Perfected Jews?

Ultra controversial conservative celebrity book writer Ann Coulter appeared on the a CNBC show (video here) and said that Christians are perfected Jews.. which was interpreted by the Jewish host as "Jews need to be perfected".. hence it did not go over well with him. Ahem, well Ann is probably not the best spokesperson for the faith.. not sure that I am either.. so I thought that I would ask the question:
What is a perfected or completed Jew?
I think that the question somewhat betrays an inner belief that somehow Christians embrace Judaism as a legitimate alternate approach to God or that Christianity is just an extension of Judaism.. I think that some Messianic congregations arise around the idea that Christianity is a mere extension of Judaism. This idea often leads to a misunderstanding of grace and a return to the law and traditions of the Old Testament. Am I in trouble yet?

In the 9th chapter of Romans the apostle Paul makes a few astute observations about his Jewish roots and Abraham. He begins by expressing his deep grief over his Israeli brothers' and sisters' rejection of Jesus saying that he would.. if he could.. separate himself from Christ if it meant that they would come to know Christ. He then goes on to say:
But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; nor are they all children because they are Abraham's descendants, but: "THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED." That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.
So, I think that the idea of a perfected or completed Jew can lead to some strange ideas about what Jesus came to do. Those who follow Jesus are not perfected children of Abraham.. we are children of the promise made to Abraham regardless of our ancestry. Here is the promise as Paul tells it in another of his letters:
Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU." So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer. For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM." Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, "THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH." However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, "HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM." Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us--for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE"-- in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:7-14)
I brought all of this up to bring a bit of clarity to Ann Coulter's remarks. I think that she would have done better to stay away from this 'perfected Jew' language. What do you think? And please keep your comments focused on the topic instead of on Ann Coulter ... this blog is rated PG-13. :)


  1. KB, I think I have to agree with you. I think scripture clearly indicates the law was never intended to perfect but to point out our need for grace through Christ.

    I have never listened to Ann before, so I was sure she must have been misunderstood or misquoted. (As you know, this is my usual response {C:) As I listened, I even continued to believe this, UNTIL she returned from commercial break to further explain herself. Her clarification indicates, as you say, " inner belief that somehow Christians embrace Judaism as a legitimate alternate approach to God or that Christianity is just an extension of Judaism."

    Unfortunately, I think many Christians in the media also portray this belief. They often think, as Ann appears to, that this view is more supportive and less devisive with Jews. Apparently Donny finds this condescending and offensive.

    It would have been good for her to stay away from this language, but I don't think she could have. It seems this is what she really believes and simply cannot see how this could possibly offend.

  2. Kansas Bob,
    Great post brother.
    I believe we should stribe to practice what is written in the word of God. It our guide in life. Our map. Our source of strength. Ann Coutler is just like the rest of us, human. A sinner in need of grace and mercy. The same goes with Rush Limbough, O Riley, Jerry Springer, Randy Rohdes, (Right & Left talk show hosts) "For have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We all make mistakes. We need to understand people on shows pick topics for ratings. Say things for shock and ratings.. Howard Stern did it. Ann Coulter may have done it. Rush Limbaugh may have. We must remember that they aren't God's but humans just like us.

    I am independant. I vote on who I think has moral. Who is going to do a good job. Who is going to keep my kids safe. Etc. God be with our leaders, military, and nation. May we be a righteous and and holy nation once again. May we be known as a Christian nation.

  3. Bless her big mouth. I don't see any problem with the concept of a "completed Jew" because we have seen the Law and the Covenant fulfilled by Jesus in His Own Blood. The converts I know think of themselves as "completed Jews" that they left nothing behind, they instead found the Promise kept, Isaiah's prophecies fulfilled.

    Her interviewer was far more ignorant of his own Jewish faith, which excludes other paths as much Christianity excludes the Jewish vision of salvation, than Ann is of hers. He is clearly enjoying the ruckus and is acting the martyr of anti-Semitism in later interviews.

    Ann just got her mouth running and dug herself in deeper, and when she tried to correct herself, didn't help any.

  4. Thanks for this clarification. I don't see myself as a perfected Jew (mostly because I can't see myself as a "perfected" anything). I see myself as "grafted in" - once being outside of a covenant, but now in the covenant. I think the Jews worship the same God that I do, they are just doing so according to a covenant He established, but has now fulfilled for us (leaving us with a new arrangement). The Word says they will be grafted back in, and I look forward to that. I do think some Christians have a teeny bit of a superiority complex ("We accepted the Messiah, but you just didn't get it!") when it comes to their attitude towards Jews. I find that disheartening.

  5. In short she was very wrong and you raise the important question here based on the text itself. Paul is clear that the outcome of the law is utter failure. The perfected Jew is Christ who fulfilled the law - the only one who could actually do so. This is the point of the Gospel that Coulter misses completely. She seems to confuse the status of the Christian with the status of Christ and is not aware of the term "alien righteousness" which I think is ironically helpful from Luther in this regard (since Luther was so clearly an anti-Semite).

    Christ redeems us from the condemnation of the law and is the elected and perfected human - not only just a perfected Jew. It is in the cross that the true redemption of God is available for all humankind.

    Ann seems to be one of the many Christians who was spoonfed propositions about the Bible and Christianity without having actually reading it with a mind to understand what the text itself has to say to her. It is a clear example of biblical and theological illiteracy that she is an example of, but sadly one of many. Unfortunately this version of Christianity that she espouses seems to have missed the point of the cross that Paul makes so eloquently clear in his epistles with the word agape.

  6. Great comment Drew. I particularly liked:

    "It is a clear example of biblical and theological illiteracy that she is an example of, but sadly one of many."

    Also Drew, I tried your wordpress blog but it displayed unreadable in my IE browser.


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