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A Discussion of Messianic Judaism, the Emerging Messianic Jewish Paradigm, and Related Leadership Issues from the Preoccupied Mind of Rabbi Stuart Dauermann, PhD.

All Contents ©2004-2007 Stuart Dauermann - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Hashivenu Core Principle #7 - On Maturation

Hashivenu is an educational foundation established in 1997 by myself and a group of friends. This is the seventh of seven core principles which help to define those commitments we most deeply hold in common.

Hashivenu Core Principle #7 states: Maturation requires a humble openness to discovery within the context of firmly held convictions.

The heavens declare the glory of G-d;
the skies proclaim the work of His hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.

The psalmist beheld the vastness of creation and stood in awe of the inscrutable nature of the Eternal Personality who ordered the universe. Though most religious thinkers would give intellectual assent to the abstruseness of both creation and Creator, the human need for certainty has forced most traditional religions to operate as closed systems, tightly bound by a set of immutable presuppositions and dogma. Though we recognize the importance of firm and clearly held convictions, we consider the cultivation of supple hearts and minds essential if the Messianic Jewish community is to move on to maturity.

With the blessings of the information age, new challenges have arisen. The sheer volume of new and continual discovery has been coupled with the nearly unlimited potential to disseminate and receive information and insight. The result is a new climate, which affects how we view Messianic Judaism, our role, our past, our future and the world about us. Our social, theological and philosophical paradigms have become subject to both new and old thought, which may have previously been ignored, if at all considered. Rather than retreat into the safe and sure fortresses of our immediate past, we must courageously, yet wisely, engage and interact with our dramatically changing world.

Hashivenu affirms the titanic contributions and complementary relationship of the historical Church and the Synagogue to the ennoblement and advancement of the human enterprise. We therefore encourage the Messianic Jewish community to avail itself of the insights of both institutions while critically evaluating the usefulness of such insights as we pursue maturation. We also recognize the tremendous value offered by contemporary cross-disciplinary scholarship. Since truth may be found in surprising places, the over- worn categorization of liberal and conservative will not, in our opinion, serve the best interest of an emerging Messianic Judaism.