Book Review: ‘Our Hands Are Stained With Blood’, by Dr Michael L. Brown
Reviewed by Simon Lissak, CPM UK
“Our hands are stained with blood” by Dr Michael Brown sounds more like the title for a teen horror film than a Biblically sound, well-reasoned account of the history of the relationship between the Church and the Jewish people since the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, our Messiah… But don’t judge a book by its cover!
Nobody thinks that talking about anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, or Israel’s struggle to exist are easy subjects to engage with. For many of us, these difficult issues may well be something we choose not to discuss, in order to keep the “peace”. However, isn’t the same thing true about Jesus and His Gospel?
As Christians we have been redeemed by the Jewish Messiah, are instructed by Jewish Apostles, are joint heirs of Israel’s Scriptures and have been grafted into Israel’s olive tree! So can we really afford not to understand the tragic and turbulent experiences of the Jewish people “at the hands” of nominal and believing, but misguided or misinformed Christians over the centuries?
This well structured book will equip you to first understand and then communicate to others, how we got to the point where the Synagogue and the Church are not really talking to each other. Like many “family” conflicts much has been said and done on both sides, but the pain and suffering on the Jewish side seems disproportionate. As believing Christians called to a ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-19), perhaps the initiative to act lovingly towards them rests with us?
In sixteen brief but powerful chapters, Dr Michael L. Brown will give you “Everything you ever wanted to know… But were afraid to ask”, on this subject. With titles like The Final Solution, The Rabbis: Stiff-Necked, Hard-Hearted and Proud, The Inquisition Isn’t Over and Life From The Dead, Mike open’s our hearts and minds to a tragic past that will move many of us to repentance, prayer and action.
His chapters entitled “Has God Forsaken His People?” and “Natural Children and God’s Children”, wonderfully open up our Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation, deepening our faith and encouraging us to see and trust God’s masterful plan, just as Jesus did with His disciples on the Emmaus Road (Luke 24:27 &44).
The Church and Synagogue divided, is the very opposite of Paul’s vision in Ephesians 2:14-16 and perhaps represents one of the greatest evangelistic and eschatological opportunities of a generation. Once we understand “the curse” that many Jewish people have been under, either real or perceived, then we will understand that praying for, engaging with and loving Jewish people is at the centre of God’s heart (Jeremiah 32:41-44). That, dear friends, is where we all want to be.
So don’t let the title put you off! It’s designed to shock because the history of the relationship is not pretty. But, as Leonard Ravenhill said, this book left him “pained, provoked and profited” and it will do the same for you.