""Why don't the rabbis believe in Jesus?" Many Christians who ask me this assume that all rabbis are extremely knowledgeable about the Hebrew Scriptures. And, they figure, it stands to reason that anyone who is familiar with the many passages that point to Jesus would be persuaded to believe in Him too."
Another interesting article by David Brickner.
His historical perspective is interesting and I find myself in about 95.6% agreement with his conclusions.
I think, too, most of what he says about the true terms of orthodox Jewish religious scholarship also applies to Christian evangelical teachers, writers, and preachers today. My perception is that a lot of what is preached and taught today as doctrine is derived as much or more from the study of popular commentaries and modern interpretations as it is from the Bible itself. In evangelical churches that are more doctrinally conservative, there is a reliance on John MacArthur, Bill Hybels, and John Piper. In the younger, edgier congregations, there is a lot of attention paid to the videos of Rob Bell, the inflammatory sermons by Mark Driscoll, and others. There is always a big buzz when the newest book by Erwin McManus or Brian McLaren is published.
This is not new...25 years ago it was Charles Swindoll, Chuck Colson, James Dobson, and Billy Graham who helped shape the American Christian cultural consciousness. Some of that buzz and hum may be good, but much of it is just noise and you need to be able to discern the difference for yourself.
A diversity of opinion and a broad spectrum of influences and ideas is not necessarily a bad thing, of course, and that is not what I am suggesting. Proverbs 23:12 encourages us to "apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge," which no doubt includes the writings and teachings of others. This theme is repeated in different forms and nuances throughout the Bible.
However, no one should let their study about the Bible take the place of their study of the Bible. If you find yourself more interested in reading some new book about social justice or how to live a dynamic and successful Christian life than you are about reading the book of James, for example, then you need to recalibrate.
Pray in earnest that the Lord will instill or restore in you a love for His word first. It won't take long. When you've got that going, you'll be able to sort through the noise and hear the music.