First in a series of open letters to well-known individuals.
Let me start right out by saying, I’m a fan. You first came onto my radar during the 2016 campaign, and right away I appreciated your adherence to conservative principles without selling your soul for a ticket on the Trump train. Since then I have watched countless videos, subscribed to your podcast, and been an avid reader of the Daily Wire. Your eloquent, winsome defense of conservative viewpoints, your fearlessness in the face of overt racism from the alt-right and bullying from the left, your willingness to sit down and talk face-to-face with people who disagree with you, and your obvious devotion to your family (did I hear somewhere that your wife is a doctor?) – all of these things have caused my respect and appreciation for you to skyrocket since then. And, full disclosure, I sometimes use Ben Shapiro Thug Life videos as therapy.
As I have listened to you and read your articles over at the Daily Wire, one thing that has never ceased to intrigue me is your treatment of religious subjects. As an Orthodox Jew, you are obviously very knowledgeable in the Old Testament, but you seem to have a fair grasp on the New Testament and Christian theology as well. The talk you gave at Liberty University is a fine example. It’s possible those students got more theology that day than in most of the other chapel services they listen to.
And this is where I want to camp out for the rest of this letter. I’ve heard you talk to several different Christian thinkers, theologians, and podcasters over the last couple years. There are always plenty of areas of agreement, and we are on the same side many of the most important issues of our day. But nobody ever seems to bring up the elephant in the room – which seems odd to me, because normally you are not one avoid any elephants in any rooms. The elephant I am referring to, of course, is the identity of Jesus Christ.
Now, perhaps these Christians who have interviewed you for their podcasts or talked to you on yours have spent time “off camera” talking to you about this. I would hope so, because for a Christian, this is what we are supposed to be talking about, more than anything else. I would hate to think that these Christian men and women have decided to set aside the central message of Christianity in favor of a political alliance. Put another way, I hope my Christian brethren with whom you have had contact care more about your eternal soul than they do about your politics.
I hope that is the case…but my observation of the behavior of the “Religious Right” over the years leaves me very doubtful. So, now I sit here at my computer to make a feeble attempt at demonstrating that at least one of us cares more about you as a person than your political message – great as that latter might be. Simply put, I want to talk to you about Jesus.
As I mentioned before, it is clear that you know that Old Testament very well. At least, you know the stories and have a decent notion as to the moral lessons God is trying to teach us through them. But, have you tumbled yet to the overarching message? Have you seen the main plot, to which all the other story-lines are mere subplots? Have you noticed the main character, for whom Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Daniel are supporting characters?
Spoiler alert: the main plot is the salvation of mankind from its sin, and the main character is Jesus.
You may find this odd, but to be perfectly honest, it boggles the mind how anybody can read the Old Testament and come away not fully convinced that it points continuously, consistently, and clearly to Christ. From Genesis 3:15 to Malachi 4, the references to Christ become more and more explicit, precise, and frequent. That’s what I want to show you through this letter, and if we could sit down and talk, that is what I would want to talk about.
And since I’m writing to the editor and chief of the Daily Wire, and because imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I’ll do this in typical Daily Wire fashion:
What you need to know: 12 times the Old Testament specifically mentions Jesus
The mysterious priesthood of Melchizedek
The Passover lamb
The prominence of the tribe of Judah
The sacrificial system of ancient Israel
King David’s “my Lord”
Micah’s prophecy about where the Messiah would be born
Isaiah’s prophecy about where the Messiah would begin to minister
Isaiah’s prophecy about the Messiah’s calling of the Gentiles
Zechariah’s foreshadowing of how, and for how much, Jesus would be betrayed
Keep in mind: this is only a partial list. For more detail, you can read here.
I am convinced, Ben, that if you study this list, and apply your prodigious mind, honestly, to the passages I have mentioned, their context, and their purpose, you will come to one inescapable conclusion: the christocentricity of the Old Testament is a fact.
Now I understand that, for an Orthodox Jew, the idea of accepting the claims of Christ can, for a multitude of reasons, bring up some severely negative emotions. History, family, and tradition conspire to make this especially difficult. Yet, I would like to point to the words of a very wise man, who has this phrase pinned to the top of his Twitter feed:
Facts don’t care about your feelings.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) 5 de fevereiro de 2016
To wrap this up: I thank God that you are on “our side” in the cultural battles we are facing. It is unlikely that I will get to meet you in this life. However, it is my great hope and prayer that one day, after all the fighting is done, you and I will get to hang out together at this lit afterparty.