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Is Palestinian Liberation Theology Biblical? Part 1

Updated: Mar 9

Ron Cantor

President of Shelanu TV

Tel Aviv, Israel

For most evangelicals, the narrative of the Gospel climaxes in Yeshua’s death and resurrection. “Salvation is found in no one else” (Acts 4:12 NIV). But others see Jesus in a different light—separated from his ultimate task. “Under this rubric he has been thought of as mystic, moral teacher, religious visionary, political and social reformer, cultural critic and renewal movement leader.”[1]

Recreating Jesus

We tend to re-create Jesus into our own image, while he created us in his image (Gen 1:26). “Albert Schweitzer wrote a detailed exposé of how nineteenth-century portrayals of Jesus regularly re-created [Jesus] in the image of their authors.”[2] And this continues today.

Feminist scholars discovered feminist Jesus. Many Black pastors see Jesus like Moses, freeing the slaves. Social justice advocates, like Shane Claiborne, create Social Reformer Jesus,[3] campaigning against the death penalty. There is LGBTQ-friendly Jesus. More recently, we’ve seen American Revolutionary Jesus, who carries a gun on his sash and is more concerned about losing his rights than winning the lost. They find a sliver of truth about the Messiah but sometimes deny His greater purpose. They’ll promote passages that justify their cause while ignoring other passages that contradict it.

Palestinian Jesus

“Palestinian Jesus” is the creation of Palestinian Liberation Theology (PLT). Liberation theology is the Central and South American-birthed belief that attempts “to combine Marxist social and economic analysis with Christian theology.”[4] “It argues that we should reconstruct the whole of Christian theology by seeing it through the ‘axis of the oppressor and the oppressed.’”[5]

The biggest problem with liberation theologies, as well as the other ones mentioned above, are they “privilege change in society—sociopolitical advancement—over the forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God the Creator.”[6]