Stan Telchin. Grand Rapids: Chosen Books, 1997. 272 pages. $10.99, paper.
The way the Jewish community deals with its members who convert to Christ is to make the converts into outcasts. They are reviled with all manner of accusations and often referred to as “self-hating Jews.”
Nevertheless, when Stan Telchin titled his book Abandoned, he wasn’t referring to the rejection he experienced by his fellow Jews. The abandonment of which he writes is the Church’s neglect of the Jewish people.
Dr. Arthur Glasser, Dean Emeritus of the School of World Mission at Fuller Theological Seminary, says it very well in his foreword: “In this book, a deeply committed Jewish believer reaches over the mountains of Gentile barbarism and ‘Christian’ anti-Semitism that destroyed many of his people, and speaks in a friendly fashion to Gentile Christians about his people.”
Those who came to know Stan Telchin and his story through his earlier book Betrayed will recognize the same Stan Telchin twenty years later, now an experienced and successful pastor with an even greater love for Yeshua and a special love for the Church. This book represents the distillation of insight and wisdom of a man who learns from life experiences.
It takes someone who has the high character of Stan Telchin to accomplish what this book does, which is to present a picture of the way the Church has mistreated the Jewish people through the ages and yet find much in the Church to love.
While Abandoned presents facts in anecdotal manner, it does not rely on the observations and interpretations of the writer alone. In order to sharpen his insights, Telchin has gathered the wit, wisdom, opinions and suggestions of virtually everyone involved in Jewish evangelism as well as any others whose thoughts and deeds have been important for the Jewish community.
For example, he cites Dr. David Larsen for this eye-opening fact: “While making up less than one-half of one percent of the world’s population, Jews have received 12 percent of all Nobel Prizes awarded.” Or in order to answer the question, “Who is a Jew?” Telchin cites the Nazis, the synagogue, the state of Israel and—as the final authority—the Bible.
Thus, instead of the voice of one man, we have a harmonious and hence more authoritative work through which the author is able to advise the reader of what he or she can do to make things different.
Telchin shows us several Jewish believers and how they came to faith. For example, on page 196 he tells of Marilyn, who says: “I began to attend various churches, including a Unitarian church, sort of New Age cult, and just about every denomination. I even went to an astrologer and practiced meditation. I continued to feel emptiness and a longing to know God. It wasn’t until my sister-in-law, who is a born-again Christian, left a Bible at my house that I began to get the answers I so desperately needed.…”
Abandoned is written as a call to action on the part of the Church, but it is not merely an admonition. Telchin speaks in concrete terms of what an individual can do and what a church can do to show the love of Christ to the Jewish people. This is the kind of book you want to give to a Christian friend who loves the Jews and wants to know how to show that love.
The value for Messianic Jews is that Stan Telchin has kept abreast of the field of Jewish evangelism. He addresses most of the problems between the Jewish community and the Church in a most irenic manner.
Instead of declining in his senior years, Telchin’s ministry has burgeoned. At this time, he is probably the most sought-after spokesperson among all the Jews who believe in Jesus. The book is well supported with indices and bibliography.