Dry and Dryer

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The Revealer is pushing the discovery by blogger Brian Wilson of an audiotape sermon in which John Hagee talks about the Holocaust as a fulfillment of divine prophecy (to bring about the Jewish ingathering in Israel) and pointing to the Jews in Israel as “spiritually dead.” Wilson (and Jeff Sharlet, the Revealer’s editor) see this as evidence of the famously philosemitic Hagee’s “other” anti-Semitic side. That seems to me an exaggeration at best. Theological interpretations of the Holocaust as God’s judgment is pretty standard in ultra-Orthodox Jewish circles, for example. And bear in mind that Hagee is exegeting the story of the dry bones in Ezechiel 37; it’s typical evangelical interpretation to see God’s action there as stirring the spiritually dead. I’m inclined to see this as Hagee indulging in the normal evangelical understanding of the Jews as not yet “awakened” through knowledge of Christ. That’s hardly anti-Semitic. The tape, perhaps from the late 1990s, at most suggests that Hagee had not yet gotten around to rejecting “Replacement Theology”–the idea that the Christian covenant has completely replaced the old Jewish one–what’s known in other theological contexts as supersessionism. Anyway, judge for yourself.