From time to time, pastors hear about Root Source and wonder what we are trying to accomplish. If the Q&A below does not address all your questions, please do reach out to us!
Who subscribes to Root Source?
We have found that the most common profile of a subscriber to Root Source is a Christian who is strong in their faith in Christ, walks in community with other believers, and has a love for Israel, the Jewish people, and/or the Old Testament scriptures. Of course, many pastors fall into this category and so we do have pastors and small group leaders on our site who use what they learn to enrich their own teaching. Another typical profile of subscriber is a person who lives in a remote rural area, or a remote part of the world, and wants to feel connected to the nation of Israel.
Jews and Christians believe different things. How is it beneficial for Christians to learn from Jews who do not see Jesus as the Messiah?
Probably the best way to answer this question is to request that you “Try Root Source out yourself for a month, and see what it is like” and then you will know. Barring that, here are a few comments that may help explain it. One of the major discoveries that Root Source students make is how complementary the teaching is, and how it augments their Christian faith, not contradicting it. The “root source” that Jews and Christians share is the Hebrew scriptures. Jews have been studying them for thousands of years, and have made incredibly insightful observations about them. Jewish thought allows disagreement on texts and so just like in the Christian world, there can be multiple Jewish views on what a passage means and how it can be applied to life. Therefore the teaching on Root Source is never from the position of: “here is THE way to understand this text”, but rather “here are some of the ways that this text has been viewed throughout Jewish history, and I (as the teacher) particularly appreciate the view of this particular rabbi who said this.”
What about the keeping of the Law?
Is that not a big area of disagreement? Root Source teachers are Orthodox Jews. They believe that the words of the Bible are inspired by God, true and applicable today, and that Jews should strive to follow the law as written. That being said, you will find several things in our the teachings. First, the Law is not a main topic or focus of the classes. Second, Jews do NOT encourage non-Jews to keep the law; there isn’t even a basis within Judaism for making that request. So when a certain commandment is mentioned in classes, it is not taught with an intent to persuade, but simply to inform. Third, the stereotype that many Christians have of Jews being “legalistic” is often shattered for Christians who subscribe to Root Source. You just won’t find an attitude within Root Source of a Jew knowing best, or having all the answers. In fact, Jewish teachers know that one of the best ways they themselves can learn from others is to teach and hear and respond the questions being asked.
Are you part of the Hebrew Roots movement?
No. Our teachers are Orthodox Jews.
What is the background of your Christian co-founder?
Bob O’Dell, the Christian co-founder of Root Source, was saved in a Baptist church, and has attended Baptist, Methodist, Church of Christ, and both charismatic and non-charismatic non-denominational church gatherings over the years. His work in hi-tech put him in daily contact with Israeli Jews for over 25 years, and he was blessed to have had the opportunity to visit Israel 40 times in that period. His beliefs are mainstream within the Christian faith (e.g., the Apostle’s Creed).
Does Root Source teach about the End Times?
Yes, our teaching includes many topics and this is one of them. The Jewish and Christian views of the End Times are surprisingly similar. Both groups desire and pray fervently for the coming of the Messiah, and see his coming (or second coming in the case of Christians), for similar purposes.
What does the book Israel FIRST!, written by Gidon and Bob in 2015, have to do with the activities of Root Source?
The marketing of a book about the Blood Moons, Shemitah, Genesis 12:3 promises to Israel, and the Jubilee, was not a part of the original vision of Root Source. Gidon had an idea to leverage Bob’s study of those topics into free video lessons in March 2015, and ultimately a book in September 2015 that we believe was the first time ever that an Orthodox Jew and an Evangelical Christian co-wrote a book on Christian prophecy. The book was the #1 New Release in the Amazon category “Christian Prophecy” during the end of the last Shemitah Year and the final Blood Moon. While the “Blood Moons” is a topic that has troubled many pastors, our perspective takes those concerns very seriously, while also presenting a fresh perspective that says “Yes, the Blood Moons have meaning, but no, they do not predict Armageddon nor Messiah.” The book and free videos have brought awareness to tens of thousands of Christians to the larger work of Root Source.
From where do you get your theology of interaction between Christians and Jews?
About one year after starting Root Source, and within six months of bringing on Jewish teachers and getting the site up and running, we sought out Dr. Marvin Wilson, who wrote the book entitled Our Father Abraham: The Jewish Roots of Christianity more than 25 years ago, which has become the standard text for this field. After setting up Root Source we were amazed to discover that our activity and approach, as well as the reasons for our approach, were captured beautifully in this book. We asked Dr. Wilson to interview us, which he did over the course of a full day in 2015, asking many pointed questions to us. The result of that lengthy interview was the endorsement statement and video we posted on Root Source. The full interview was also posted on Root Source, (here are the links for parts one, two, three and four) where Dr. Wilson spoke about how he sees the relationship between Christians and Jews, and the role of Root Source.
Has Root Source made an impact in Jewish Christian relations?
The following short video gives Bob’s personal perspective on that topic, after about one year of full operation of the Root Source site.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments or you can email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Also please let us know if we can help you in any way to educate your congregation about Israel or the Jewish People.