Evangelicals and Israel: The Story of American Christian Zionism

In This Review

Evangelicals and Israel: The Story of American Christian Zionism

By Stephen Spector
Oxford University Press, 2008
352 pp. $29.95
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Christian Zionism and its relationship to U.S. politics and the American Jewish community have seldom received as sensitive and sound a treatment as in Spector's helpful new book. Based on extensive reporting and interviews with many leading personalities in the world of Christian Zionism, Evangelicals and Israel does a remarkable job of helping nonevangelicals and non-Christians come to grips with the nature and the importance of Christian Zionism today. Spector is particularly good at helping outsiders understand how many Christian Zionists combine a sincere devotion to Israel and its security as a Jewish state with a zeal to bring individual Jews to the Christian faith. Spector is also very successful at delineating the theological roots of various positions within the Christian Zionist movement and at debunking the common stereotype that Christian Zionists support Israel as part of a plan to force the return of Jesus and the coming of the Last Judgment. The improved ability of Democrats to engage with people of faith has contributed to Democratic success in the last two election cycles; Democrats seeking to extend that winning streak could do much worse than to consult this book as a reliable field guide to an important constituency.