Comment on Peter Vest’s Review of Give Me A Place Where I May Dwell

BFB150428 Orthodox Messianic Judaism - Mt SinaiRecently Peter Vest, author of Orthodox Messianic Judaism, reviewed my book, Give Me A Place Where I May Dwell.  His is the first critical review of which I am aware.  Critical, that is, but not scathing.  His perspective provides ample opportunity for discussion and refinement of our understanding, and much room for agreement.  Peter invited me to comment on his review, and I am glad to accept the invitation in hope of advancing a very useful dialogue.  Here is his review.  My comments follow.


My Review and Response to McCarn’s “Give Me a Place Where I May Dwell”

Posted on Orthodox Messianic Judaism, April 19, 2015

by Peter Vest

I just finished reading a book that is attempting to do for the Ephraimite Movement what Theodor Herzl’s book “Der Judenstaat” did for Zionism.  Some of what it says is good…other portions are very troubling indeed.

First, here’s the author, Albert McCarn:

110811 AJM DA Photo

As you can see, he is a well-decorated ex-military officer.  And we can all be very thankful for his many years of service to our country.

Here’s the book which, you will note, displays a proposed national flag for the Ephraimite Nation:

Give Me A Place Where I May Dwell is a meticulously researched book that makes a compelling biblical and contemporary case for building a global consciousness among Hebrew Roots believers—and eventually finding a homeland for these Ephraimites in Israel.

So let’s get into it.

Every book is about a problem and a proposed solution.  This book frames the problem something like this:

You very well could be a descendant of the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel which means that you’re living in exile from your homeland (the tribal territories of the Northern Tribes of Israel), deprived of a sense of national community with your people–the Ephraimites, suffering from the onslaught of increasingly hostile, anti-Biblical culture in your host country or even outright oppression.

But there is hope for you to rejoin your lost community and reclaim your birthright to the Northern Tribal Territory of Israel:

You can help restore national consciousness to Ephraim by (1) envisioning the kinship you share with other Ephraimites all over the world and (2) joining many others in a mass exodus from all of their various host countries as they embark on an epic quest to reclaim the “land of the fathers.”

Please click here to continue reading

Of Pharaohs and Free Will

Ramesses II storming the Hittite fortress of Dapur.  He was the most famous and powerful Pharaoh of Egypt's New Kingdom, but contrary to prevailing opinion he was not the Pharaoh who withstood Moses.
Ramesses II storming the Hittite fortress of Dapur. He was the most famous and powerful Pharaoh of Egypt’s New Kingdom, but contrary to prevailing opinion he was not the Pharaoh who withstood Moses.

Of all the pharaohs who ruled Egypt over the course of ancient history, only one had the dubious honor of facing Moses in a contest to see whose God was greater.  We may not know exactly which pharaoh he was, but he most certainly was not Ramesses II.  Such is filmmaker Timothy Mahoney’s conclusion in his astounding documentary, Patterns of Evidence:  Exodus.  Mahoney presents a compelling case for reconsidering the accepted timeline of ancient Egyptian history.  He bases his case on considerable evidence that Israel’s presence in Egypt, the Exodus, and the conquest of Canaan actually happened two or three hundred years earlier than has been supposed.

For centuries we have assumed that Raamses II was the Pharaoh of the Exodus because of this verse:

So they appointed taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labor.  And they built for Pharaoh storage cities, Pithom and Raamses.  (Exodus 1:11 NASB)

Indeed there was a city named Raamses (or Ramesses) in Goshen, the region of Egypt where the Hebrews lived, but it was not known by that name in the days when the Hebrews lived there.  Underneath the ruins of Raamses are the ruins of an even older city called Avaris.  The archaeological evidence indicates that a Semitic people lived there, that they were at one point prosperous and powerful, that they became enslaved, and that they left quite suddenly.  However, until now no one has seriously considered that these were the Hebrews simply because the evidence at Avaris does not fit the accepted Egyptian chronology.  Yet if we were to adjust that chronology a bit based not only on the discoveries at Avaris, but also on discoveries elsewhere in Egypt, as well as in Canaanite cities such as Jericho, evidence of the Exodus would abound.  Furthermore, such a chronological adjustment would resolve numerous gaps and mysteries in the chronologies of other ancient civilizations.  Mahoney has done a fine job gathering and presenting his evidence.  No doubt there will be many questions and much debate on his conclusions, but his presentation merits serious review and investigation.

It is probably no coincidence that Patterns of Evidence appeared just as the Torah cycle is working through the Exodus story.  Although not as visually stunning as Mahoney’s cinematography, AlephBeta Academy’s video offerings impart considerable understanding of God’s workings among the people of Egypt and Israel.  It may surprise Christian viewers to learn that Judaism embraces the doctrine of free will, and that the account of the Ten Plagues reveals the workings of free will in the context of God’s ultimate sovereignty.  Watch these two videos as Rabbi David Fohrman explains these profound concepts in a very Jewish way.

 

Va'era: Did God Take Away Pharaoh's Free Will? - Aleph Beta
Va’era: Did God Take Away Pharaoh’s Free Will? – Aleph Beta
Bo: Did God Really Need Ten Plagues? - Aleph Beta
Bo: Did God Really Need Ten Plagues? – Aleph Beta

© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2014-2015.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.