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Evangelicals and IsraelThe Story of American Christian Zionism$
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Stephen Spector

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195368024

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195368024.001.0001

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God’s Timetable

God’s Timetable

(p.158) 8 God’s Timetable
Evangelicals and Israel

Stephen Spector (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter challenges the claim that all Christian Zionist leaders are inflexible in their insistence that Israel retain every inch of the covenant land, and that they are yearning for the Jews to convert or die at the end of time. Many evangelicals’ end-of-days beliefs are neither uniform nor rigid, and their faith doesn’t necessarily lead to adamant political convictions about Israel. Southern Baptist Convention’s Richard Land, for example, told the Bush administration that if the democratically elected government of Israel decides to give back territory for peace, most evangelicals will respect that. Ted Haggard, then-president of the NAE, gave Sharon a similar assurance in 2004. John Hagee also expresses a surprising willingness to accept Israel’s right to cede land for peace, although his lobbying group, Christians United for Israel, is based on the biblical premise that God gave the land to Israel. The chapter notes that many evangelical leaders dispute key aspects of the standard dispensational account of the end-times. Even when evangelicals do share a common understanding of the final events, they inevitably concede that the mystery of God’s providence may confound their expectations.

Keywords:   Bush administration, Christians United for Israel, final events, John Hagee, Ted Haggard, Richard Land, NAE, overstated charges, Southern Baptist Convention, territory for peace, uniformity of beliefs

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