muslim peoples where anti-semitism may run high?