In his conclusion to Future Israel: Why Christian Anti-Judaism Must Be Challenged in the NAC Studies in Bible and Theology, Barry Horner reflects upon the most vital matter in the current debate over the future destiny of national Israel. He states:
As was stated in the introduction to this volume, in the field of eschatology there are matters of lesser significance that concern the antichrist, the great tribulation, the rapture, etc. But the issue of the place of Israel in the Bible, and especially in relation to the NT, is a transcendently important one. With regard to this vital matter of national Israel’s present existence or nonexistence according to divine covenant, history plainly leads us to an unavoidable conclusion: profound ethical and practical consequences are involved here—even issues of life and death.
It is for this reason, among other lesser matters, that I have felt compelled not only to make such a vital distinction in the field of what is really important in eschatology, but also to vigorously defend that doctrine which tends to rectify such an appalling anti-Judaic heritage. Here we are not dealing with an eschatological refinement concerning which we can agree to disagree. If the Christian Church in general over the centuries had followed Paul’s exhortation in Romans 11:17–24,31, it is not unreasonable to conceive that the tragic treatment of the Jews during the twentieth century that resulted in the ashes of nearly a whole nation might have been replaced with the fruit of a great harvest of Jewish souls saved because they had been lovingly provoked to jealousy (Rom 11:11), to the glory of God (Rom 11:36). With this in mind we are moved to prayerfully sing:
Wake, harp of Zion, wake again,
Upon thine ancient hill,
On Jordan’s long deserted plain,
By Kedron’s lowly rill.
The hymn shall yet in Zion swell
That sounds Messiah’s praise,
And Thy loved name, Immanuel!
As once in ancient days.
For Israel yet shall own her King,
For her salvation waits,
And hill and dale shall sweetly sing
With praise in all her gates.
Hasten, O Lord, these promised days,
When Israel shall rejoice;
And Jew and Gentile join in praise,
With one united voice. (James Edmeston, 1846)
In conclusion, we return to a most vital matter in the current debate over the future destiny of national Israel. It is the question of “tone” or “attitude” with regard to the Jewish people. Sadly it needs to be pointed out that much of the literature which continues in the Augustinian eschatological tradition is fatally flawed at this most vital juncture (see chapters 3 and 4). This anti-Judaic genre resounds with an unsavory character that most Jewish Christians and unbelieving Jews will quickly identify with a sense of revulsion. The result is that a basic defect in the whole system is discovered.
By contrast, consider the preceding brief article by Horatius Bonar which throbs and breathes with a gospel that generates a loving regard for the Jewish people and that speaks for itself as being essentially Pauline. If this chord does not resonate in the biblical Christian, then without apology it is maintained that the fundamental, doctrinal, eschatological root here is unsound. It is the right theological, eschatological root which produces from the likes of Bonar such a sweet resonance that both the Jewish Christian and the Gentile Christian will delight in and spontaneously, fervently act upon.