Various Forms of Replacement Theology

Michael J. Vlach | May 24, 2010

Some replacement theologians prefer the title “fulfillment theology” in describing their view of Israel’s current and future role in relation to the church. Since “supersessionism” is a term that describes both “replacement theology” and “fulfillment theology,” that term can be used interchangeably with “replacement” and “fulfillment” terminology in describing various forms which the two theologies may take. Supersessionism is the view that the NT church is the new and/or true Israel that has forever superseded the nation Israel as the people of God. It may take the form of “punitive supersessionism,” i.e., God is punishing Israel for her rejection of Christ. Or it may be in the form of “economic supersessionism,” i.e., it was God’s plan for Israel’s role as the people of God to expire with the coming of Christ and be replaced by the church. The final form of supersessionism is “structural supersessionism,” i.e., the OT Scriptures are largely indecisive in formulation of Christian conviction about God’s work as consummator and redeemer. Strong supersessionists hold that Israel has no future in the plan of God, but moderate supersessionists see a divine plan for the future salvation of the Jews as a group, but not their national restoration to the promised land. This last view holds that Israel is the object of God’s irrevocable gift of grace and calling, but that such a role guarantees them no national blessing as the OT promised. It assures them only of becoming part of the church as the people of God.

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Michael J. Vlach Professor of Theology B.S., University of Nebraska-Lincoln M.Div., The Master’s Seminary Ph.D., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Michael J. Vlach, Ph.D. is Professor of Theology at The Master's Seminary in Sun Valley, California where he has been teaching full time since 2006. Michael has a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska and a Master of Divinity degree from The Master's Seminary in Sun Valley, California. He also earned his Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Michael specializes in the areas of Systematic Theology, Historical Theology, Apologetics, and World Religions. His specific area of expertise concerns the nation Israel and issues related to refuting the doctrine of Replacement Theology. Dr. Vlach was awarded the "Franz-Delitzsch Prize 2008" for his dissertation, "The Church as a Replacement of Israel: An Analysis of Supersessionism." He is also the author of five books: Has the Church Replaced Israel?: A Theological Evaluation (B&H Academic, 2010) 20 Tips for Writing Seminary Papers (Theological Studies Press, 2010) The Church as a Replacement of Israel: An Analysis of Supersessionism (Peter Lang, 2009) Dispensationalism: Essential Beliefs and Common Myths (Theological Studies Press, 2008) Philosophy 101: The Big Idea for the 101 Most Important People and Ideas in Philosophy (Lampion Press, 2016) Dr. Vlach is also the Founder and President of TheologicalStudies.org, a cutting-edge website devoted to providing quality articles, news, and information related to Christian theology. Michael speaks regularly at churches and conferences and has appeared on several national radio and television broadcasts including The History Channel. Michael is also a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and has taught various courses in Theology for Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. To learn more about Dr. Vlach visit www.theologicalstudies.org

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