The Arabic edition of my book Zion’s Christian Soldiers: The Bible, Israel and the Church is now available as a pdf download
The print version of the Arabic edition of Zion’s Christian Soldiers was published by the Anglican Publishing House in Cairo and is also available and costs £8.95 plus £2.75 postage in the UK and £4.75 internationally. Order via PayPal.
In this interview Bishop Richard Llewellin talks about his experiences of serving his curacy in South Africa under the apartheid regime and the parallels with Palestine today. (apologies for the quality of the audio)
In this interview Bishop Richard Llewellin shares his experiences with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Israel and Palestine (EAPPI). EAPPI is an international programme coordinated by the World Council of Churches. It brings people from around the world to the West Bank to serve for three months as human rights monitors. For more information see https://eappi.org
Bishop Richard was ordained in 1964 and was a curate at Radlett. After serving a second curacy at Johannesburg Cathedral, and being expelled from South Africa by the apartheid Nationalist government of the day in 1971, he was then successively the Vicar of Waltham Cross, the Rector of Harpenden and a canon of Truro Cathedral before being ordained to the episcopate as the suffragan Bishop of Street Germans (1985-1992).
He later became the suffragan Bishop of Dover (1992-1999) and was subsequently appointed Bishop at Lambeth and Chief of Staff to the Archbishop by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, a position he held until 2004. In retirement he was appointed an honorary fellow of Canterbury Christ Church University.
A presentation on Christian Zionism given at the 2023 Oxford Colloquium ’Meeting the Challenge of the Rise in Racialized (White) Christian Nationalism’ at Harris Manchester College, Oxford University, in partnership with the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute
“Once again Stephen Sizer has produced a seriously worked out biblical theology which challenges some Christians who give uncritical support to the current political stance of Israel. We have here a serious biblical challenge, evangelical in character which, nevertheless, challenges certain kinds of fundamentalism, both theological and political. I commend Stephen’s latest book warmly, not with the conviction that everyone will agree with it, but that all ought to engage in its argument for the very sake of the Peace of Jerusalem itself, now the Holy City of the three great monotheistic faiths, the faiths of the Children of Abraham.” The Right Reverend Christopher Hill, former Bishop of Guildford
‘Stephen Sizer’s new study offers a fresh and insightful approach to reading the Bible. With magisterial skill he challenges Christian Zionists and provides a comprehensive framework for understanding the true meaning of Scripture.’ Rabbi Professor Dan Cohn-Sherbok
God has created us with meaning and purpose, with dignity and value – in His image. But for what? – We inhabit a world designed, created, nurtured and sustained by Almighty God, to whom we are accountable for the way we steward His good earth.
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idolor swear by a false god.” (Psalm 24:1-4)
Jared Kushner’s long awaited “Deal of the Century” aspires to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians through $28 billion of investment in the Palestinian economy. Previous international initiatives have proposed exchanging land for peace. This US initiative, appropriately called “Peace to Prosperity”, unashamedly proposes trading land for money. In this regard, Kushner’s “deal” actually has strong biblical precedent. In Genesis 25 we read of how Jacob tricked Esau out of his birthright for a bowl of stew.
It takes great humility to find oneself unjustly condemned and to be silent, and to do this is to imitate our Lord. The truly humble person will have a genuine desire to be thought little of, and persecuted, and condemned unjustly, even in serious matters.
You know that I deprecate excessive penances; here, however, there is no cause for fear that your health will suffer. The interior virtues do not weaken the body, but strengthen the soul.
Remember how the Lord took the Magdalen’s part in the Pharisee’s house, and when her sister blamed her. On the cross, He had only a thief to defend Him. Be glad when you are blamed, and you will see what profit you experience in your souls.
In this way you will begin to gain freedom. It is difficult at first, but with the Lord’s help, the gradual attainment of this freedom, and of renunciation and self-detachment, is quite possible.
The Way of Perfection, chapter 15 Saint Teresa of Avila
Modern English Version translated and abridged by John Venard OCD
We support refugees and asylum seekers in Southampton. One particular asylum seeker was advised by the Home Office that she and her family would be rehoused to another city. We helped clean the rented property after they had gone and returned the key to the landlord via the estate agent.
As the family were to be housed temporarily in a hostel by the Home Office until permanent accommodation was found, we gave our home address to the estate agent in case any mail needed forwarding to the family. Big mistake.
First of all, I received a letter from Southampton City Council stating that I was no longer required to pay Council Tax and that our direct debit had been cancelled. The euphoria was short lived when I received an identical envelope from the Council addressed to the asylum seeker at our address.
It took a month of writing letters and phone calls to Southampton City Council to convince them that we had not moved and that the asylum seeking family did not live at our address, indeed they had never even visited our home. It took another month for the Direct Debit to recommence. I asked who had advised them that we had moved. No answer.
Then guess what? Today, I received a letter addressed the the asylum seeker at our address from Southern Water. Here we go again. Was it the estate agent? If so, were they under some kind of legal obligation to notify the local Council and utility providers of the forwarding address for the asylum seeker?
I am now half expecting to receive letters from our telephone, gas and electricity providers addressed to the asylum seeker as well.
And to make matters a little more confusing still, the letters were addressed to the partner of the asylum seeker whom I’ve never met and who has lived and worked abroad for some while.
Photo taken in the Walled Off Hotel, Bethlehem, Occupied Palestine