David Reagan - Tom McCall on Jewish Evangelism
In our program today we are going to be talking with an amazing man who has spent most of his life involved in Jewish evangelism. I’m going to ask him how a Gentile like him got involved in such a ministry, and how his efforts lead to a ministry with one of the best known Messianic Jews of the 20th Century, namely, Zola Levitt. Stay tuned.
Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. My special guest today is both a friend and a ministry colleague whom I have known and admired for many years. His name is Dr. Tom McCall. Tom, welcome to Lamb & Lion Ministries.
Dr. McCall: Thank you so much, Dr. Reagan. And by the way I did an interview with you some years ago at the Pre-Trib Conference.
Dr. Reagan: That’s right, here in Dallas.
Dr. McCall: So, I guess this is turn around fair play.
Dr. Reagan: That’s right. I am glad to have you here though for the first time in our studio.
Dr. McCall: Thank you.
Dr. Reagan: And I want to jump right into this thing immediately, and just ask you: How in the world did a Gentile like you get so heavily involved in Jewish evangelism?
Dr. McCall: There’s a very common expression among the Jewish people when a Jew is in some kind of profession that’s unusual. They say, what’s a nice Jewish boy like you doing in such and such a profession?
Dr. Reagan: Right.
Dr. McCall: But, I turned it around, or they turn it around with me, what’s a nice Gentile boy like you doing in Jewish missions? So, it’s an interesting story. I guess it all began when I was in high school, I had, my best friend was a Jewish fella.
Dr. Reagan: Oh.
Dr. McCall: And he and I just spent a lot of time together, and had a great relationship. And we were getting acquainted with each other. I didn’t know anything about Jewish people. I’m a fifth generation Texan raised in Highland Park in Dallas. And we just never had much contact with Jews. But, we got acquainted. And one of the deals we made was I would go with him to synagogue on the Sabbath, and he would come with me to the Baptist church on Sunday.
Dr. Reagan: Okay.
Dr. McCall: We did that. And he didn’t think much of Christianity, and I didn’t understand much about Judaism, but we got acquainted and that was my first exposure. Then when I went to the University of Texas, the first Jewish Christian I ever met was Dr. Harry Marko, fascinating guy. He was from Romania. But when he came to this country he was not in–he didn’t want to go through the whole medical process again, so to make a long story short he received Christ from a hitchhiker.
Dr. Reagan: From a hitchhiker?
Dr. McCall: Yeah. He picked up a guy, and it was sort of like Philip the evangelist.
Dr. Reagan: Yes, right.
Dr. McCall: And this guy led him to Christ.
Dr. Reagan: Did you meet this man at the University of Texas?
Dr. McCall: I met him in Austin. He was at that time he was what they called a field evangelist for the American Board of Missions to the Jews.
Dr. Reagan: Oh, yes, one of the greatest of all Jewish evangelistic organizations back in the early 20th Century.
Dr. McCall: Exactly, yes. Yes. It was begun by Leopold Cohn who was a Rabbi from Europe.
Dr. Reagan: And so, did you get involved with that organization?
Dr. McCall: Eventually, yes. But at any rate I met Dr. Marko and he came and spoke at our church. And then he started a Bible class in his home and we attended that and learned a lot about the Jewish people, about Jewish evangelism.
Dr. Reagan: And about the Jewish religion?
Dr. McCall: Yes. So, we kept in contact with him. I met the woman who was to become my wife there at the Harris Memorial Baptist Church in Austin. So, she was part of the Bible class that we went to with Dr. Marko. Then I had received Christ when I was about 16 years old, and part of the experience was through the Billy Graham Crusade in Dallas. And got introduced to the Navigators, and other Christian ministries. When I finished college I went to–
Dr. Reagan: What did you major in at the University of Texas?
Dr. McCall: History.
Dr. Reagan: Okay, so you didn’t feel called at that point and time to be in the ministry?
Dr. McCall: Oh, no. No. My dad was a lawyer, he was in bond law, was involved in the construction of many damns and lakes throughout Texas. But, he wanted me to come into his practice.
Dr. Reagan: He wanted you to go to law school?
Dr. McCall: Wanted me to go to law school and come into his practice.
Dr. Reagan: Did you go to law school?
Dr. McCall: I did not but I was beginning the call into some form of ministry. So, I worked at his place during the summers. And we’d go up on the elevator and he’d introduce me to people and he say, “This is my son, Tom, I wanted him to come into my law practice but he’s fallen from law to grace.”
Dr. Reagan: Fallen from law to grace. I love it. Your dad had a sense of humor.
Dr. McCall: He did. He did indeed. But anyway I went up to Glen Eyrie with the Navigators and so forth. And began to–Oh, one of my experiences was I attended a Bible class that studied the book of Romans. We went chapter-by-chapter. Each week a chapter. We got 1-8, we got to the eighth chapter we were in cloud nine; nothing will separate us from the love of Christ. And the leader said, “Now, next week we will go to chapter 12.”
Dr. Reagan: Oh, yeah, got to skip 9-11.
Dr. McCall: “Because 9-11 is about the Jewish people, and it is not very applicable to us, so we’ll just skip that and go to the practical part, 12-16.” I thought, “Wow. What is this passage in the New Testament that Christians aren’t supposed to read?” And really that triggered a lifelong quest.
Dr. Reagan: So, when did you actually get involved in Jewish evangelism?
Dr. McCall: We started. Well one of the reasons I went to Glen Eyrie was to study Romans 9-11 on my own and just find out what it said. I couldn’t find commentaries. I couldn’t find anything that would really answer the question. So, Dr. Marko long distance recommended to my fiancée that I go up to Denver from Colorado Springs and meet Hannah Wago who was a missionary with the American Board of Missions to the Jews in Denver. As it turns out she was the person that led Moishe Rosen to Christ.
Dr. Reagan: Moishe Rosen, okay, Jews for Jesus.
Dr. McCall: Who founded Jews for Jesus. Didn’t know that at the time. But she exposed me to Ephesians 2, and it was a great experience. I said, “Well, I want to learn about Romans 9-11.” She said, “Well, I can’t do that. But we got coming into town people from our mission including Dr. Charles Feinberg who can answer your question.” I said, “Okay, we’ll come up.” So I had a friend of mine, went up from Colorado Springs to Denver to hear Dr. Feinberg. We heard him. Went up to him after the session and said, “I need to talk with you.” So, he said, “Well, come over to the hotel and we’ll sit around and we’ll talk.” I said, “Dr. Feinberg could you please explain to me Romans 9-11?” He didn’t open the Bible. He didn’t open anything. He started at the first verse, went through all three chapters with me asking questions in-between. I thought, “Man, this guy really knows the Bible.”
Dr. Reagan: So, that got you involved. Now we’re running out of time in this segment so I’ve got to jump to something else. And that is you got involved through that learning about Romans 9-11 which teaches that God still loves the Jews, still has a purpose for the Jews, and that He has not washed His hands of the Jews, and He has not replaced the Jews with the Church. And the Church doesn’t like those three chapters.
Dr. McCall: That’s right.
Dr. Reagan: Now, got to jump to what I talked about at the opening. How did you come into contact with Zola Levitt?
Dr. McCall: Okay. Well, we spent years working with Martin Rosen in Los Angeles with the American Board of Missions to the Jews. And studying under Dr. Charles Feinberg at Talbot Theological Seminary. So I had two hard task masters, Jewish believers. Dr. Feinberg was the leading Jewish Christian scholar in the world. Martin Rosen was the leading Jewish Christian evangelist in the world. And so it was really quite an experience. After that I came back to Dallas to study in the Old Testament Department at Dallas Theological Seminary. Well, I was there for quite a few years. We’ve got a center there. And did a lot of evangelism among the Jews. In ’71 Zola Levitt came into my life. He was there he had received Christ at the University of Indiana. He was majoring in music. He was getting his doctorate in music. And he was lead to the Lord through Campus Crusade for Christ. They wanted him to come down to Dallas for Explo’72.
Dr. Reagan: Yeah, the Jesus Movement.
Dr. McCall: It was quite a thing. Billy Graham. Bill Bright. All the big names in Christian work were there. And he was they wanted him to come down to do their PR work. A brand new baby in Christ, six months old. So, they sent him over to our mission as he went around to several churches to get rooms for places to sleep for the 100,000 students who were coming from all over North America. So, he came to see me. And we made arrangements for him there but I said, “Zola have you ever met any other Jewish believers in Christ?” He said, “I didn’t know there were any. I’ve never met another.”
Dr. Reagan: Well, they were few and far between then.
Dr. McCall: Yes. So I said, “Well, come over here to Beth Sar Shalom, the House of the Prince of Peace, and you’ll meet several and get acquainted with them.” He said, “Well, that’s great.” He said, “I’ve been told that I became a Gentile.” I said, and his expression was, “Well, if it takes eating ham sandwiches on white bread with mayonnaise to get to Heaven, well I guess I can do that.”
Dr. Reagan: That sounds like Zola.
Dr. McCall: I said, “No, you haven’t stopped being a Jew. You have become a completed Jew.” And this was a new thought to him, and anyway that’s how it started. And he came and he kind of took over. He was playing the organ, he was speaking. He taught a class with us. He did all kinds of things.
Dr. Reagan: Okay, so you began to work with him then and teaching him Bible prophecy, and things of that nature.
Dr. McCall: Yes. Yes.
Dr. Reagan: And the two of you came together like this, and the result was a series of books in which you were the theological consultant and he was the person who knew how to write a journalistic style, popular writing. And he took your thoughts and put them into popular writing.
Dr. McCall: He came up to me one evening after our session, our worship service and said, “Tom, I want to talk with you. Let’s got get some coffee.” Okay, we went to IHOP. He said, “I read your article in the “Bibliotheca Sacra” which had recently come out.
Dr. Reagan: Yeah, that is the academic journal of Dallas Theological Seminary.
Dr. McCall: Exactly. And it was called, “The Tribulation Temple,” was the name of it. He said, “I read this. This is really good stuff. Who reads this?”
Dr. Reagan: Scholars.
Dr. McCall: Well, seminary people. And some pastors.
Dr. Reagan: He said, “Why don’t people read it?” People. And I said, “Well, they don’t get it.” So, he said, “I got a proposal to make with you. Let me take your material from that article and put it into a popular book.” Sounded like a novel ideal to me. So, he had connections with Moody–
Dr. McCall: Yes, Moody Press.
Dr. Reagan: So, what was the title of that first book? It was about the Temple wasn’t it?
Dr. McCall: Satan in the Sanctuary.
Dr. Reagan: Satan in the Sanctuary. Boy, that is the journalistic style right there.
Dr. McCall: There you go.
Dr. Reagan: Now, that was the first of several books you did with him, right?
Dr. McCall: About nine books that we wrote.
Dr. Reagan: Nine books, and many trips to Israel with him.
Dr. McCall: Many trips to Israel
Dr. Reagan: How many years did you actually minister with him, do you know?
Dr. McCall: We knew each other for I believe 35 years.
Dr. Reagan: Thirty-five years. Wow.
Dr. McCall: Something like that.
Dr. Reagan: Boy, what a ministry. Well, we are going to take a break right now. And when we come back I’m going to ask you for a brief comment about two theologies that concern the Jewish people. And I think you’re going to have a negative attitude toward both, but we’ll see.
Dr. McCall: Alright, Sir.
Dr. Reagan: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy and my interview with Tom McCall a man who has spent most of his life in Jewish evangelism, and who is also an expert in the field of Bible prophecy. Tom, I want to ask you about two theologies that have permeated the Church today. One of them is Dual-Covenant Theology which is a theology that is held by most of the old mainline Protestant denominations and has even invaded into evangelicalism. What is Dual-Covenant Theology and what is your reaction to it?
Dr. McCall: Dual-Covenant teaches that God has two ways of salvation; one for the Gentiles, and one for the Jews. And that–when I was going around speaking in churches I found a certain amount of support for Jewish missions, and Jewish evangelism. But I also found that there was a negative attitude toward Jewish evangelism. And it broke down into two views: one said the Jews can’t come to Christ you’re wasting your time. They send away the day of grace. They rejected Jesus therefore they can’t be saved. On the other hand, and so no Jewish evangelism is done. On the other hand there was the view that Jews don’t need to be saved, they have their rabbis, they have their synagogues, they have their Bible.
Dr. Reagan: They can be saved by following the Law.
Dr. McCall: To keep the law, do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. And as the Talmud says there is a place for the Sons of Abraham in the vestibule of Heaven. So, all you need to do–
Dr. Reagan: Well that’s the Talmud and not the Word of God.
Dr. McCall: Yes. So, that’s why Nicodemus was so shocked when Jesus said, “Except you be born again, you will not enter in to the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Dr. Reagan: And I think the Apostle Paul would be horrified by this particular theology.
Dr. McCall: Exactly.
Dr. Reagan: Because in Romans 1:16 he says, “I’m not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and then to the Gentiles.”
Dr. McCall: Exactly. And what did he mean by to the Jew first? Because ever town he went into to evangelize he always went to the Jews to preach the Gospel out of the Old Testament to them.
Dr. Reagan: My view of Dual-Covenant Theology is that it is loving the Jewish people right into Hell.
Dr. McCall: Yes.
Dr. Reagan: We don’t want to hurt their feelings. We don’t want to confront them. So, we will just love them and let them go to Hell.
Dr. McCall: Yes, and that is the tragedy of Dual Theology.
Dr. Reagan: And that is just horrible to a person who has a heart for Jewish evangelism.
Dr. McCall: That’s right. But in either case Jews don’t get evangelized.
Dr. Reagan: Yeah, right.
Dr. McCall: They can’t be saved, or they don’t need to be saved.
Dr. Reagan: Well, they certainly can be saved, and you know of many that have been saved.
Dr. McCall: That have been saved, and they need to be saved.
Dr. Reagan: In fact you mentioned the Jesus Movement, it was right about 1968, ’69, ’70 after the Six-Day War there was a tremendous movement of the Holy Spirit, not only among young people but among Jewish young people.
Dr. McCall: That’s right.
Dr. Reagan: And they came to Jesus by the thousands.
Dr. McCall: And how did that happen? I think the Vietnam War broke young people away from their roots, and in the case of the Jews that was a very positive thing because they were open to the Gospel.
Dr. Reagan: Yes, plus you add to that the miracle of the Six-Day War and they could see hey, this had to be God.
Dr. McCall: That’s right.
Dr. Reagan: Alright, let’s go to the second one. The second one is called Replacement Theology and this is very widespread, this is a dominant theology in the Catholic Church, Protestant Church, everywhere, this is the dominant theology concerning the Jewish people. The Jewish people have been replaced by the Church, God has no purpose left for the Jewish people. He washed His hands of them. They are the Christ killers, and they are getting what they deserve.
Dr. McCall: Yes. And very few Jews have gone through their lives without being called a Christ killer.
Dr. Reagan: A Christ killer.
Dr. McCall: Yes.
Dr. Reagan: Okay, let’s go, comment on that theology.
Dr. McCall: So, Replacement Theology says that the Church has replaced Israel in God’s plan and purpose. And that there is no future for Israel.
Dr. Reagan: That’s why the Church hates Romans 9-11.
Dr. McCall: Yes, exactly. And the teaching of the Olive Tree which is very important. But when did Replacement Theology begin? As you say Romans 9-11 Paul says to the Gentile Christians in Rome by the way, boast not against the branches. And that’s what was going on. That was the first instance of Replacement Theology.
Dr. Reagan: Yeah, Replacement Theology started early in Church history.
Dr. McCall: Right there. So, in the first place the Jews were unhappy with Gentiles coming into the Church. But later on as the Gentiles began to predominate numerically in the churches, the Gentiles began to disparage the Jews, and say, “Well, God is through with you.” And that was Replacement Theology, right in the New Testament and it continued on and developed through the centuries. And still exists today.
Dr. Reagan: And most Christians are not aware of that terrible, terrible history that culminated with Martin Luther who wrote one of the most vicious Anti-Semitic pamphlets ever penned in which he simply gave the blueprint for the Holocaust you know.
Dr. McCall: Yes.
Dr. Reagan: Burn the synagogues, burn the Talmud, refuse to let the Rabbis teach, put them into forced labor. It was a blueprint for the Holocaust.
Dr. McCall: Hitler took a lot out of–
Dr. Reagan: Oh, yes. In fact in “Mein Kampf” he said that Luther was his greatest inspiration.
Dr. McCall: Now, how did that happen? When Luther received Christ he thought, and he started his reformed movement he thought the Jewish people would flock to Lutheranism.
Dr. Reagan: Yeah, he believed that they were very intelligent and that they had rejected Christianity because it was so corrupt. But now he was going to restore the true Gospel and they would come. And when they didn’t–
Dr. McCall: Then he turned against them.
Dr. Reagan: Boy, did he ever turn against them.
Dr. McCall: And that is a sad, sad commentary. And believe me Jewish people know about that. And one of the reasons they won’t look at Christianity is because of Luther.
Dr. Reagan: Well, it’s all based primarily on one thought and that is the one you gave and that is that the Jews are Christ killers, they were responsible for killing God in the flesh, and therefore God has no purpose left for them. But we need to get straight who killed Jesus.
Dr. McCall: Who killed Jesus?
Dr. Reagan: Acts 4:27, “For truly in this city, Jerusalem, there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you did anoint, both Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Gentiles, and the peoples of Israel.”
Dr. McCall: Who’s left? Everybody.
Dr. Reagan: But there is someone we can add to this.
Dr. McCall: Me.
Dr. Reagan: We can add you and me.
Dr. McCall: That’s right.
Dr. Reagan: Jesus died for the sins of mankind. I’m a sinner. You’re a sinner. He died, we all have the blood of Jesus on our hands.
Dr. McCall: Exactly.
Dr. Reagan: And it’s incredible that you just blame one group, the Jews.
Dr. McCall: By the way why did Jesus have to be brought before Pilate? Because the Jews at that point did not have the power of capital punishment.
Dr. Reagan: That’s right. That’s right.
Dr. McCall: And yet, not long afterwards they executed Stephen. So, I think it was for a very brief period of time that there was this rule that the Jews could not execute anybody.
Dr. Reagan: Right. That’s a good point.
Dr. McCall: And the Lord did not want Israel to be responsible alone for the death of Christ.
Dr. Reagan: Well, I wish we had time to go into a lot more subjects. One in particular you have written one of the best articles I’ve ever read about why you believe Luke was a Jew.
Dr. McCall: Yes. That’s right.
Dr. Reagan: It says that God gave the scriptures to the Jewish people to the world. And everybody says Luke was a Gentile and I think you proved beyond a shadow of a doubt he really was a Jew.
Dr. McCall: A lot of reasons.
Dr. Reagan: But we’ve only got a minute left so. You know there are so many questions I want to ask but there is one I have to get in.
Dr. McCall: Yes, sir.
Dr. Reagan: Do you think that what’s happening among the Jewish people is an indication that we are living in the season of the Lord’s return?
Dr. McCall: Oh, absolutely. I mean Israel did not have to become a nation before the Rapture, and yet it has happened. And Israel is thriving in the midst of enemies.
Dr. Reagan: The Bible focuses on Israel in the end time.
Dr. McCall: Yes, the dry bones are gathering.
Dr. Reagan: The dry bones are gathering, they have come alive. They have been brought back. And you know Jeremiah says that when history is over and done the Jewish people will look back on their history and they will consider the regathering of the Jewish people right now to be a greater miracle than their deliverance from Egyptian captivity.
Dr. McCall: Yes.
Dr. Reagan: And we’re witnessing that. I had a person recently say, “Wouldn’t it be exciting if we lived in Bible time.” I said, “Brother, we are living in Bible times.”
Dr. McCall: We are. I asked a Rabbi over in Israel, “Do you ever think about the dry bones in Ezekiel?” He turned to me and he smiled and said, “Every morning I wake up and think of myself as being dry bones coming back to the land.”
Dr. Reagan: Hallelujah! Thank you very much.
Dr. Reagan: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy and my interview with Dr. Tom McCall. Tom, how about looking in that camera in front of you and tell folks how they can get in touch with you.
Dr. McCall: Go to scofieldinstitute.org.
Dr. Reagan: Okay. Well, folks I hope that you will be back with again next week. Until then the Lord willing this Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb & Lion Ministries saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our redemption is drawing near.”