Weekly Religion News with items on a statement released by the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation, “Truth in the Eight Towers” by Robert Leslie Palmer and more.

After collaborating and working with various Christian organizations, leaders and scholars over the past three years, the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation in Israel has released a statement of “a Jewish understanding of Christians and Christianity.” CJCUC is the first Orthodox Jewish entity to engage in dialogue with the Christian world.


In partnership with The Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, N.J., CJCUC recently unveiled their work at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem as well as at Yale University, which include topics like "covenant and mission" and "hope and responsibility in the 21st century." CJCUC has also collaborated with scholars connected with the Hebraic Heritage Christian Center in Atlanta, Ga., discussing issues of “Evangelization" and "Jewish understanding of Christianity."


“Jewish and Christian theologies are no longer engaged in a theological duel to the death," the statement notes. "Jews should not fear a sympathetic understanding of Christianity that is true to the Torah, Jewish thought and values. In today's unprecedented reality of Christian support for the Jewish people, Jews should strive to work together with Christians toward the same spiritual goals of sacred history — universal morality, peace and redemption under God — but under different and separate systems of commandments for each faith community and distinct theological beliefs."


CJCUC founder Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Riskin said, "This statement only represents the view of our center but should also be used as a catalyst for other Orthodox Jews and Jewry worldwide to consider fostering relationships with Christian communities. Leaders within the mainline Christian denominational world as well as the non-denominational movements of Evangelical Christianity have sincerely become friends of the Jewish people and the state of Israel. It is vital that we strengthen our relationship with them. We are certain that through these relational dialogues we will find far more which unites us than divides us."


-- ReligionNews.com


Week in Religion


- June 1, 1953, the Christian Aid Mission was chartered in Washington, D.C., by founder Bob Finley.


- June 2, 597, Augustine, missionary to England and first archbishop of Canterbury, baptized Saxon King Ethelbert. Afterward, the Christian faith spread rapidly among the Angles and Saxons.


- June 3, 1972, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Sally J. Priesand, 25, became the first woman in Reform Judaism to be ordained as a rabbi.


-- William D. Blake, Almanac of the Christian Church


Survey Says


A majority of Americans (58 percent) say homosexuality should be accepted rather than discouraged. Of those younger than age 50, 63 percent agree. Of those younger than 30, 69 percent agree. Of those older than 50, 52 percent agree.


-- Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life


Good Book?


“Truth in the Eight Towers” by Robert Leslie Palmer


This book is a study of the Beatitudes, suggesting that because they are Christ's introduction to the sermon on the mount, they summarize not only that sermon but the Gospel message as a whole. In the eight Beatitudes, Christ succinctly explained not only how to become a Christian but also how to mature in the faith. It explores the Beatitudes in depth by examining both the original Greek words used in the Beatitudes and related Scriptures, and it should prove useful to youth pastors and others teaching the biblical truths.


-- CrossBooks Publishing


Quote of the week


“God has no religion.” – Mahatma Gandhi


The Word


Old Testament: Also known as the Hebrew Scriptures or Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament makes up the first part of the Christian Bible. It is divided into categories of law, history, poetry and prophecy. All of the books were written before the birth of Jesus.


-- ReligionStylebook.com


Religion Around the World


Religious makeup of France


Roman Catholic: 83-88 percent


Protestant: 2 percent


Jewish: 1 percent


Muslim: 5-10 percent


Unaffiliated: 4 percent


- CIA Factbook


GateHouse News Service