CHP3250 Church Planting in Jewish Contexts

Course Overview

Educational Level: Upper undergraduate, Bachelor
Credit Hours: 3 Credits
Instructor: Dr. Kevin O’Brien

Course Description:

Explores the Biblical and historical backgrounds and foundations of missional church planting among Jewish communities. It surveys the history of church planting among Jewish people with a particular focus on Jewish-Christian relationships. It is designed to familiarize learners with the past, present and prospective approaches to establishing churches among Jewish populations.

How This Course Benefits Students:

Romans 1:16 says, For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. This course addresses the need for Missional University students to reclaim the place of the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ, in terms of church planting, among Jewish individuals, communities and populations. Jesus Great Commission to the church began with a call to make disciples In Jerusalem and Judea (among the Jews) as well as to the ends of the earth and todays global mission must continue to seek and to save what was lost among Gods chosen race. Students taking this course may be called to cross-cultural mission work, or they may be pastors in urban areas where there are established Jewish communities. Students will study church planting among the apostles and in Acts; they will learn about the historyfor better and for worseof the churchs activities among Jews; and they will discover that there are seemingly insurmountable cultural and social barriers but that, with God, all things are possible in the future of church planting.

Why This Course Is Important:

The church has largely been ineffective planting churches among Jewish people. Four main reasons for this are: 1) the history of anti-Semitism among Christians and a collective memory of atrocities of the Crusades committed by Christians; 2) cultural barriers between the Western church and an Eastern Jewish perspective; 3) rejection by Christians of the very Law and practices that give Jews their identity; 4) the Churchs reluctance (or disobedience) to fully embrace the heart and vision of Christ for His church to flourish among the Jews. The church is called to find a way past these barriers and, with God, all things are possible the Jews for Jesus and Messianic Judaism movement are two examples. This course is important and unique in that it establishes the rationale and a theory of a practice for church planting among Jewish people.