Richard Gibson of Christian Witness to Israel reports on a recent meeting in Durham:
Over seventy students came to hear Nick Howard, son of Conservative Party leader Michael Howard, address the question: ‘Is Jesus the Jewish Messiah?’ The event was part of a ‘Hot Potatoes’ series of talks organised by the Durham Intercollegiate Christian Union.
Describing himself as a Jewish believer in Jesus (Yeshua HaMashiach), Nick went through some of the major Messianic prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures and, in particular, Daniel 9. This Bible chapter played a big part in his own voyage of discovery, leading to faith in Christ.
Nick’s discussion of Daniel 9 was particularly fascinating as he has just finished a 12,000-word dissertation on that passage and is convinced that it speaks of Jesus.
After his talk there was an animated question-and-answer time where it became obvious that there were some Jewish students who had come along especially to hear the speaker.
At the end of the meeting Nick had to rush off but said that if anyone wanted to talk further, ‘Richard would be available to answer any questions’. I spent the next half hour with an emotionally agitated, post-modern Jewish girl.
‘What matters is that you have faith — you shouldn’t be telling others that they are wrong; we all find our own truth’, she said. I told her that faith is only as good as what you put your faith in, but she was so wound up it was difficult for her to see the point.
The shouts of disagreement from her and another girl attracted others to involve themselves in the discussion. One young man commented that in the end we will all be ‘in Christ’ in heaven so there is ‘no need to hassle the Jews with mission work’.
I said that I don’t think that many traditional Jewish people would be happy with the idea that they are ‘anonymous Christians’ — it doesn’t do justice to Christianity or to Judaism. He disappeared!
I continued talking with the Jewish girl and another girl. They eventually calmed down — a bit. They were fascinated by the biblical material in the talk, but totally sold out to relativism. When I suggested that there is absolute truth about God and the world in general they both screamed back, ‘You can’t say that; there is no “truth” and “non-truth “‘.
I reminded them that they had to use the very idea of truth and error to say that my statements were in error!
They both heard Nick give a clear presentation of the gospel. Please pray that God would shine on these girls with the light of Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life.