What is apologetics?
Apologetics is the theological discipline concerned with the defense of the faith.
Messianic Apologetics is widely concerned specifically with defense of the faith in a Messianic context, with a focus on the Scriptures of Israel, the Hebraic and Jewish Roots of the Christian faith, and unique issues and topics which emerge from a wide number of communities and assemblies which bear the label “Messianic.”
The simple, yet complex goal, of Messianic Apologetics–is not just to help today’s Messianic people–but to do the best we can to faciliate stability in an increasingly more difficult and complicated world.
This website has a wide variety of Articles, FAQ entries, and reference tools to help you in your Messianic journey and study of the Holy Scriptures.
A MISSION STATEMENT FOR MESSIANIC JUDAISM
Today’s Messianic Jewish community has the widescale conviction that it composes “the end-time move of God.” This is based in the Biblical conviction that it is actively involved in the salvation-historical trajectory of “all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26). A massive salvation of Jewish people is to be regarded as “life from the dead” (Romans 11:15). Given the Apostle Paul’s magnanimous burden of the salvation of his kinsfolk—“I would pray that I myself were cursed, banished from Messiah for the sake of my people—my own flesh and blood” (Romans 9:3, TLV)—everything that today’s Messianic movement does, should be with the expressed purpose of trying to enhance the mission of Jewish outreach and evangelism! Today’s Messianic movement was specifically raised up by the Lord to proclaim the good news of Israel’s Messiah to the Jewish community, and emphasize that they do not have to assimilate into a much wider non-Jewish Christianity to properly express faith in Him.
Many non-Jewish Believers, with a sincere and genuine love for the people and Scriptures of Israel, have been legitimately called by the Lord to be active participants and co-laborers in the salvation of Israel, along with Messianic Jewish Believers. Many of these people are to be regarded as modern-day Ruths, whose loyalty to Messianic Judaism is steadfast to the point of dying with their Messianic Jewish brothers and sisters (Ruth 1:16-17). They have a distinct role to play, in provoking non-believing Jewish people to Messiah faith (Romans 11:11). More importantly, as Jewish and non-Jewish people come together in a special and unique unity, in Messiah Yeshua, they should be representing the “one new man/humanity” (Ephesians 2:15)—a testimony and snapshot of the greater redemption to come to the cosmos in the eschaton (Ephesians 1:10).
IMPLEMENTATION OF MISSION STATEMENT
The above mission statement is hardly the end-all of what the contemporary Messianic experience in North America involves. Yet, it should be a useful starting place for me (J.K. McKee), in my various ministry activities, for people to know what I will be trying to focus my energies around. As the events of 2020 have demonstrated, as the “end-time move of God,” we do not have endless time or resources, as we have likely made a wide leap or two toward the return of the Messiah. I am going to see that this mission statement be integrated into my local ministry outreach, teachings, writings, and likely also broadcasts/podcasts. It will be used as a focal point to explain what I have been called to participate in as a Messianic teacher, and hopefully also get those I encounter (who statistically are more likely going to be non-Jewish than Jewish) consider what degree the Lord may be calling them to participate in the Messianic Jewish movement.
This mission statement stresses that the primary role of the Messianic Jewish movement is promoting Jewish outreach and evangelism, but it also welcomes in non-Jewish Believers genuinely led by the Holy Spirit into the Messianic movement. Questions that will come from the mission statement, are naturally:
- What are the different components of Jewish outreach and evangelism which have been effectual since the birth of modern Messianic Judaism?
- How do you get non-Jewish Believers on board, as co-laborers and participants in the Messianic mission, as they acclimate to being involved with Messianic Jewish Believers and Jewish non-Believers?
- What are the things that we have already seen taking place in today’s Messianic movement, and how do we build upon and adapt them for an increasingly post-modern American Jewish community?
The biggest issue that I foresee involving Jewish outreach and evangelism, is how we can better reach the Millennial generation, and respond to the issues and questions which matter to the Millennial generation. Some of these matters are already widely known and openly discussed in many evangelical venues, as they may involve young people sorting through LGBTQ matters, or perspective issues surrounding Genesis 1-11 and human origins. I suspect that in dealing with a relatively progressive and younger American Jewish community, that some of the traditional resistance to Yeshua of Nazareth from encountering the Messianic Scriptures (NT), is going to give way to more of a resistance to God and the Bible. While the ministry outreaches of today’s Messianic Jewish movement rightly tend to stress a familiarity with Messianic prophecy, a knowledge of Christian anti-Semitism and offensive religious terms (i.e., cross), and a long-term patience in developing trust with Jewish people—the future is doubtlessly going to involve more engagement with post-modern issues and matters of Biblical reliability. The mission statement I have composed attempts to surely be compatible with what has been witnessed in the previous Messianic Jewish experience up to 2020, but also be able to integrate more into the potential portfolio of our theology and spirituality, improving our effectiveness in Jewish ministry.
ABOUT THE EDITOR
John Kimball McKee is an integral part of Outreach Israel Ministries, and serves as the editor of Messianic Apologetics. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma (Class of 2003) with a B.A. in political science, and holds an M.A. in Biblical Studies from Asbury Theological Seminary (Class of 2009). He is a 2009 recipient of the Zondervan Biblical Languages Award for Greek. John has held memberships in the Evangelical Theological Society, the Evangelical Philosophical Society, and Christians for Biblical Equality, and is a longtime supporter of the perspectives and views of the Creationist ministry of Reasons to Believe. In 2019, John was licensed as a Messianic Teacher with the International Alliance of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues (IAMCS), and was officially ordained as a Messianic Teacher in 2022.
Since the 1990s, John’s ministry has capitalized on the Internet’s ability to reach people all over this planet. He has spoken with challenging and probing articles to a wide Messianic audience, and those evangelical Believers who are interested in Messianic things. Given his generational family background in evangelical ministry, as well as in academics and the military, John carries a strong burden to assist in the development and maturation of our emerging Messianic theology and spirituality. John has had the profound opportunity since 1997 to engage many in dialogue, so that they will consider the questions he postulates, as his only agenda is to be as Scripturally sound as possible. John believes in demonstrating a great deal of honor and respect to both his evangelical Protestant, Wesleyan and Reformed family background, as well as to the Jewish Synagogue, and together allowing the strengths and virtues of our Judeo-Protestant heritage to be employed for the Lord’s plan for the Messianic movement in the long term future.
J.K. McKee is the son of the late K. Kimball McKee (1951-1992) and Margaret Jeffries McKee Huey (1953-), and stepson of William Mark Huey (1951-), who married his mother in 1994, and who is the executive director of Outreach Israel Ministries. Mark Huey is the Director of Partner Relations for the Joseph Project, a ministry of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA).
John has a very strong appreciation for those who have preceded him. His father, Kimball McKee, was a licensed lay minister in the Kentucky Conference of the United Methodist Church, and was a very strong evangelical Believer, most appreciable of the Jewish Roots of the faith. Among his many ministry pursuits, Kim brought the Passover seder to Christ United Methodist Church in Florence, KY, was a Sunday school teacher, and was extremely active in the Walk to Emmaus, leading the first men’s walk in Madras, India in 1991. John is the grandson of the late Prof. William W. Jeffries (1914-1989; CDR USN WWII), who served as a professor at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD from 1942-1989, notably as the museum director and founder of what is now the William W. Jeffries Memorial Archives in the Nimitz Library. John is the great-grandson of Bishop Marvin A. Franklin (1894-1972), who served as a minister and bishop of the Methodist Church, throughout his ministry serving churches in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. Bishop Franklin was President of the Council of Bishops from 1959-1960. John is also the first cousin twice removed of the late Charles L. Allen (1913-2005), formerly the senior pastor of Grace Methodist Church of Atlanta, GA and First Methodist Church of Houston, TX, and author of numerous books, notably including God’s Psychiatry. John can also count among his ancestors, Lt. Colonel, By Brevet, Dr. James Cooper McKee (1830-1897), a Union veteran of the U.S. Civil War and significant contributor to the medical science of his generation.
J.K. McKee is a native of the Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati, OH area. He has also lived in Dallas, TX, Norman, OK, Kissimmee-St. Cloud, FL, and Roatán, Honduras, Central America. He presently resides in McKinney, TX, just north of Dallas.
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