In the last couple
of years the secular community and some in the religious community have awakened
to the reality that much of the American Evangelical community is very
supportive of the modern state of Israel. And what is their reaction? They do
not like it one bit! This support for Israel is perceived as an ever
increasing danger with the possibility that Christian Zionism could bring about
World War III.
Genesis 12:3 records
God' s promise to bless those who bless Abraham and his descendants (i.e.,
Israel). The Abrahamic covenant is
confirmed to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their descendants. It is repeated to
them at least a minimum of twenty times in Genesis (12:1- 3, 7- 9; 13:14- 18;
15:1- 18; 17:1- 27; 22:15- 19; 26:2- 6, 24- 25; 27:28- 29, 38- 40; 28:1- 4, 10- 22;
31:3, 11- 13; 32:22- 32; 35:9- 15; 48:3- 4, 10- 20; 49:1- 28; 50:23- 25). Although
the Abrahamic Covenant contains multiple features, it always includes the land
promises to Israel. One of the most important questions that must be addressed
is: Does this promise still stand or has it been changed? If these
biblical promises are to be taken literally and still apply to Israel, and not
the Church, it should not surprise anyone that such a view leads to Christian
Zionism. Zionism is simply the belief that the Jewish people have been given
the land of Israel by covenant promise from God and still have a current right
to occupy that land. Christian Zionists are Christians who agree with this
Christian Zionism Under Attack
In the spring of
1992, Christianity Today wrote a cover
story on Christian Zionism. The article " For the Love of Zion" (March 9, 1992;
pp. 46-50) reflected a generally negative tone toward Christian Zionists, which
is normal for Christianity Today.
They made the case while evangelical support for Israel is strong, it has
peaked and is declining. Yet, today, over a decade later the consensus appears
to be that Christian Zionism is strengthening, but so are those Christians who
In February 2003,
the Zionist Organization of America released extensive polling results from the
polling firm of John McLaughlin and Associates indicating rising support by
Americans of the modern state of Israel as against the Arab Palestinian state.
71% of Americans were opposed to creating a Palestinian state and by almost the
same margin Americans oppose any support to the Palestinian Arabs. Much of
this current support is surely generated by those who are classified as
A number of articles
in the media have been written recently about the alleged dangers of the
Christian support for Israel. A widely noted article appeared in the May 23,
2002 issue of the Wall Street Journal entitled,
" How Israel Became a Favorite Cause of Christian Right." For some, this is
horrifying. Jane Lampman of the Christian
Science Monitor has written " Mixing
prophecy and politics," an article about the dangers of Christian Zionism.
Evangelical historian Timothy Weber has just released a book entitled On
The Road to Armageddon: How Evangelicals Became Israel' s Best Friend. He believes our support for Israel
is potentially dangerous. The Presbyterian Church, USA, passed
a resolution in the Summer of 2004 in which they " officially disavow Christian
Zionism as a legitimate theological stance." 
the last few years a number of books and articles chide those of us who believe
that the nation and people of Israel have a positive future detailed in Bible
prophecy. They think evangelical support for
Israel is bad, because, the modern state of Israel is viewed by them as bad and
totally unrelated in any way to Bible prophecy. These naysayers often like to
blame J. N. Darby and dispensationalism as the modern source of Christian
Zionist evangelical views. The truth of the matter is that love for Israel was
well entrenched among Bible-believing Christians long before 1830. What is the
history of Christian Zionism or the Restorationist movement (as it was know in
earlier times) during two thousand years of church history?
The Early Church
there is some evidence that a few ante-Nicene fathers envisioned the Jews back
in the land of Israel, by and large, they did not really look for a restoration
of the Jews to the land of Israel, even though premillennialism was widespread.
A few statements were made by these early believers implying a Jewish return
to Israel. For example, Irenaeus writing about a.d.
185 expressed this view in the following way:
But when this Antichrist shall have
devastated all things in this world, he will reign for three years and six
months, and sit in the Temple at Jerusalem; and then the Lord will come from
heaven in the clouds, in the glory of the Father, sending this man and those who
follow him into the lake of fire; but bringing in for the righteous the times
of the kingdom.
Ehle has summarized the views on the early church as follows: " What is
singularly absent from early millenarian schemes is the motif of the
Restoration of Israel, . . . the Church Fathers from the second century on did
not encourage any notion of a revival of national Israel." 
though the ante-Nicene fathers were predominately premillennial in their understanding
of future things, they laid a groundwork that would not only oppose Christian
Zionism, but eventually opposed premillennialism as well. Premillennialist
Justin Martyr was the first to view " the Christian church as ' the true
spiritual Israel' (Dial. 11)" 
around a.d. 160. Justin' s views
laid the groundwork for the growing belief that the church had superseded or
replaced Israel. " Misunderstanding of it colours the Church' s attitude to
Judaism and contributes to anti-Semitism," notes Peter Richardson.
Further, by the time of Irenaeus, it becomes entrenched in Christian theology
that " the bulk of Israel' s Scriptures [are] indecisive for the formation of
Christian doctrine."  The details about Israel' s future,
especially in the Old Testament are simply not a part of the development of
Christian theology. Jeffrey Siker cites this issue as the primary reason for
the disinheriting of the Jews within the early Christian church. " The first
factor is the diminishing emphasis upon the eschatological dimensions of the
Christian faith."  Lacking an emphasis upon Israel' s
future, it is not surprising that belief in a future restoration of the Jews to
their homeland is sparse in the early and medieval church.
The Medieval Church
from a few sporadic medieval statements, Christian belief in the restoration of
Israel to her land would not surface until " the second generation Protestant
reformers."  Normally, support for Christian
Zionism appears to go hand-and-hand with belief in millennialism. Some forms
of postmillennialism and all kinds of premillennialism make it conducive for
its advocates to look for a return of the Jews to Israel. " Inhibitions about
millennialism were so pronounced that for the entire time between about 400 and
1050 there is no surviving written product that displays an independent Western
millenarian imagination."  Since millennialism was absent from
the church for about a thousand years it is not surprising that Christian
Zionism was not a topic of concern during this time. It should also be
remembered that these issues be viewed within the backdrop of a vicious
anti-Semitism that governed the thought of the Medieval Church.
of Fiore (c. 1135- 1202) dominated the eschatological beliefs of the middle
ages. Even though some think that Joachim could have been of Jewish decent,
his thought is typical of the non-Zionist views of the time. " The final
conversion of the Jews was a common medieval theme but one of peculiar
significance to Joachim,"  notes Joachimist scholar Marjorie
Reeves. It was popular in medieval eschatology to see a future time in which
" Rome was to be the temporal capital of the world, Jerusalem the spiritual." 
" The great rulers of Jewish history- Joseph, David, Solomon, Zorobabel- were
interpreted in a priestly rather than an imperial sense," 
notes Reeves. Thus, while medieval eschatology saw a role
for the Jews in the future, it was one of subservience, having been absorbed
into the Gentile church. Medieval prophetic thought provided no real distinct
future for the Jews as a regathered nation of Israel; certainly little that
could be labeled as Zionism.
spite of the overall trend to the contrary, there is some evidence that a few
stray late-medieval voices did see some kind of a future for Israel. An
example of one who held to a Jewish restoration is Gerard
of Borgo San Donnino (around 1255). He taught that some Jews would be blessed
as Jews in the end time and would return to their ancient homeland.
John of Rupescissa (ca. 1310- 1366) could most likely be
viewed as a Christian Zionist. " For him the converted Jews would become God' s
new imperial nation and Jerusalem would be completely rebuilt to become the
center of the purified faith. For proof he drew on a literal exposition of the
Old Testament prophecies which until then had been read by Christian exegetes
to apply either to the time of the incarnation or to the heavenly Jerusalem in
the beyond."  For the most part, medieval European Christendom remained
overwhelmingly anti-Semitic in thought, word and deed, which would not lend
itself to seeing a future for the Jews in Israel.
I have noted, the flourishing of millennialism and a belief in a future return
of the Jews to their land often go hand-and-hand. This is evident as the
second generation Reformers begin to fade. Thus, to date, I have not been able
to find any reformers who supported the restoration of the Jews back to their
land in Israel. Such views must await the post-reformation era. However, the
Reformation in many ways prepared the way for the later rise of Christian
Zionist views. " It marked the end of the medieval era and the beginning of the
modern time."  The main gift of the Reformation
was that of the Bible in the language of the people.
Wyclif' s time," notes Barbara Tuchman, " the New Learning had revived the study
of Greek and Hebrew, so long ignored in the Latin-dominated Middle Ages." 
Michael Pragai tells us the following:
The growing importance of the
English Bible was a concomitant of the spreading Reformation, and it is true to
say that the Reformation would never have taken hold has the Bible not replaced
the Pope as the ultimate spiritual authority. With the Bible as its tool, the
Reformation returned to the geographic origins of Christianity in Palestine.
It thereby gradually diminished the authority of Rome.
so it would come to be, that the provision of the Bible in the language of the
people would become the greatest spur to the rise of Christian Zionism. The
simple provision of the Bible in the native tongue of the people, which gave
rise to their incessant reading and familiarization of it, especially the Old
Testament, was the greatest soil that yielded a crop of Christian Zionism over
The English Protestant
path that led to the widespread belief in the end-time restoration of the Jews
to Israel started with the study of the Bible, first in the original languages,
followed by the influence of the newly acquired English translations.
When both scholars and laymen alike, for the first time in the history of the
church, had the text of Scripture (both Old and New Testaments) more readily
available, it led to greater study, a more literal interpretation and a greater
awareness of the Israel of the Old Testament. This provided the atmosphere in
which a major shift occurred in England (also on the Continent to a lesser
degree) from medieval Jew-hatred, which led to the expulsion of all Jews from
Britain in 1290, to their invitation under Cromwell to return in 1655. " From
such a context and from among this people," notes Douglas Culver, " now growing
more and more intimate with things Jewish, the early millenarian protagonists
for the restoration of the Jews to their Palestinian homeland arose." 
However, it would be a tough road to get to the point where belief in a Jewish
restoration to their ancient homeland would become so widespread.
wasn' t just any group of English protestants that provided a fertile soil for
Jewish Restorationist doctrines, it was out of the English Puritan movement
that this belief sprung. " Starting with the Puritan ascendancy," notes
Tuchman, " the movement among the English for the return of the Jews to
Palestine began."  Why the Puritan? Puritans were not
just dissenters, they were a Protestant sect that valued the Old Testament to
an unprecedented degree in their day. Tuchman tells us:
They began to feel for the Old Testament a preference that
showed itself in all their sentiments and habits. They paid a respect to the
Hebrew language that they refused to the language of their Gospels and of the
epistles of Paul. They baptized their children by the names not of Christian
saints but of Hebrew patriarchs and warriors. They turned the weekly festival
by which the church had from primitive times commemorated the resurrection of
her Lord, into the Jewish Sabbath. They sought for precedents to guide their
ordinary conduct in the books of Judges and Kings.
of the first Englishman to put forth the view that the Jews should be restored
to the land of Israel was a scholar who had taken two degrees from Cambridge
named Francis Kett. In 1585 he had published a book entitled The Glorious
and Beautiful Garland of Mans Glorification Containing the Godly Misterie of
Heavenly Jerusalem (one of the
shorter titles of the day). While his book primarily dealt with other matters,
Kett did have a section in which he mentioned " the notion of Jewish national
return to Palestine."  This notion, which some think was
likely gaining many followers, was deemed heretical to the English
establishment of the day and Rev. Kett was quickly burned at the stake on
January 14, 1589, for expressing such views about the Jews return to their
land, an idea he claimed to have received from reading the Bible.
About the same time as Kett, strict Calvinist, Edmund Bunny (1540- 1619) taught
the Jewish restoration to Palestine in a couple of books: The Scepter of
Ivday (1584) and The
Coronation of David (1588).
the 1600s arrived, a flurry of books advocating Jewish restoration to their
land began to appear. Thomas Draxe released in 1608 The Worldes Resurrection:
On the general calling of the Jews, A familiar Commentary upon the eleventh
Chapter of Saint Paul to the Romaines, according to the sense of Scripture. Draxe argued for Israel' s restoration based
upon his Calvinism and Covenant Theology.
great giants of their era were Thomas Brightman (1552- 1607), (likely a
Postmillennialist) and Premillennialist Joseph Mede (1586- 1638) who both wrote
boldly of a future restoration of Israel. Brightman' s work, Revelation of
the Revelation appeared in 1609
and told " how the Jews will return from the areas North and East of Palestine
to Jerusalem and how the Holy Land and the Jewish Christian church will become
the centre of a Christian world."  Brightman wrote: " What, shall they
return to Jerusalem again? There is nothing more certain; the prophets do
everywhere confirm it."  Mede' s contribution was released in
1627 in Latin  and in 1642 in English as The Key
of the Revelation.
The father of English premillennialism was also an ardent advocate of Jewish
restoration to their homeland. Momentum was certainly building toward
widespread acceptance of English belief in Jewish restoration, but a few bumps
in the road still lay ahead.
Fletcher (1549- 1611), a fellow at King' s College, Cambridge and Queen
Elizabeth' s ambassador to Russia wrote a work advocating Restorationism.
Fletcher' s book, Israel Redux: or the Restauration of Israel; or the
Restauration of Israel exhibited in two short treatises (shortened title) was published posthumously by
the Puritan divine Samuel Lee in 1677. Fletcher cites a
letter in his book from 1606 as he argues for the return of the Jews to their
land. Fletcher repeatedly taught the
" certainty of their return in God' s due time." 
key proponent for Israel' s future restoration was Henry Finch (1558-1625) who
wrote a seminal work on the subject in 1621, called The World' s Resurrection
or The Calling of the Jewes. A Present to Judah and the Children of Israel
that Ioyned with Him, and to Ioseph (that valiant tribe of Ephraim) and all the
House of Israel that Ioyned with Him.
Finch, at the time of the publication of his book was a member of Parliament
and the most highly respected legal scholars in England at the time. " The book
had been published for a matter only of weeks when the roof caved in on the
author' s head," notes Culver. " In the persecution which ensued, Finch lost his
reputation, his possessions, his health- all precipitated by his belief in
Jewish national restoration."  " Finch' s argument may be considered
the first genuine plan for Restoration."  Finch taught that
the biblical " passages which speak of a return of these people to their own land,
their conquest of enemies and their rule of the nations are to be taken
literally, not allegorically as of the Church." 
King James of England was offended by Finch' s statement that all nations would
become subservient to national Israel at the time of her restoration.
Finch and his publisher were quickly arrested when his book was released by
the High Commissioner (a creation of King James), and examined.
Finch was striped of his status and possessions and then died a few years
latter. " The doctrine of the restoration of the Jews continued to be expounded
in England, evolving according to the insight of each exponent, and finally playing
a role in Christian Zionistic activities in the latter part of the nineteenth
and in the first of the twentieth centuries." 
Puritans of the seventeenth century taught the restoration of the Jews to the
Holy Land. One of the greatest Puritan
theologians in England was John Owen (1616- 1683) who wrote, " The Jews shall be
gathered from all parts of the earth where they are scattered, and brought home
into their homeland."  Peter Toon, speaking of Puritans of
this era says:
Of course, those who expected the conversion of the Jews added
to Romans 11 other proof-texts from the Old and New Testament. Furthermore, a
large proportion of those who took " Israel" in Romans 11:25 ff. to speak of
Jews, also taught that there would be a restoration of Jews to their ancient
homeland in the Near East either after, or at the same time as, their
conversion to Christ.
was a similar Restorationist movement throughout Europe where the Reformation
was strongest, but on a smaller scale. There were a number of Restorationists
in Holland during the time of the Puritan movement. Isaac de la Peyrere
(1594- 1676), who served as the French Ambassador to Denmark, " wrote a book
wherein he argued for a restoration of the Jews to Israel without conversion to
Christianity."  In 1655, Paul Felgenhauever, wrote Good
News for Israel in which he
taught that there would be the " permanent return of the Jews to their own
country eternally bestowed upon them by God through the unqualified promise to
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."  The Dane, Holger Paulli (1644- 1714)
" believed wholeheartedly in the Jewish Return to the Holy Land, as a condition
for the Second Coming."  He even " lobbied the kings of
Denmark, England, and France to go and conquer Palestine from the Ottomans in
order that the Jews could regain their nation." 
Frenchman, Marquis de Langallerie (1656- 1717), schemed with the Turkish
Ambassador in the Hague on a plan defeat the Pope and trade the papal empire
for a return of the Jews to the Holy Land. Langallerie was arrested in
Hamburg, tried and convicted of high treason and died in prison a year later.
Other European Restorationists of the era include: Isaac Vossius, Hugo
Grotius, Gerhard John Vossius, David Blondel, Vasover Powel, Joseph Eyre,
Edward Whitaker, and Charles Jerran.
Saddington lists the following seventeenth century English individuals as
holding to Restorationist views: John Milton, John Bunyan, Roger Williams,
John Sadler and Oliver Cromwell. " The doctrine of the restoration of
the Jews continued to be expounded in England, evolving according to the
insight of each exponent," concludes Ehle, " and finally playing a role in
Christian Zionistic activities in the latter part of the nineteenth and in the
first of the twentieth centuries." 
the American colonies, especially in Puritan New England, were settled
primarily by Englishmen who brought with them to the New World many of the same
issues and beliefs that were circulating in the motherland, it is not
surprising to find many zealous advocates in America for the restoration of the
Jews. Perhaps the most influential of the early Puritan ministers in New
England was John Cotton, who, following the postmillennialism of Brightman held
to the restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land.
According to Ehle, in addition to John Cotton (1584- 1652), early
Restorationists included: John Davenport (1597- 1670), William Hooke
(1601- 1678), John Eliot (1604- 1690), Samuel Willard (1640- 1707), and Samuel
Sewall (1652- 1730). Ephraim Huit, a Cambridge trained
early minister in Windsor, Connecticut believed that the Jews would be
regathered to their homeland in 1650.
of the standout advocates of the restoration doctrine was Increase Mather
(1639- 1723), the son of Richard and father of Cotton. Increase Mather wrote
over 100 books in his life and was a president of Harvard. His first work was The
Mystery of Israel' s Salvation,
which went through about a half dozen revisions during his life.
His support of the national restoration of Israel to her land in the future
was typical of American Colonial Puritans and was generally widespread. Ehle
notes the following:
The first salient school of
thought in American history that advocated a national restoration of the Jews
to Palestine was resident in the first native-born generation at the close of
the seventeenth century in which Increase Mather played a dominate role. The
men who held this view were Puritans, . . . From that time on the doctrine of
restoration may be said to have become endemic to American culture.
was Increase Mather' s view that this final and greatest reformation of the
Christian world would be led by the Jewish people ensuing upon their
restoration to the Holy Land." 
the earliest times, American Christianity has always tilted toward support of
the restoration of national Israel in the Holy Land. American Christians, when
compared with Euro-Asian Christianity has always had a philo-Semitic disposition.
Thus, it is not surprising that this tradition continues today, especially in
Early American Support
a significant number of English speaking Christians during the last 400 years
thoroughly saturated with Jewish restoration theology, it should not be
surprising that many such Christians in the last two hundred years have risen
up to play key roles in the establishment of the modern state of Israel.
should not be considered strange that President John Quincy Adams expressed his
desire that " the Jews again [were] in Judea, an independent Nation, . . . once
restored to an independent government and no longer persecuted." 
President Abraham Lincoln in a meeting with Canadian Christian Zionist, Henry
W. Monk, in 1863 said, " Restoring the Jews to their homeland is a noble dream
shared by many Americans. He (the Jewish chiropodist of the President) has so
many times ' put me on my feet' that I would have no objection to giving his
countrymen a ' leg up' ." 
1800s marks a high point in British premillennialism and a corresponding apex
for Christian Zionism. Many contemporary accounts critical of Christian
Zionism focus their emphasis upon J. N. Darby and the rise of dispensationalism
as the foundation for British Restorationism. As one examines the record, such
is not the case. The real advocates of Christian Zionism in Britain were
primarily Anglican premillennialists. By the mid-nineteenth century, about
half of all Anglican clergy were evangelical premillennialists. Iain Murray
said, " some seven hundred ministers of the Establishment were said to believe
that Christ' s coming must precede His kingdom upon earth. This was in 1845." 
Murray went on to add that, " the number almost certainly increased in the
latter half of the century."  An example of such clergymen would
be J. C. Ryle (1816- 1900), who wrote a Pre-Millennian Creed. The
wave of premillennialism is what produced in Britain a crop of Christian
Zionists that led to political activism which culminated in the Balfour
Ashley Cooper (1801- 1885), later Lord Shaftesbury, is said by Tuchman to have
been " the most influential nonpolitical figure, excepting Darwin, of the
Victorian age."  As a strong evangelical Anglican,
he is said to have based his life upon a literal acceptance of the Bible and
was known as the " Evangelical of Evangelicals." Shaftesbury was the greatest
influence for social legislation in the nineteenth century. He was led into
acceptance of premillennialism by Edward Bickersteth, which then gave rise to
his views of Jewish Restorationism. Lord Shaftesbury said concerning
his belief in the second coming, that it " has always been a moving principle in
my life, for I see everything going on in the world subordinate to this great
event."  Because of his premillennialism,
Shaftesbury became greatly involved as Chairman of the London Society for
Promoting Christianity among the Jews. Shaftesbury
spearheaded a movement that lead to " the creation by the Church of England of
an Anglican bishopric in Jerusalem, with a converted Jew consecrated as its
first bishop." 
pray for the peace of Jerusalem" were the words engraved on a ring that he
always wore on his right hand. Since Lord Shaftesbury believed
that the Jews would return to their homeland in conjunction with the second
advent, he " never had a shadow of a doubt that the Jews were to return to their own land. . . . It was his
daily prayer, his daily hope."  In 1840, Shaftsbury was known for
coining a slogan that he would often repeat throughout his life, that the Jews
were " a country without nation for a nation without a country." 
greatest contribution to the Restoration movement was his attempt to accomplish
something in the political realm in order to provoke England to develop a
policy in favor of returning the Jews to their homeland. He succeeded in
influencing England to adopt that policy, but England failed, at that time to
influence the Turks.
1838, in an article in the Quarterly Review, Shaftsbury put forth the view that
Palestine could become a British colony of Jews that " could provide Britain
with cotton, silk, herbs, and olive oil."  Next, Shaftsbury
" lobbied Lord Palmerston, the Foreign Secretary, using political, financial and
economic arguments to convince him to help the Jews return to Palestine. And
Palmerston did so. What was originally the religious beliefs of Christian
Zionists became official British policy (for political interests) in Palestine
and the Middle East by the 1840s."  This was primarily the result of
Lord Shaftsbury' s efforts. However, at the end of the day, Shaftsbury' s plan
failed, but it succeeded in setting a precedent for putting concrete, political
legs on one' s religious beliefs. This would yield results at a later time.
Shaftsbury had used his great power of persuasion to sway Henry
John Temple Palmerston (1784- 1865), to whom he was related by marriage, to
the Restorationist position. Palmerston had a distinguished
political career serving in government almost the entire time from 1807 till
his death in 1865. He served the British government many years as war
secretary, foreign minister and was a popular prime minister for about ten
years. Even though Shaftsbury influenced Palmerston to hold to the
Restorationist position, it appears that it was a deeply held conviction and
not one of mere political expediency. While British foreign secretary in 1840,
Palmerston wrote the following letter to his ambassador at Constantinople in
his attempt to advocate on behalf of the Jews:
There exists at the present time among the Jews dispersed over
Europe, a strong notion that the time is approaching when their nation is to
return to Palestine. . . . It would be of manifest importance to the Sultan to
encourage the Jews to return and to settle in Palestine because the wealth
which they would bring with them would increase the resources of the Sultan' s
dominions; and the Jewish people, if returning under the sanction and
protection and at the invitation of the Sultan, would be a check upon any
future evil designs of Mehemet Ali or his successor. . . . I have to instruct
Your Excellency strongly to recommend [the Turkish government] to hold out
every just encouragement to the Jews of Europe to return to Palestine.
was not the only one lobbying Palmerston during this time. A wave of
premillennialism had hit the Scottish resulting in a growing sentiment toward
Jewish Restoration. " In 1839 the Church of Scotland sent Andrew Bonar and
Robert Murray M' Cheyne, to report on ' the Condition of the Jews in their land.'
Their report was widely publicized in Great Britain and it was followed by a
' Memorandum to Protestant Monarchs of Europe for the restoration of the Jews to
Palestine.' This memorandum was printed verbatim in the London Times, including an advertisement by Lord Shaftsbury
igniting an enthusiastic campaign by the Times for restoration of the Jews."  " Three
hundred and twenty citizens of Carlow, Ireland sent a similar memorandum to
time governor of Australia, Colonel George Gawler (1796- 1869) was one of the
most zealous and influential Restorationist, next to Shaftsbury, in the 1840s.
" Colonel Gawler was a senior commander at the Battle of Waterloo." 
When he returned to England in 1841 he became a strong advocate of Jewish
settlements in the land of Palestine. Gawler' s Restorationism, like most of
his day, was sparked by his religious convictions, but he argued for Jewish
return to their land upon geopolitical grounds. Gawler stated the following:
[England] urgently needs the shortest and safest lines of
communication. . . . Egypt and Syria stand in intimate connection. A foreign
hostile power mighty in either would soon endanger British trade . . . and it
is now for England to set her hand to the renovation of Syria through the only
people whose energies will be extensively and permanently in the work- the real
children of the soil, the sons of Israel.
with Sir Moses Montefiore (a British Jew) Gawler provided an agricultural strategy
for Jewish resettlement of the Holy Land. One of these Montefiore-Gawler
projects resulted in " the planting of an orange grove near Jaffa, still
existent today and known as Tel Aviv' s ' Montefiore Quarter.' " 
Henry Churchill (1814- 1877), an ancestor of Winston Churchill, was a British
military officer stationed in Damascus in 1840. " He was a Christian Zionist
and he supported the Jews against the non-Zionist Christians of Damascus." 
It was through his efforts that he helped acquit the Jews accused of the
infamous charge of blood libel. Col. Churchill was honored a banquet hosted by
a grateful Jewish community where he spoke of the " hour of liberation of Israel
. . . that was approaching, when the Jewish Nation would once again take its
place among the powers of the world."  In a letter to Jewish
philanthropist Sir Moses Montefiore (1784- 1885), dated June 14, 1841, Churchill
I cannot conceal from you my
most anxious desire to see your countrymen endeavor once more to resume their
existence as a people. I consider the object to be perfectly obtainable. But
two things are indispensably necessary: Firstly that the Jews themselves will
take up the matter, universally and unanimously. Secondly that the European
powers will aid them in their views.
continued to live in the Middle East and in 1953 wrote Mount Lebanon and " predicted that when Palestine ceased to be
part of the Ottoman Empire, it would either become an English colony or an
independent state." 
General Charles Warren, also known for his archeological work in Jerusalem,
served in Syria on behalf of the Palestine Exploration Fund. In 1875 he wrote The
Land of Promise: or Turkey' s Guarantee.
Warren proposed that the land be developed with the " avowed intention of
gradually introducing the Jews, pure and simple, who would eventually occupy
and govern the country." He even speculated that the land could hold " a
population of fifteen million." 
Oliphant (1829- 1888) was an evangelical " British Protestant, an officer in the
British Foreign Service, a writer, world-traveler and an unofficial diplomat." 
Oliphant was passionate about the Jewish Restoration to their land that came
from his intense religious convictions, which " he tried to conceal them behind
arguments based on strategy and politics."  In 1880 he published
a book, The Land of Gilead,
" proposing Jewish resettlement, under Turkish sovereignty and British
protection, of Palestine east of the Jordan."  Even then, he
foresaw the agricultural potential and the possibilities of developing the
resources of the Dead Sea.
All the fruits of Southern Europe, such as apricots, peaches
and plums, here grow to perfection; apples, pears, quinces, thrive well on the
more extreme elevation . . . while the quick-growing Eucalyptus could be
planted with advantage on the fertile but treeless plains.
The inclusion of the Dead Sea within its limits would furnish a
vast source of wealth, by the exploitation
of its chemical and mineral deposits. . . . The Dead Sea is a mine of
unexplored wealth, which only needs the application of capital and enterprise
to make it a most lucrative property.
were many other British Restorationists during the nineteenth century that
created a momentum that would payoff later in British control of Palestine and the
Balfour Declaration. Restorationism found a voice in one of the most popular
novelist of the nineteenth century, as George Eliot penned the influential
Restorationist novel Daniel Deronda.
" Among the advocates we may include Lord Lindsay, Lord Shaftsbury, Lord
Palmerton, Disraeli, Lord Manchester, Holman Hunt, Sir Charles Warren, Hall
Caine and others."  Among the nineteenth century
British, one observes the " gradual drift from purely religious notion to the
political."  These two influences, the Bible and
the sword (religion and politics), as Tuchman has put it,
would merge into a powerful team the lead to the Balfour Declaration and the
eventual founding of the Jewish state in the twentieth century.
J. N. Darby and
is no doubt that John Nelson Darby (1800- 1882) believed in a future for
national Israel, which would make him a Restorationist or Christian Zionist in
theory. However, anyone familiar with
Darby and the Brethren know that they were not involved politically in any way
and their distinctive dispensational views did not penetrate Anglican
Evangelicals. Yet, a number of critics of
Christian Zionism say that Darby is a major source of Christian Zionism.
Donald E. Wagner appears to be the biggest culprit in this matter.
" If Brightman was the father of Christian Zionism," declares Wagner, " then
Darby was its greatest apostle and missionary, the apostle Paul of the
movement."  Wagner continues this theme when
he says, " Lord Shaftsbury, was convinced of Darby' s teachings." 
Fellow anti-Christian Zionist, Stephen R. Sizer, echoes Wagner' s misguided
views when he says of Shaftsbury: " He single-handedly translated the
theological positions of Brightman, Henry Finch, and John Nelson Darby into a
political strategy." 
have never found, within the writings of the specialists on Christian Zionism,
anyone who makes more than a brief mention of Darby.
No one includes him among those who could be considered even a
quasi-significant Restorationist. In fact, Barbara Tuchman, whose work Bible
and Sword is considered the most
significant and comprehensive treatment of British Christian Zionism does not
even mention Darby at all.
it comes to the alleged influence of Darby upon Lord Shaftsbury, this is most
unlikely. One of Shaftsbury' s biographers makes it clear that it was Anglican
premillennialist, Edward Bickersteth (was not even a
futurist, but an historicist) who influenced him toward premillennialism.
Battiscombe, speaking about the year 1835, says the following:
In that year he first met the man who was to be one of the
chief influences in his life, and through that man he in all probability first
came in contact with a mode of belief which was to be all-important to his view
of religion. The man was Edward Bickersteth, a leading Evangelical; the belief
was that curiously explicit teaching about the end of the world and the Last
Judgment usually known as Millenarianism.
though Darby was not really a player in British Restorationism, there is no
doubt that his dispensationalism, once imported to the United States would
eventually become the staple for current Christian Zionism. " Most
dispensationalists were satisfied to be mere observers of the Zionist
movement," notes Weber. " They watched and analyzed it." Weber notes that
American William Blackstone " was one exception to the general pattern." The
fact that Blackstone would become one of the first dispensational activists on
behalf of Zionism (after the Civil War), proves the main point that
dispensationalist, especially Darby, were generally not active in the Jewish
Restoration movement until more recent times. Current realities should not cloud
a clear view of the past.
Restorationist on The
though the English-speaking world led the way when it came to Christian
Zionism, there were important contributions from continental Europe. While
Napoleon' s attempt at Jewish Restoration lacked religious motivation,
there were many Europeans who were smitten with religious Restorationism. " The
Enlightenment in 18th century France and Germany, by its very nature
of questioning the past" notes Epstein, " questioned the Jews' status as
separated from the rest of society because of religious differences." 
Such a development made the public, free expression of ideas more common. As
a result of the new openness some began advocating the return of the Jews to
their homeland. The rise of nationalism was another trend of the day.
" Nationalism actually initially had an unusual effect on the restorationist
movement: it increased Christian support and decreased Jewish support." 
German Lutheran, C. F. Zimpel, who " described himself as Doctor et Philosopiae,
member of the Grand Ducal Saxon Society for Mineralogy and Geognosy at Jena,"
published pamphlets in the mid-1800s entitled " Israelites in Jerusalem" and
" Appeal to all Christendom, as well as to the Jews, for the Liberation of
Jerusalem."  He addressed a number of
geographical issues and warned that if the Jews were not allowed to return to
Palestine then it would lead to their persecution and slaughter.
Unfortunately Zimpel proved correct on this prediction.
Charles-Joseph Prince de Ligne (1735- 1814) advocated Jewish Restorationism. He
called upon the Christians of Europe to lobby the Turkish Sultan so that the
Jews could return to their homeland. De Ligne' s appeal was used by Napoleon in
his efforts to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine. " Among those French
Restorationists were theologians and authors, but also, increasingly,
politicians."  Some of them included Ernest
Laharanne, Alexandre Dumas, and Jean-Henri Dunant (1828- 1910), who was also the
rounder of the International Red Cross.
proposals were put forth by a number of Europeans in the nineteenth century. A
Swiss theologian named Samuel Louis Gaussen who wrote a book advocating a
Jewish return to their land in 1844. Italian, Benedetto
Musolino (1809- 1885) wrote a book, after a visit to the Holy Land, in which he
argued " that the restoration of the Jews would allow European culture into the
Middle East." 
British Christian Zionism
though the momentum of over three hundred years of British Restorationism was
beginning to fade, there was enough activity to carry through World War I,
which saw England finally gain control of the Holy Land. The early 1900s saw
some of the most devout Christian Zionist arise and give birth to the Balfour Declaration
and the British Mandate for Palestine.
James Balfour (1848- 1930) was born in Scotland and reared in a strong Christian
home, which instilled into him a love for the Jews based upon a biblical
interest. Balfour, a life-long bachelor, even wrote a book on Christian
philosophy and theology. Lord Balfour served much of his
life within the highest offices of British government, including Prime
Minister. His interest in Jewish Restoration " was Biblical rather than
imperial."  His sister and biographer said the
Balfour' s interest in the Jews
and their history was lifelong. It originated in the Old Testament training of
his mother, and in his Scottish upbringing. As he grew up, his intellectual
admiration and sympathy for certain aspects of Jewish philosophy and culture
grew also, and the problem of the Jews in the modern world seemed to him of
immense importance. He always talked eagerly on this, and I remember in
childhood imbibing from him the idea that Christian religion and civilization
owes to Judaism an immeasurable debt, shamefully ill repaid.
1906, a time in which he had just lost the office of Prime Minister of England,
Lord Balfour met Dr. Chaim Weizmann, the foremost proponent of early Zionism
next to Theodor Herzel. Balfour' s sister said, " Balfour for his part told me
often about the impression the conversation made on him." " It was from the
talk with Weizmann that I saw that the Jewish form of patriotism was unique,"
noted Lord Balfour. " Their love for their country refused to be satisfied by
the Uganda scheme. It was Weizmann' s absolute refusal even to look at it which
impressed me." 
many starts and stops, Balfour was finally able to persuade all of the British
War Cabinet that the time had come to issue a declaration of British support
for Jewish Restoration to their homeland. The declaration is dated November 2,
1917 and was addressed to Lord Rothschild as follows:
His Majesty' s Government view
with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish
people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this
object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may
prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in
Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other
the Balfour Declaration was finally issued, much discussion with allies and
behind the scene discussion took place. Prime Minister, Lloyd George wanted to
make sure that the United States was fully on board before it was issued.
President Woodrow Wilson would support it and on October 1918 issued the
following statement of acceptance:
I welcome an opportunity to express . . . satisfaction . . . in
progress . . . since the Declaration of Mr. Balfour on . . . the establishment
in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish People, and his promise that the
British Government would use its best endeavors to facilitate the achievement
of that object . . . all America will be deeply moved by the report [on the
founding] of the Hebrew University at Jerusalem with the promise that bears of
impact of the Balfour Declaration was a tremendous event within the Zionist movement.
Since Britain was on the verge of controlling Palestine, it provided a great
step on the road to the founding of the nation of Israel in 1948. This great
declaration was spearheaded, not just by British geo-political concerns, as
important as that was within their thinking, but by Christian sympathies that
were formed by biblical beliefs. Lord Balfour does not appear to have been
moved by his views of eschatology, although it may have been a factor, " but
simply exiles who should be given back, in payment of Christianity' s
' immeasurable debt,' their homeland." 
Lloyd George (1863- 1945) was British Prime Minister (1916- 1922) when the
Balfour Declaration was issued. Balfour and Lloyd George were both life-long
friends. From Wales, Lloyd George was steeped in the Bible in which he was
trained as a youth. This clearly predisposed him to view with favor the
Zionist movement. Saddington says:
It was Lloyd George' s decision
that was primarily responsible for the British launching a large-scale
offensive to conquer all of Palestine despite the risks. As a Christian
Zionist he was determined to gain control of Palestine without the French to
interfere. He also wanted his country to carry out what he regarded as God' s
work in Palestine.
George made a number of statements concerning his biblical upbringing which
influenced him throughout his life. " Lloyd George recalled how in his first
meeting with Chaim Weizmann in December 1914, place names kept coming into the
conversation that were ' more familiar to me than those of the Western front,' "
notes Tuchman. " Lord Balfour' s biographer says that his interest in Zionism
stemmed from his boyhood training in the Old Testament under the guidance of
his mother."  On another occasion, when speaking
about the Balfour Declaration, Lloyd George said:
It was undoubtedly inspired by natural sympathy, admiration and
also by the fact that, as you must remember, we had been trained even more in
Hebrew history than in the history of our own country. I could tell you all
the kings of Israel. But I doubt whether I could have named half a dozen of
the kings of England!
God put men like Lord Balfour and Lloyd George into powers of position at this
crucial time in history to aid the eventual founding of the modern Jewish
state. This appears more clearly when one realizes that there were not many
men within British government of that era who held the biblically molded views
of Christian Zionism, yet, these were the men who were in power at that time.
Christian Zionists William Hechler said, " Lloyd George and Arthur Balfour
accepted Zionism for religious and humanistic reasons; they saw it as
fulfillment of the Biblical prophecies, not just as something suiting British
Imperial interests."  Tuchman tells us the following:
Lloyd George' s afterthoughts on the motivation of the War
Cabinet in issuing the Balfour Declaration have bewitched and bewildered all
subsequent accounts of this episode. Unquestionably he doctored the picture.
Why he did so is a matter of opinion. My own feeling is that he knew that his
own motivation, as well as Balfour' s, was in large part a sentimental (that is,
a Biblical) one, but he could not admit it. Hew as writing his Memoirs in the
1930' s when the Palestine trouble was acute, and he could hardly confess to
nostalgia for the Old Testament or to a Christian guilty conscience toward the
Jews as reasons for an action that had committed Britain to the painful,
expensive, and seemingly insoluble problem of the Mandate. So he made himself
believe that the Declaration had been really a reward for Weizmann' s acetone
process or alternatively, a propagandist gesture to influence American and
Bolshevik Jews- an essentially conflicting explanation, neither so simple nor so
reasonable as the truth.
John Henry Patterson (1867- 1947) grew up in a conservative Protestant home in
which he was intensely taught the Bible throughout his youth. " His familiarity
with the Bible, its stories, laws, geography, prophecies and morals, stood him in
good stead when his army superiors chose him to take the Zion Mule Corps." 
The Zion Mule Corps was a Jewish military unit made up of volunteers from
Palestine in the British Army during World War I. Lieutenant Colonel Patterson
wrote about his experiences in With the Judeans in the Palestine Campaign, which he had published in the 1930s.
Patterson' s views of Bible prophecy are evident in the following:
Britain' s share towards the fulfillment of prophecy must . . .
not be forgotten and the names of Mr. Lloyd George and Sir Arthur Balfour, two
men who were raised up to deal justly with Israel, will, I feel sure, live for
all time in the hearts and affections of the Jewish people. It is owing to the
stimulus given by the Balfour Declaration to the soul of Jewry throughout the
world that we are now looking upon the wonderful spectacle unfolding itself
before our eyes, of the people of Israel returning to the Land promised to
Abraham and his seed forever. In the ages to come it will always redound to
the glory of England that it was through her instrumentality that the Jewish
people were enabled to return and establish their National Home in the Promised
a Christian, Patterson describes the events of his day relating to the Jews as
" the fulfillment of prophecy." There were many others from this era who
believed similarly that played some kind of role in seeing that the Jews would
return to their homeland, but space prohibits their mention.
Herzel' s Number One
modern Jewish founder of Zionism is recognized to have been Theodor Herzl. His
earliest and closest advisor just happened to have been the Christian minister
William Hechler (1845- 1931) who was a zealous Christian Zionist. Rev. Hechler
was a pastor who was born in India of German missionary parents. He attended
college in Basel, Switzerland, which is where Herzl was living
when he first met him. " Hechler, bilingual in English and German from
childhood, . . . was like his father, a member of the Church of England." 
He studied theology in London and then in Tubingen, which was the center of
the liberal approach to the Scripture. However, " he was not persuaded by the
key arguments of the liberals and retained a distinctly creedal, doctrinal,
even literalist theology."  This makes sense, since anyone
holding to a liberal view of Scripture would not have come to love Israel, as
recommendation of the British court, he became private tutor to Prince Ludwig,
son of Frederick, the Grand Duke of Baden," says Pragai. " At the time he met
the Grand Duke' s nephew, the future Emperor William II of Germany. After the
Prince' s premature death, Hechler served in the ministry in England." 
" At Hechler' s behest, the Grand Duke built up a massive library of biblical
eschatology, biblical history, and archeology. At the Grand Duke' s request,
Hechler presented sermons and scholarly papers on these themes before the Court
and it' s visitors."  Hechler was one of the most
zealous Christian Zionists of all time. He seemed consumed with the goal of
Jewish restoration to their homeland.
1882 he had published a book entitled The Restoration of the Jews to
Palestine according to Prophecy.
In 1885, " Hechler was appointed Chaplain to the British Embassy in Vienna." 
In 1896 Hechler introduces himself to Herzl and thus becomes his most
important aid, advisor and advocate. It was said, " William Hechler would prove
to be ' not only the first, but the most constant and the most indefatigable of
Herzl' s followers' " . Hechler' s connections in both
Germany and England proved helpful to Herzl, as Hechler often arranged meetings
for Herzel with the highest officials of each nation. Hechler often told the
secular Herzl that what they were doing was " fulfilling prophecy." 
Merkley tells us that Herzl " grew to trust Hechler more and more. Indeed,
frequently, for brief but crucial periods, he virtually entrusted the whole
Zionist enterprise to William Hechler, and, though Hechler frequently annoyed
and embarrassed him, he never filed him."  Herzl said in his
diary of Hechler the following:
Of all the people who have been drawn to me by the ' movement' ,
the Rev Hechler is the finest and most fanciful . . . He frequently writes me
postcards, for no particular reason, telling me that he hasn' t been able to
sleep the previous night because Jerusalem came into his mind.
did Hechler mean when he would say that he and Herzl were helping to fulfill
prophecy? We get a glimpse from his writings:
Every detail of this remarkable Movement is of interest to us .
. . clergy, who stand as watchmen on the spiritual walls of Zion . . .
We are now seeing the stirrings
of the bones in Ezechiel' s valley: oh! may we soon see the glorious outpourings
of spiritual life predicted in Ezechiel 36: The religious element is, according
to God' s Word, to become the inspiring force, and, I think I can see that it is
the religious faith in Zionism, which is now already influencing the whole
nation of the Jews. . . . What food for reflection to every thoughtful student
of the Bible and of history!
The Jews are beginning to look
forward to and believe in the glorious future of their nation when, instead of
being a curse, they are once more to become a blessing to all.
was a true friend and supporter of Herzl and was at his side when he died in
1904. Later Hechler wrote, " I was with him at the beginning of his dreams, and
I was with him almost at the last moment of his earthly death." 
Christian Zionist, William Hechler continued to work hard for the cause that
almost solely possessed his mind by trying to convince Gentile Christians of
the worthiness of this cause. He died in 1931.
Blackstone and American
doubt, one of the most outstanding examples of a Christian Zionist is that of
American William E. Blackstone (1841- 1935). Blackstone was born in Adams, New
York and reared in a pious Methodist home, where he became a Christian at age
11. When he married he moved to
Chicago and became a very successful businessman. Even though he was
Methodist, he had become motivated by his dispensational view of Bible prophecy
to work for the reestablishment of national Israel.
a tireless, self-taught student of Bible and theology, became very interested
in what the Bible had to say about Israel. Like many Christians with similar
interests, this lead to attempts to evangelize Jewish people with the gospel.
He founded in 1887 the Chicago Hebrew Mission for the evangelization of the
Jews. Blackstone wrote the best-selling book Jesus Is Coming in 1908, which sold over a million copies in
three editions. " Probably no dispensational Bible teacher of his time had a
larger popular audience."  Concerning the restoration of the
Jews to their homeland, Blackstone said in his book:
But, perhaps, you say: " I don' t
believe the Israelites are to be restored to Canaan, and Jerusalem rebuilt."
Dear reader! have you read the
declarations of God' s word about it? Surely northing is more plainly stated in
then proceeds to list almost 14 pages of virtually nothing but Scriptural
citations supporting his belief. Then he concludes:
We might fill a book with
comments upon how Israel shall be restored, but all we have desired to do was
to show that it is an incontrovertible fact of prophecy, and that it is
intimately connected with our Lord' s appearing, and this we trust will have
though widely known throughout evangelicalism for a number of things, he is
best known for his tireless work on behalf of reestablishing the Jewish nation
in Israel. Timothy Weber says of Blackstone and dispensationalism the
Most dispensationalists were
satisfied to be mere observers of the Zionist movement. They watched and
analyzed it. They spoke out in favor of it. But seldom did they become
politically involved to promote its goals. There is one exception to the
general pattern, however, in the person of William E. Blackstone, one of the
most popular dispensational writers of his time.
1891, Blackstone the activist had obtained the signatures of 413 prominent
Americans and sent this document to President Benjamin Harrison advocating the
resettlement of persecuted Jews in Russia to a new homeland in what was then
called Palestine. Part of the petition read as
Why not give Palestine back to
them again? According to God' s distribution of nation it is their home- an
inalienable possession from which they were expelled by force. Under their
cultivation it was a remarkably fruitful land, sustaining millions of
Israelites, who industriously tilled its hillsides and valleys. They were
agriculturists and producers as well as a nation of great commercial
importance- the center of civilization and religion. . . .
We believe this is an
appropriate time for all nations, and especially the Christian nations of
Europe, to show kindness to Israel. A million of exiles, by their terrible
suffering are piteously appealing to our sympathy, justice, and humanity. Let
us now restore to them the land of which they were so cruelly despoiled by our
had the following to say about the signers:
Among the 413 signers listed by
their cities- Chicago, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and
Washington- were the opinion makers of the day: the editors and/or publishers of
the leading newspapers and religious periodicals (at least ninety-three
newspapers in all), the mayors of Chicago, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore,
as well as other officials, leading churchmen and rabbis, outstanding
businessmen, and in Washington, Speaker of the House of Representatives, T. B.
Reed, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Robert R. Hitt, and
William McKinley, of Ohio, who later became president.
though it accomplished little politically, Blackstone' s petition was said to
have had a galvanizing impact upon Americans as a whole. The petition received
widespread coverage in newspapers and generated a great amount of discussion
and acceptance. It sparked great interest among the Jews as a whole.
later made a similar appeal to President Woodrow Wilson, a Presbyterian
minister' s son who became a Christian Zionist, which influenced his acceptance
of the Balfour Declaration of 1917. It is not surprising that there is
today a forest in Israel named the " Blackstone Forest" in his honor. Neither
should it be surprising to learn that " William E. Blackstone, once dubbed the
' father of Zionism' for his political activities on behalf of the Jews." 
Like Hechler, Blackstone spent the rest of his life working for his beloved
cause until his death in 1935. While he was trilled with the developments of
the Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate after World War I, he basically
died disappointed that Israel had not yet become a nation. However, that would
indeed take place 13 years later.
Harry Truman and
Recognition of Israel
Harry S. Truman (1884- 1972) grew up in Missouri in a devout Christian home.
When Harry was born his parents were attended a Southern Baptist church which
both sets of grandparents help establish in Grandview. " His father, John
Anderson Truman was also a strong Baptist. Both his father and mother, Martha,
raised him in the conventional Baptist tradition." 
However, when Harry was six they moved to Independence and they attended the
First Presbyterian church at Lexington and Pleasant every Sunday until Harry
was 16. When Harry turned 18 and moved to Kansas City, he joined the Baptist
church by baptism and remained a Southern Baptist the rest of his life. Truman
said, " I' m a Baptist because I think that sect gives the common man the
shortest and most direct approach to God." 
growing up, Truman read the Bible through twice by age 12 and two more times by
the age of 14. " From Sunday School and his own reading of the Bible, he knew
many Biblical passages by heart and could quote many Bible verses at random." 
Young Harry was an avid reader and remained so throughout his entire life.
The Truman family owned a set of Great Men and Famous Women, edited by Charles Francis Horne. " According to
Truman' s daughter, Margaret, the book Truman preferred most after Horne' s
biographies was the Bible. There is even an indication that Truman considered
entering the ministry for a time."  Every indication reveals that
Harry and his sister Mary were very active in the church throughout their late
teens and early 20s.
about Truman' s Christian beliefs? " Truman had little interest in theological
issues, although he had an almost fundamentalist reverence for the Bible." 
Blending Truman' s great interest in history and the Bible, he once stated the
following about the United States:
Divine Providence has played a great part in our history. I
have the feeling that God has created us and brought us to our present position
of power and strength for some great purpose.
It is not given to us to know
fully what that purpose is, but I think we may be sure of one thing, and that
is that our country is intended to do all it can, in cooperating with other
nations to help created peace and preserve peace in the world. It is given to
defend the spiritual values- the moral code- against the vast forces of evil that
seek to destroy them.
premillennial eschatology dominated the Southern Baptist denomination, the
church into which Truman was born and to which he returned when he was
eighteen," observes Saddington, " Truman never expressed his acceptance of
premillennialism. It is even doubtful that he ever adequately understood it." 
Truman' s Christian focus was on the ethics of everyday living and tended to
shy away from theological systems. Truman' s Christian Zionism was a
combination of his attraction to the people of the Bible (the Jews) that grew
out of his familiarity of biblical details with humanitarian concern for a
persecuted people. " The stories of the Bible," said Truman, " were to me
stories about real people, and I felt I knew some of them better than actual people I knew." 
His Christian Zionist beliefs were well developed and deeply rooted long before
he became President of the United States. Presidential Counsel Clark Clifford
described Truman' s
own reading of ancient history and the Bible made him a
supporter of the idea of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, even when others who
were sympathetic to the plight of the Jews were talking of sending them to
places like Brazil. He did not need to be convinced by Zionists. . . . All in
all, he believed that the surviving Jews deserved some place that was
historically their own. I remember him talking once about the problem of
repatriating displaced persons. " Every one else who' s been dragged away from
his country has someplace to get back to," he said. " But the Jews have no place
to go." 
Christian Zionism came into play during two of the greatest decisions that he
would have to make during his Presidency: First, how should the U. S. vote on
the partition of Israel, which would result in the creation of the new Jewish
state, during the United Nations vote in late November of 1947? Second, should
the U. S. diplomatically recognize the newly formed nation when David
Ben-Gurion declared the birth of Israel on May 14, 1948?
both issues, virtually all of Truman' s personal advisors, the State Department
and the military establishment were opposed to him. Saddington notes:
Truman' s most trusted foreign policy advisers, almost to a man,
were dead-set against the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. The
president faced the formidable front of General Marshall, Under Secretary of
State Robert Lovett, Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, Policy Planning
Staff' s George Kennan, State Department Counsel Charles Bohlen, and Marshall' s
successor as secretary, Dean Acheson. Loy Henderson, director of NEA, who
arrived at the State Department just three days after FDR' s death, also opposed
the Zionist aims. William Yale, also at the State Department, said that the
creation of a Jewish state in Palestine would be " a major blunder in
statesmanship." When Secretary Forrestal reminded the president of the
critical need for Saudi Arabian oil in the event of war, Truman said he would
handle the situation in light of justice, not oil.
dealt with both issues by applying his " the buck stops here" approach with
tough, responsible decisions. " Truman instructed the American delegate at the
U. N., Herschel Johnson, to announce U. S.' s endorsement of the UNSCOP
partition plan on 11 October 1947."  Then, seventeen minutes after
David Ben-Gurion' s declaration of the new state of Israel, a cable was sent to
Israel and a message went to the press from the White House announcing the
This government has been informed that a Jewish State has been
proclaimed in Palestine, and recognition has been requested by the provisional
The United States recognizes the
provisional government as the de facto
authority of the new State of Israel.
Clifford said of President Truman' s decisions to favor Israel the following
As a student of the Bible, he believed in the historic
justification for a Jewish homeland, and it was a conviction with him that the
Balfour Declaration of 1917 constituted a solemn promise that fulfilled the
age-old hope and dream of the Jewish people.
his presidency, his longtime Jewish friend Eddie Jacobson introduced Truman to
a group of professors by saying, " ' This is the man who helped create the state
of Israel,' but Truman corrected him: ' What do you mean " helped to create" ? I
am Cyrus. I am Cyrus.' "  Truman was comparing himself to
Cyrus in the Old Testament who enabled the Jews to return to their land in the
sixth century b.c. from their
70-year captivity. Perhaps his response indicates that Truman had indeed found
the main reason as to why God' s providence placed him into the Presidency at
the time in which he arrived. In fact, many who have sifted through the data
believe that had Franklin Roosevelt remained President, he would not have made
the same decisions as those made by the cussing Baptist from Missouri.
It appears to my biblically informed, evangelical mind that God raised-up
Harry S. Truman and put him in the White House for the purpose of providing a
key human agent through whom He used, as He did Cyrus centuries ago, to restore
Israel to her land.
has greatly used many Gentile Christians during the last few hundred years that
have prepared the way for Israel' s return to their land. God will continue to
use believers in the future who believe His prophecies about a national future
for His people Israel. Yet, today there are a growing number of voices saying
that we are dangerous, heretical, and our influence should be resisted.
" The danger isn' t going away," declares Gershom Gorenberg. " Not as long as
people think they know what God has to do next and where He has to do it, and
are terribly impatient for Him to begin."  After suggesting
elsewhere in his book that dispensational, Christian Zionists could set into
motion a self-fulfilling prophecy, Timothy Weber oddly concludes the
opposite when he says:
Since the end of the Six-Day
War, then, dispensationalists have increasingly moved from observers to
participant-observers. They have acted consistently with their convictions
about the coming last days in ways that make their prophecies appear to be
self-fulfilling. It would be too easy- and completely unwarranted- to conclude
that American prophecy believers are responsible for the mess the world is in,
that their beliefs have produced the current quagmire in the Middle East.
Given the history of the region, the long-standing ethnic and religious hatreds
there, and the attempt of many nations, both Western and Arab, to carry out
their own purposes in the Holy Land, it is easy to imagine the current impasse
even if John Nelson Darby and his views had never existed.
such a conclusion I have to ask, " Why the fear-mongering?"
demonstrated in this essay, Christian Zionists have not always had it easy.
Nevertheless, like those who have gone before us, we will stand on biblical
conviction as we constantly watch for the further outworking of God' s
historical plan, revolving around His people Israel and His any-moment return.
 Jane Lampman, " Mixing prophecy and politics," Christian
Science Monitor (July 7, 2004),
Internet edition accessed July 14, 2004.
 Timothy P. Weber, On The Road to Armageddon: How
Evangelical Became Israel' s Best Friend
(Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004).
 Weber, Armageddon, pp. 249- 68.
 " Major US Christian Denomination Backs Divestment
From Israel," Arutz Sheva, Israel National News.com, July 16, 2004. Internet
 Donald E.
Wagner, Anxious for Armageddon: A Call to Partnership for Middle Eastern and
Western Christians (Scottsdale, PA:
Herald Press, 1995). Grace Halsell, Forcing God's Hand: Why Millions
Pray for a Quick Rapture- and Destruction of Planet Earth (Washington, DC: Crossroads International Publishing,
1999). Stephen R. Sizer, "Dispensational Approaches to the Land," in
The Land of Promise: Biblical, Theological and Contemporary Perspectives, ed. Philip Johnston & Peter Walker (Downers
Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000). Stephen R. Sizer, Christian Zionists: On the Road
to Armageddon (Colorado Springs, CO:
Presence Ministries International, 2004).
 Irenaeus, Against Heresies: Book V, Chapter 30, Paragraph 4.
 Carl F. Ehle, Jr., " Prolegomena to Christian Zionism
in America: The Views of Increase Mather and William E. Blackstone Concerning
the Doctrine of the Restoration of Israel," Ph.D. Dissertation at New York
University, 1977, p. 31.
 R. Kendall Soulen, The God of Israel and Christian
Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress
Press, 1996), p. 35.
 Peter Richardson, Israel In The Apostolic Church (Cambridge: At The University Press, 1969), p. 2.
Richardson contends: " In spite of the many attributes, characteristics,
prerogatives of the latter which are applied to the former, the Church is not
called Israel in the NT. The continuity between Israel and the Church is
partial; and the discontinuity between Israel b.c.
and its continuation a.d. is
partial," p. 7.
 Soulen, God of Israel, p. 50. Soulen adds: " In addition to narrowing the
thematic focus of the Hebrew Scriptures to the problem of sin and redemption,
the standard model also foreshortens the Hebrew Scriptures into a temporal
sense. As perceived through the lens of the standard model, the Hebrew Scriptures
do not relate a story that extends indefinitely into the future," p. 53.
 Jeffrey S. Siker, Disinheriting The Jews: Abraham
in Early Christian Controversy
(Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1991), p. 194.
 Ehle, " Prolegomena," p. 32.
 Robert E. Lerner, " Millennialism," in John J.
Collins, Bernard McGinn, and Stephen J. Stein, editors, The Encyclopedia of
Apocalypticism, 3 Vols. (New York:
Continuum, 2000), Vol. 2, p. 356.
 Marjorie Reeves, The Influence of Prophecy in the
Later Middle Ages (London: Oxford
University Press, 1969), p. 14.
 Reeves, Influence of Prophecy, p. 6, f.n. 2.
 Reeves, Influence of Prophecy, p. 382.
 Reeves, Influence of Prophecy, p. 304.
 Ehle, " Prolegomena," pp. 41- 42.
 Lerner, " Millennialism," p. 353.
 James A. Saddington, " Prophecy and Politics: A
History of Christian Zionism in the Anglo- American Experience, 1800- 1948," PhD
Dissertation at Bowling Green State University, 1996, p. 32.
 Barbara W. Tuchman, Bible and Sword: England and
Palestine from the Bronze Age to Balfour (New York: Ballatine Press, 1956), p. 93.
 Michael J. Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment:
Christians and the Return to the Promised Land (London: Vallentine, Mitchell, 1985), p. 10
 See Douglas J. Culver, Albion and Ariel: British
Puritanism and the Birth of Political Zionism (New York: Peter Lang, 1995), pp. 51- 70.
 Culver, Albion and Ariel, p. 60.
 Tuchman, Bible and Sword, p. 122.
 Tuchman, Bible and Sword, p. 125.
 Culver, Albion and Ariel, p. 73.
 Culver, Albion and Ariel, p. 73.
 Culver, Albion and Ariel, pp. 71-73; Ehle, " Prolegomena," pp. 47- 48.
 Lawrence J. Epstein, Zion' s Call: Christian
Contributions to the Origins and Development of Israel (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1984), p. 7
 Culver, Albion and Ariel, pp. 75- 78; Ehle, " Prolegomena," p. 49.
 Peter Toon, " The Latter-Day Glory," in Toon, editor, Puritans,
the Millennium and the Future of Israel: Puritan Eschatology 1600 to 1660 (Cambridge: James Clarke & Co., 1970), p. 30.
 Malcolm Hedding, " Christian Zionism," essay on the
website of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, February 18, 2001, p.
 Culver, Albion and Ariel, pp. 79- 82; Ehle, " Prolegomena," pp. 53- 56.
 Robert G. Clouse, " The Rebirth of Millenarianism," in
Toon, Puritans, p. 56.
 Culver, Albion and Ariel, pp. 89- 93; Ehle, " Prolegomena," pp. 51- 52.
 Culver, Albion and Ariel, p. 94.
 Cited in Culver, Albion and Ariel, p. 93.
 Culver, Albion and Ariel, p. 101.
 Culver, Albion and Ariel, p. 101.
 Epstein, Zion' s Call, p. 8.
 Toon, " The Latter-Day Glory," p. 32.
 Culver, Albion and Ariel, pp. 102-03.
 Culver, Albion and Ariel, pp. 116-17.
 Ehle, " Prolegomena," p. 61.
 Culver provides the most detailed information
concerning the seventeenth century British Puritan development of
Restorationism in Albion and Ariel.
Tuchman' s Bible and Sword also
provides deep insight into this movement.
 Martha Lou Farmer, " They Believed the Scriptures- The
Story of Christian Zionism," Bridges For Peace website, May 21, 2004, p. 2; see
also Ehle, " Prolegomena," p. 79.
 Toon, " Conclusion," in Toon, Puritans, p. 126.
 Hedding, " Christian Zionism," p. 4.
 Grace Halsell, Prophecy and Politics: Militant
Evangelists on the Road to Nuclear War (Westport,
CT: Lawrence Hill & Company, 1986), p. 135.
 Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment, p. 15.
 Saddington, " Prophecy and Politics," p. 38.
 Epstein, Zion' s Call, p. 14.
 Saddington, " Prophecy and Politics," p. 38.
 Saddington, " Prophecy and Politics," pp. 34- 38.
 Ehle, " Prolegomena," p. 61.
 Ehle, " Prolegomena," p. 66; Toon, " The Latter-Day
Glory," pp. 34- 36.
 Ehle, " Prolegomena," p. 67.
 Le Roy Froom, The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers:
The Historical Development of Prophetic Interpretation, 4 Vols. (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald,
1950), Vol. III, pp. 60, 66.
 Ehle, " Prolegomena," pp. 67, 80.
 Ehle, " Prolegomena," abstract.
 Ehle, " Prolegomena," p. 186.
 Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment, p. 49.
 Farmer, " They Believed," p. 4.
 Iain Murray, The Puritan Hope: Revival and the
Interpretation of Prophecy (Edinburgh:
Banner of Truth, 1971), 197. See also Froom, Prophetic Faith, Vol. III, p. 706 and Grayson Carter, Anglican
Evangelicals: Protestant Secessions From The Via Media, c. 1800- 1850 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), pp. 155,
 Murray, Puritan Hope, p. 197.
 J. C. Ryle, Are You Ready For The End of Time? (Guernsey, Scotland: Guernsey Press  2001), pp.
 Tuchman, Bible and Sword, p. 176.
 Georgina Battiscombe, Shaftesbury, a biography of
the Seventh Earl: 1801- 1885 (London:
Constable, 1974), pp. 100-03.
 Tuchman, Bible and Sword, p. 178.
 Battiscombe, Shaftesbury, p. 103.
 Tuchman, Bible and Sword, p. 202.
 Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment, p. 45.
 Tuchman, Bible and Sword, p. 178.
 Wagner, Anxious for Armageddon, p. 92.
 Saddington, " Prophecy and Politics," p. 62.
 Saddington, " Prophecy and Politics," p. 62.
 Battiscombe, Shaftesbury, pp. 119- 20.
 Tuchman, Bible and Sword, p. 175.
 Ami Isseroff, " British Support for Jewish
2003), p. 1.
 Epstein, Zion' s Call, p. 35.
 Epstein, Zion' s Call, p. 37.
 Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment, p. 22.
 Tuchman, Bible and Sword, pp. 216- 17.
 Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment, p. 23.
 Saddington, " Prophecy and Politics," pp. 62- 63.
 Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment, p. 48.
 Tuchman, Bible and Sword, p. 209.
 Saddington, " Prophecy and Politics," p. 63.
 Saddington, " Prophecy and Politics," p. 63.
 Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment, p. 70.
 Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment, p. 53.
 Tuchman, Bible and Sword, p. 270.
 Tuchman, Bible and Sword, p. 272.
 Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment, p. 55.
 See Epstein, Zion' s Call, pp. 48- 50; Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment, p. 23; Tuchman, Bible and Sword, pp. 236- 40.
 Isseroff, " British Support," p. 1.
 Epstein, Zion' s Call, p. 26.
 Hence the title of her book, Bible and Sword, Tuchman said, " The origins of Britain' s role in the
restoration of Israel, which is the subject of the following pages, are to be
found in two motives, religious and political." p. xiii.
 For an overview of Darby' s teachings on this matter
see Weber, Armageddon, pp. 20- 23.
 See Carter, Anglican Evangelicals, pp. 195- 248.
 Donald E. Wagner, Anxious for Armageddon (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1995).
 Wagner, Armageddon, p. 89.
 Wagner, Armageddon, p. 91.
 Stephen R. Sizer, Christian Zionists: On the Road
to Armageddon (Colorado Springs:
Presence Ministries International, 2004), p. 14
 Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment, p. 20; Epstein, Zion' s Call, p. 39; Saddington, " Prophecy and Politics," pp.
64- 65; Ehle, " Prolegomena," pp. 231- 32.
 Bickersteth wrote a number of books on prophecy
including The Restoration of the Jews to Their Own Land, in Connection with
Their Future Conversion and the Final Blessedness of Our Earth, 2nd edition (London: L. Seeley, 1841).
 Battiscombe, Shaftesbury, p. 99. Carter makes the same observation, Anglican
Evangelicals, p. 157.
 For an account of Napoleon' s Restoration efforts see
Tuchman, Bible and Sword, pp.
 Epstein, Zion' s Call, p. 16.
 Epstein, Zion' s Call, p. 17.
 Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment, pp. 49- 50.
 Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment, p. 51.
 Epstein, Zion' s Call, p. 40.
 Epstein, Zion' s Call, p. 41; see also Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment, pp. 75- 77.
 Epstein, Zion' s Call, p. 40.
 Epstein, Zion' s Call, p. 40.
 Arthur James Balfour, The Foundations of Belief
Being Notes Introductory to the Study of Theology (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1895).
 Tuchman, Bible and Sword, p. 311.
 Blanche E. C. Dugdale, Arthur James Balfour: First
Earl of Balfour, 1848- 1906 (New York:
G. P. Putnam' s Sons, 1937), p. 324.
 Dugdale, Balfour, p. 325.
 Photocopy in Encyclopaedia Judaica, 17 vols. (Jerusalem: Keter Publishing House, n.d.),
vol. 4, p. 132.
 Cited by Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment, p. 123.
 Tuchman, Bible and Sword, p. 312.
 Saddington, " Prophecy and Politics," pp. 176- 77.
 Tuchman, Bible and Sword, p. 83.
 Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment, p. 87.
 Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment, p. 271.
 Tuchman, Bible and Sword, p. 337.
 Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment, p. 80.
 Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment, p. 80.
 Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment, p. 88.
 For more detail about these individuals see Pragai, Faith
and Fulfillment; Tuchman, Bible
and Sword; Epstein, Zion' s Call; Paul C. Merkley, The Politics of Christian
Zionism: 1891- 1948 (London, Frank
Cass, 1998); Saddington, " Prophecy and Politics;" Bruce R. Crew, " A Structural
Framework For British Geo-Political Perceptions Toward Land as Sacred Place:
Christian Zionism and the Palestine Question, 1917- 39," (Ph.D. Dissertation,
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1995).
 Merkley, Politics of Christian Zionism, p. 11.
 Merkley, Politics of Christian Zionism, p. 11.
 Merkley, Politics of Christian Zionism, p. 12.
 Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment, p. 58.
 Merkley, Politics of Christian Zionism, p. 12.
 Merkley, Politics of Christian Zionism, p. 3.
 Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment, p. 59.
 Merkley, Politics of Christian Zionism, p. 25.
 Merkley, Politics of Christian Zionism, p. 17.
 Merkley, Politics of Christian Zionism, p. 23.
 Merkley, Politics of Christian Zionism, p. 23.
 Pragai, Faith and Fulfillment, pp. 60- 61.
 Cited by Saddington, " Prophecy and Politics," p. 128.
 Weber, Road to Armageddon, p. 102.
 Weber, Road to Armageddon, p. 103.
 William E. Blackstone, Jesus Is Coming, 3rd edition (New York: Fleming H. Revell,
1932), p. 162.
 Blackstone, Jesus Is Coming, p. 176.
 Weber, Road to Armageddon, p. 102.
 Ehle, " Prolegomena," pp. 240- 44.
 Ehle, " Prolegomena," pp. 241- 42.
 Ehle, " Prolegomena," pp. 242- 43.
 Ehle, " Prolegomena," p. 243.
 Ehle, " Prolegomena," pp. 290-93.
 Ehle, " Prolegomena," abstract. This fact is
recognized by Benjamin Netanyahu in his book, A Place Among The nations:
Israel and the World (New York:
Bantam, 1993), pp. 16- 17.
 Saddington, " Prophecy and Politics," p. 362.
 Merkley, Politics of Christian Zionism, p. 160.
 Saddington, " Prophecy and Politics," p. 363.
 Saddington, " Prophecy and Politics," p. 363.
 Merkley, Politics of Christian Zionism, p. 161.
 Merkley, Politics of Christian Zionism, pp. 162- 63.
 Saddington, " Prophecy and Politics," p. 364.
 Merkley, Politics of Christian Zionism, p. 159.
 Cited in Saddington, " Prophecy and Politics," pp.
 Saddington, " Prophecy and Politics," p. 436.
 Saddington, " Prophecy and Politics," p. 448.
 Merkley, Politics of Christian Zionism, p. 190.
 Cited in Saddington, " Prophecy and Politics," p. 464.
 Merkley, Politics of Christian Zionism, p. 191.
 See Saddington, " Prophecy and Politics," pp. 347- 54;
Merkley, Politics of Christian Zionism, pp. 149- 54; John Goodall Snetsinger, " Truman and The Creation of
Israel," (Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University, 1969); Earl Dean Huff,
" Zionist Influences Upon U. S. Foreign Policy: A Study of American Policy
Toward The Middle East From The Time of The Struggle For Israel to The Sinai
Conflict," (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Idaho, 1971).
 James Solheim, " Jerusalem conference calls Christian
Zionism a ' heresy,' " in Episcopal News Service, April 28, 2004, accessed on the
 Gershom Gorenberg, The End of Days: Fundamentalism
and The Struggle for The Temple Mount (New
York: The Free Press, 2000), p. 232.
 Weber, Armageddon, pp. 249- 68.
 Weber, Armageddon, p. 266.