Proposal from Gerald H. Anderson
At the LCJE conference in August in Helsinki professor Gerald H. Anderson presented the following proposal:

As I was doing research on my paper, I was impressed with what a critical mass of resources have been assembled by Catholic and Jewish scholars working together to foster their agenda, with consultations, seminars, study centers and libraries linked with well-known colleges and universities, journals, web-sites, publications, and scholarships for graduate students. It would be useful to develop a directory of resources that are linked to our agenda, such as LCJE international, national and regional conferences, Mishkan and other journals, and any academic programs. It would be valuable, for instance, to have a listing of any doctoral dissertations in the field of our interests over the last 25 years, so that everyone knows what has been done.

            Some topics and issues needing further research:

1. The two-covenant theory, its history and rejection by the churches; current varieties and versions being offered, and arguments given in support.

2. In what sense can Jesus be claimed today as Messiah of the Jews, when Jews reject him?

3. The place of Messianic Jews within the church. How to speak about Jews who accept Jesus as Messiah; are they “converts to Christianity”? Are they “Christians.” Does this imply that the Jewish faith is absorbed into Christianity, so that Judaism will disappear? How should we describe and speak about the relation of Messianic Judaism to Christianity and the church?

4. Does Jewish evangelism imply a version of super­sessionism /replacement theology? Is this avoidable? (see Commonweal, Jan. 31, 2003, p. 19). How do we respond to it?

5. Is there any way that LCJE can identify, encourage and support promising young scholars who want to work on these issues, perhaps in doctoral studies?

These are just a few of the theological and strategic issues that confront us and need further research and study. This leads me to ask whether we should have a Theological Working Group within LCJE—possibly meeting once a year between our full international consultations—to take up some of these issues? This group could devote more intensive research and discussion to some of these issues. I am thinking of a smaller group—perhaps 14-18 people. We could also think of launching a series of scholarly books and monographs, published by a well-known, established evangelical publishing firm. Such a series would need an editorial advisory board and some subsidy for the series.

What came of this proposal?

Although a theological working group within LCJE was not set up – something which would not be quite unproblematic in a loose network like LCJE – ICC nevertheless recommended that individuals with an interest in this met with Gerald H. Anderson at a late-evening session – and on the following assumption: ”If LCJE can be used as a platform for the realization of some of the mentioned initiatives, it will be a fulfillment of one of LCJE’s purposes – even if it should take place outside the framework of LCJE.”

Later during the conference a small group decided to form an ad hoc committee and work for the implementation of point 1. The group consisting of Gerald H. Anderson, There­sa and Bruce Newell, Bodil F. Skjøtt, Tuvya Zaretsky and Kai Kjær-Hansen will look into the possibility of producing a book on the two-covenant theory.

There are several other things in Anderson’s proposal for others to work with! When it comes to the implementation of good proposals in the framework of LCJE, there is no copyright!

Kai Kjær-Hansen