God's Plan for Israel: A Study of Romans 9-11
By Steven A. Kreloff
Reviewed by Dr. Keith Essex
11.1 (Spring 2000) : 130-131
Paul’s teaching concerning Israel in Romans 9–11 has a special appeal to Steven Kreloff who as a university freshman came to Christ from a Jewish background. After his conversion, the Lord led Rev. Kreloff into the Christian ministry as a pastor. The exposition contained in this book originally appeared as articles in Israel My Glory magazine from October 1987 through January 1990. The author and publisher have done the Christian public a great service in making these articles available in this book.
The author has endeavored to present an exposition of Paul’s teaching in Romans 9 –11, showing particularly the righteousness of God in H is dealings with the Jewish people (11). To fulfill this purpose, Kreloff gives a simple, but not simplistic, verse-by-verse explanation of this crucial section of Romans. The basic premise of the work is that God is going to fulfill the salvation promises made to Israel through spiritual Jews, those of faith in God from the physical line of Abraham. The present unbelief of Israel in Jesus as Messiah does not negate a future fulfillment of God’s past promise to Israel. The existence of a remnant of believing Jews in every generation throughout the church age indicates that God has not permanently cast away His people.
Kreloff traces this basic premise through Romans 9 –11. He especially deals with the OT passages Paul cites and explains how the apostle uses them in his argument. In his exposition, Kreloff states only his own interpretive positions, sometimes with added support. He never presents another interpretive viewpoint and interaction with it. For example, Kreloff states that Paul’s use of Hosea in Romans 9:25-26 is a “promise of mercy reserved only for a remnant within the nation of Israel” (44-5). Because some dispensationalists argue that Paul is applying the Hosea passage to Gentile believers here, a stronger explanation for Kreloff’s preferred view would be helpful. Further, the author makes some insightful comments concerning the evangelization of Jews during the present age. He writes, “During the church age God’s primary method for bringing Jewish people to Christ is through godly Gentile Christians. . . . While most Jewish people look on Hebrew Christians with suspicion, they are intrigued by the testimonies of Gentiles who have come to embrace a Jewish Messiah revealed in a Jewish book” (82-83). An extended discussion of this point and its present implications would be very beneficial.
For the expositor working his way through Romans 9–11, God’s Plan for Israel provides a well-organized discussion that, when used in conjunction with a major exegetical commentary, will help the preacher present Paul’s teaching clearly and accurately.