An Open Response to Dalton Lifsey

An Open Response to Dalton Lifsey

 

http://thecontroversyofzion.com/2012/02/dr-michael-brown-and-the-anemic-polemic-of-the-jewish-anti-missionaries/

 

Dear Dalton.

You seem to have taken exception to my post entitled “Persuasion versus Education – a response to Dr. Brown”. After quoting my post where I assert that the missionary campaign is a campaign of “persuasion”, while the campaign of the Jewish community is one of “education”, you go on to write:

“I find it hard to believe that Blumenthal wrote this without a few dozen gut checks and a wrestling match with his conscience. The degree of intellectual dishonesty required to commit these words to print is astounding. Particularly the assertion that “the conflict between the missionary and the Jewish community is a conflict between the method of persuasion favored by the missionary and the method of education favored by the Jewish community.” This is coming from a man who offered 48 pages of extremely weak argumentation predicated on circular reasoning and shocking exegesis in response to a man who has devoted the majority of his adult life to writing prolifically, methodically, and faithfully to counter the theological, historical, and philosophical objections that his Jewish brothers have leveled against him. Brown is no light-weight when it comes to scholarship (You can browse Brown’s exceptional multi-volume series “Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus”[and other works] here).

The contrast between what Brown has contributed to the debate and what these biased and belligerent Rabbi’s have offered is quite telling.

If I were Mr. Blumenthal, I would delete the preface post about education and persuasion. It only serves to whittle the credibility of an already anemic polemic. And if I were any of these Rabbi’s or Jewish scholars, I would steer clear of a public debate with Brown. Not only does he have the upper hand on substantive argumentation, according to the Rabbi’s he is apparently quite capable of persuasively proclaiming them. But having said that, I pray that the debates continue so that these ultimate issues can be discussed in the public square. Whether these Rabbi’s ever recant and repent or not, their willingness to show up debate after debate only gives more opportunity for the Gospel to be proclaimed to more of the lost sheep of the house of Israel. The Rabbi’s know this (which explains their affirmation of Brown’s effectiveness in the debate forum and their unwillingness to take him on).”

Dalton; I stand by my original statement with a clear and unburdened conscience. The missionary campaign is a campaign of “persuasion” while the campaign of the Jewish community is one of “education”. I say this not only DESPITE Dr. Brown’s five volume work, but primarily BECAUSE I have studied Dr. Brown’s work. I articulated many of my arguments in three separate articles; Contra Brown, The Elephant and the Suit, and Supplement to Contra Brown. This is in addition to many other articles that I have written in an attempt to articulate my position. If you are judging my work by the number of pages written, “48” is not quite the right number. (From your words I get the impression that you did not even read my follow up article: “Persuasion versus Education Part II”.) Perhaps you fail to see the weight of my arguments, and I understand. We approach these issues from two different world-views, so misunderstanding is to be expected. It may enlighten you to know that others view my work differently than you do –

https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/11/01/introducing-thomas/

One more thing before I sign off. I want to put Dr. Brown’s insistence on the venue of a public debate in its historical context.

If the entire disagreement between Judaism and Christianity could be resolved in the superficial arena of “public opinion” – then there is no point in a debate. Christianity has won a long time ago. In the arena of public opinion – the score stands at about 2 billion Christians versus about 15 million Jews.

For 2000 years Jews have insisted that the only way to resolve this issue is through a serious study of the truth – and NOT through a superficial appeal to public opinion. It is not for nothing that for 2000 years, the people that were most qualified to pass judgment on the claims of Christianity; namely the Jewish people, have categorically rejected the claims of Christianity. After all, Jesus did not claim to be the Messiah predicted by the prophets of Gaul, Rome or Greece. He claimed to be the Messiah foretold by the prophets of the Jews as well as an incarnation of their God. The Gauls, the Romans and the Greeks, who did not have the necessary tools to evaluate the truth of these claims in their original Jewish context, were the ones who accepted these claims, while the Jews, who were in possession of the relevant information, have by and large rejected them.

What does Dr. Brown hope to accomplish in a public debate? Is he planning to present new information that he did not already include in his massive 5 volume work? I do not think so.  If Dr. Brown would have come up with any new insight that would impact the Jewish-Christian polemic in favor of his faith, I think that he would have shared it with the world in writing, and not wait for the setting of a public debate. His commitment to his cause tells me that he would not withhold such information for a minute. The purpose of a debate is not to present new information. All of the information that Dr. Brown wants to present on the subject should be contained in his 5 volumes.

The Jewish community has already responded to the information contained in Dr. Brown’s 5 volumes. I have written three articles that systematically expose the fallacies inherent in Dr. Brown’s 5 volumes, but despite his assurances to respond, he has not done so (as of yet). It is Dr. Brown who is refusing the Jewish community’s invitation to respond to their challenge to his work.

Dr. Brown may not appreciate the seriousness of the challenge and he may see no need to respond. He is entitled to his position. I quote the following facebook message so that you may see why I feel that my work is not the “poor joke” that it appears to be from behind your Christian glasses.

This message is thanking Rabbi Eli Cohen for posting my article: “The Elephant and the Suit”

“Rabbi Eli Cohen, I want to thank you SO MUCH for these .pdf files showing the flaws in Dr. Brown’s presentations. You have no idea how you are helping a group of us Jews-by-birth here in **** who, through no fault of our own, were adopted into non-Jewish families right after birth or at very young ages. We were brought up in Xian homes with J-sus taking a very strong place in our lives. Not to be disrespectful, but for us it has been like going through detox for several years, having to get the “noise” of the NT out of our heads to see the beauty and simplicity of TORAH. Our hats are off to you, Rabbi, and to all the great Jewish people on Facebook who have friended us and helped us in ways you will never know.”

Sincerely yours.

Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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Thank You

Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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15 Responses to An Open Response to Dalton Lifsey

  1. Mitch says:

    Unless I missed it, I didn’t see any substantive critiques of your articles or arguments presented, despite the “circular reasoning and shocking exegesis” allegedly found there.

  2. Blasater says:

    I agree with Mitch. Daltons blog reads like an unwarranted hit piece. He offers zero evidence of improper exegesis but resorts to inflammatory language such as: … “Boteach…derogatorily argues”..”publicly chide men like Yisroel C. Blumenthal, Eli Cohen, Dr. J. Immanuel Schochet, and Shmuley Boteach for their bankrupt apologetics and atrocious argumentation”. ..”The degree of intellectual dishonesty required to commit these words to print is astounding. “coming from a man who offered 48 pages of extremely weak argumentation predicated on circular reasoning and shocking exegesis “Whether these Rabbi’s ever recant and repent or not,”…

    Wow, sounds like Dalton has a chip on his shoulder is perhaps is just antisemitic? Publicly chide? Recant? Intellectual dishonesty? Bankrupt and atrocious argumentation? Sounds like verbiage right out of Martin Luthers “Of the Jews and their lies”. Should we recant at the point of a sword Dalton? What is with the medieval langauage?

    Why, to read Daltons paper, one gets the image of Scholarly Dr Michael Brown, PhD and a bunch of hapless Rabbi’s who feebly flail about, blind without the Spirit to open their eyes. Again, that is a medieval picture that is wrong on so many levels. Dalton should either put-up or shut-up on his accusations and dispense with the Luther-esq rant.

  3. I find Lifsey’s piece an appalling rant, ad hominem attack without a single real attack on Blumenthal’s article. Quite frankly, if this is all Lifsey has to offer in terms of polemics, there is no need to do more than simply state the obvious: “to publicly chide men like Yisroel C. Blumenthal, Eli Cohen, Dr. J. Immanuel Schochet, and Shmuley Boteach for their bankrupt apologetics and atrocious argumentation.” So Lifsey’s goal is not the truth, not intellectual honesty, not understanding, but rather simply to bloat his own ego on the chiding of others. However, lets take Lifsey to task on an issue that he asserts: “In short, Boteach believes that Jesus is not the Messiah, and derogatorily argues that Dr. Brown is a ‘Jew who converted to Christianity’ (a description that Brown says he ‘rejects to the core of his Jewish soul’). ‘Simply stated,’ Brown says, ‘if Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, believing in him does not constitute converting to a different religion.’ ‘But that’s precisely the point!’ the Rabbi’s contend. ‘Jesus is NOT the Messiah!’ In an attempt to discredit Dr. Brown’s scholarship, a number of Rabbi’s have begun to write position papers in an attempt to ‘educate’ their Jewish brethren who may find themselves attracted to Brown’s adoration of the GodMan from Nazareth.” Boteach argues that Brown is a convert to Christianity. It is completely intellectually small to argue that that statement is derogatory. It is a fact from an objective standpoint. Brown can reject the facts all he likes, the truth remains that Judaism is a different religion with different cultural, linguistic, social and philosophical elements. In as much as Brown’s believing in Jesus no matter how Jewish Jesus maybe, Brown is not a Buddhist, nor a Marxist, but a Christian. A Christian as is defined is a person who believes that Jesus is the Christ incarnate – a Risen again figure in the Trinity, that has come to reveal the Savior to all mankind and to save humanity from eternal damnation. If Brown wishes to reject this has his core belief, he is welcome to choose what he wishes, but he is not Jewish. Being Jewish rejects this principal notion, a priori. The assertion that Lifsey claims: “The Rabbis argue that Jesus is Not the Messiah”, is an assertion that the very notion of Messiah is a Rabbinical Jewish concept, and has nothing to do with the Christian notion. Jesus can be Jewish all he likes. Marx was Jewish. That doesn’t make Marxists Jewish, any more than Christians. This is the point. Anyone who fails to address this fundamental issue, hasn’t really come to grips with Judeo-Christian Polemics that have been going on for 2000 years. Lifsey’s claim to Brown’s scholarship is subterfuge. While Brown’s own personal journey while informative and possibly inspirational, doesn’t add nor detract from the point that Brown has failed to address the large corpus of evidence that has been collected in the last 2000 years. Has Brown addressed the issue that the NIV clearly states: “We have taken an eclectic approach” to collecting and editing the NT manuscript? Why should Jews submit to an authority which doesn’t have any precise, normative guidelines as to which Greek Text is the authoritative version of the NT? Has Brown addressed Deuteronomy 4:35-39? Has he considered it? It isn’t analysed in the entire corpus of his five-part series. Have you read Deuteronomy 4:35-39? I think the facts speak for themselves.

  4. Len Hummel says:

    R.Yisroel, you (and other highly prejudicial Jews & rabbi’s AGAINST Christ as Messiah) are convinced of “how right you are” in denying Yeshua as Messiah. I do not agree with your conclusions and polemics against Dr.Brown and other Christian apologists AT ALL. I also accept Michael Brown’s explanation regarding the dispute and inference that “he does not take the time to answer your posts & blogsite” to your satisfaction. I accept the revelation and testimony of Jesus and His followers. YOU DO NOT. – **in many ways it comes down to light & revelation BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.** – May THE LORD GOD YahvA OF ISRAEL grant you light and revelation in this, is my prayer. … but He ordinarily does NOT do so if someone is dead-set against the revelation of His Beloved Son. Hear me on this: JESUS THE MESSIAH IS GREATER than all of Israel put together.(!) … I only hope you see that before it is too late. … all these things are in the Hands of GOD, … HE KNOWS them that are His, … and always acts {and Judges} accordingly.

  5. Len Hummel says:

    One final thought here: Judgement standeth at the door for JESUS-Messiah-rejecting Israel, … and the corporate time of Jacob’s Trouble {and transformation} is VERY nigh at hand. … when the smoke clears and the sifting is ended: THERE WILL BE ONE NEW {SPIRITUAL} MAN of wheat/elect IN MESSIAH-YESHUA … and a bunch of tares bundled together for final Judgement. – THIS I have by revelation from THE HOLY SPIRIT, – Yahvahshammah, Ruach ha KOdesh.

    • Larry says:

      Len H.- Curious, since you say “THIS I have by revelation from THE HOLY SPIRIT”. Are you a prophet? If not what do you mean by this statement? Is this simply what “you” understand to be the truth? Or, is this just something you feel?

  6. naaria says:

    Fire-breathing dragons. Always seem to want to throw the Jews in the fire. Like that bright-morning star Nebuchanezzar (obviously he believed in a divine son of god). Threw 3 Jews in the fire because they knew their Beloved God and they had to resist, had to be stubborn, had to be faithful, better-dead-then_, better to fry then to deny The ONE. No human king will do for sons of God who know The King over king of kings, The Father, The Creator of Earth & Heaven.

  7. Brian says:

    Len Hummel,

    As one of the other; You and other highly prejudicial christians and theologians, “against G-D and his Torah and written word, are convinced of how right you are in insisting jesus to not only be a messiah, but also to be G-D himself despite the fact the Jewish bible states clearly a annoited one [messiah] must be a man of the seed of David, 2 Samuel 7:12; and fulfill certain criteria; jesus fails this miserably, Isaiah 2:4, Jeremiah 33:15-16, Ezekiel 37:21-28; not only that, G-D clearly states how he is not to be known as: Deut. 4:15-19 and reiterates that he has shown his people, that he alone is G-D Deut. 4:35-40; and that he is “one” not a person of some triune godhead; and gives his people a warning of both a blessing and a curse Deut. 11:26-28 not to follow after gods which they have not known (they would not have known jesus as G-D).
    G-D emphasizes no likeness can be attributed to him; Isaiah 40:18-25, Isaiah 42:8 Isaiah 43:10-13
    You are my witnesses-the word of G-D-and my servant [Israel] whom I have chosen, so that you will know and believe in me, and understand that I am he; before me nothing was created by a god nor will there be after me!
    I, only I am G-D, and there is no delieverer aside from me. I have foretold and brought salvation and informed you; there was no strange god in your midst. You are my witnesses-the word of G-D-and I am G-D. Even before there was a day, I was he, and there is “none” who can save from my
    hand; {no mediator} when I act, who can reverse it?
    So what must we do to be saved? Ezekiel 33:10-16
    Are his laws to much for us that someone should ascend into heaven for us that we may know to serve G-D Deut. chapter 30

    So Len, and those who procede you, and would pass such conclusions and judgement on those of us who uphold G-D and his written Torah, and judgements; I will leave you with this:

    Psalm 109
    For the conductor, by David, a psalm; O G-D of my praise, be not silent.
    For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful have opened against me, they have spoken to me the language of falsehood, and with words of hatred they have encircled me, and attacked me without cause.
    In return for my love they accuse me, but I was prayer. they placed upon me evil in return for good
    , and hatred in return for my love.
    Appoint a wicked man over him, and let a adversay stand at his right; when he is judged may his prayer be turned into sin; may his days be few; may another take his position; may his children be orphans and his wife a widow; may his children constantly wander and beg…..You can read the rest.

    So you go right ahead and you heed the words of mr Brown, as for me, I will heed the word of G-D.

  8. Len Hummel says:

    Does the Holy Spirit REVEAL Truth ? Of course, Precisely why He/It is referred to as THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH. Did Jesus say, “NO ONE comes to Me except the Father draws them BY HIS SPIRIT.” ? Yes. and that is true. But **you who are DEEPLY PREJUDICED AGAINST Christ** will likely NOT be drawn or convicted by THE HOLY SPIRIT. Why? BECAUSE GOD DISCERNS YOUR HEART IN RELATION TO HIS SON & HIS LOVE & MESSAGE & WORD & TESTIMONY & REDEMPTION. *that’s* why. … Therefore: you are left without Light OR spiritual revelation regarding the Lord Yeshua Messiah. AND GOD IS RIGHTEOUS to leave you in that condition, … unless He discerns a heart to receive THE TRUTH of Jesus Christ.

    • Yehuda says:

      Don’t you all just feel the love eminating from Mr. Hummel’s comments?

    • Sharlee says:

      I am tending to let Rabbi Blumenthal answer to the person that is writing all these blog posts, but browsing the comments, I just couldn’t resist my two cents here. Yehuda, yes, I FEEL the LOVE!!!! Christian love tends to feel like acid on one’s skin if you don’t agree with them and they feel threatened. His post is spoken like a true believer of the dogma without any real facts to back up his scholarship.

      As a former Christian and bible college student (those are my great credentials!) AND someone that has actually studied this ad nauseum and left Christianity because I studied it, not looking for it to be false but to understand it, but to my shock and dismay finding it to be false (my true credential), I can only say that the light is out in this person. And they will never see truth until God sees fit to open their eyes. They are clueless that the ones that are blinded are them. They are so busy projecting that they never take a moment to look in the mirror. They are so busy repeating rhetoric, they never actually crack a book. It is sad to observe. One can sometimes feel like they are in an insane asylum watching someone in their own little world that doesn’t have a clue that the real life to be lived is beyond the boarders of their brainwashed imagination. Ppl like Mr. Hummel and Dalton Lifesy are a waste of time as they are ALL about persuasion and neither education nor facts mean anything to them.

  9. Brian says:

    Psalm 119.142 G-D states that his Torah is truth, so don’t you think that at least whoever or whatever is speaking to you wether it be jesus or whatever that it should match up with Torah?

  10. hyechiel says:

    Dear Friends;
    No matter how many blind men check on the object at hand, it is what it is (elephant?).
    The challenge has goen out to those who seek to belittle G-d’s work as does Brown and company. However, their adversary is not a Rabbi, but HaShem and His word in the Tanach.
    Not only does Paul’s work contradict Jesus teachings in places, but the Gospel does so with regards to the Tanach, as well. I have read, I have seen, and I go with G-d, not human error. thus I stay a Jew, and not reject, but have othing outside of discussion to do with the Gospel and what they relate to.
    Shalom;
    Yechiel

  11. Doovid says:

    Ah yes Hummel and Lifesy bring back memories I would soon forget ever entered my ears but not my heart. Lesson: One cannot answer the Hummels because they have a vail upon them that Our Prophet Isaiah speaks of in his 25th chapter verse 7. Of course the so called chacham Paul in 2 Corinthians 3:15 states that this vail is upon the Jewish people UNLESS we turn to J…s
    Paul, Lifesy, hummel and Dr. Brown (not the Cream soda Dr. Brown) read Isaiah 25:7 which specifically states the vail is upon the NATIONS….Not AM YISROEL.. but remember Kindala
    They have this Vail that won’t be removed until our true Moshiach comes and takes it away. So we long for this day and when it is removed we will be more than glad to receive them and teach them. And for all of us I say Take an Alka Seltzer it will help your stomach after reading what these our spewe out

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