Articles

One Law Theology – Is it Just Replacement Theology?

Is it Just Replacement Theology?

By Tim Hegg

A recent article was written by Russ Resnik and Daniel Juster entitled “One Law Movements: A Challenge to the Messianic Jewish Community.” In this eight page article, the authors take to task those of us who teach that God’s Torah is the privilege and obligation of all His people, Jew and non-Jew alike. They do so by suggesting how our teaching is flawed both historically and exegetically. In the end, they conclude that our position is actually a repackaged form of “Replacement Theology.” My purpose in this response is to defend what I understand to be the biblical teaching on this subject, and to encourage believers in Yeshua to the “obedience of faith” (Rom 1:5).

What’s All the Hype About the Torah?

My first question as I read this short paper was simply this: “why are these authors so worked up about Gentile believers pursuing a life of obedience to the Torah?” The reason I ask this question is because it is widely known that many leaders, rabbis, and teachers of the denominations or fellowship of congregations they represent have openly expressed their view that the Torah, or Law, is no longer an obligation for those who have come to faith in Yeshua. And they live out what they believe. I have attended UMJC and MJAA congregations where the Judaica Shop is open on Shabbat, where visiting Messianic musicians sell their recordings after the Torah service, and congregates retreat to their favorite restaurant following the Shabbat morning service. Some don’t seem to have any qualms about shrimp on ice at their wedding receptions, and it’s not uncommon to hear bold statements that “since we are members of the New Covenant, we are free from the Law.” In fact, I wonder if it might not be appropriate to label some groups within “Messianic Judaism” as “Reform Messianic Judaism?” The reason I suggest this is that some time ago my wife and I attended the local Reform Synagogue for nearly a year.

 

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Tim Hegg

President / Instructor

Tim graduated from Cedarville University in 1973 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music and Bible, with a minor in Philosophy. He entered Northwest Baptist Seminary (Tacoma, WA) in 1973, completing his M.Div. (summa cum laude) in 1976. He completed his Th.M. (summa cum laude) in 1978, also from NWBS. His Master’s Thesis was titled: “The Abrahamic Covenant and the Covenant of Grant in the Ancient Near East”. Tim taught Biblical Hebrew and Hebrew Exegesis for three years as an adjunct faculty member at Corban University School of Ministry when the school was located in Tacoma. Corban University School of Ministry is now in Salem, OR. Tim is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Society of Biblical Literature, and has contributed papers at the annual meetings of both societies. Since 1990, Tim has served as one of the Overseers at Beit Hallel in Tacoma, WA. He and his wife, Paulette, have four children, nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.