Of course, I wasn't the only critic of the incredibly biased (and self-contradictory) screed.
Now, the Church is backtracking - slightly:
The problems with the report were far deeper than just what is mentioned here. A Christian blog destroys the Church's main arguments nicely:
Christians should not believe those parts of Scripture where God promised that a virgin would conceive: Isaiah 7:14 didn't really refer to a promised messiah: it was just about a general plan of salvation. And he wasn't born in the long-promised Bethlehem either - that's just a metaphor for anywhere, like Slough. And he didn't have to be a 'he' either - that's just a metaphor for all humankind. And his name didn't have to be Jesus (Mt 2:21) - meaning 'The Lord saves', because it could have been Brian or Steve: there's no real promise that the Lord will save us from our sins (Zech 3:9). He is not 'God with us' (Mt 1:23), and he didn't need to suffer (Is 53:7) because there's no real reward for obeying the word of God (Lk 11:27). Jesus isn't the visible image of the invisible God through whom all things were created (Col 1:15f) - that's just silly. He didn't reconcile us to himself through the cross (v20), and he's not the glory of the nations (Ps 96:3; 39:21). And when God promises that nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ (Rom 8:35), he didn't really mean 'nothing' - he meant God's love is completely dependent on the which side of the bed he gets out of in a morning.(h/t JH)
Oh, hang on. His Grace has got it wrong.
It's only the Jews who shouldn't take God's promises literally.
That's alright, then.
And neither should Christians when they relate to Jews and Israel. Ah, now it's becoming clearer.
If God makes a promise to Jews, it's a metaphor. If He makes a promise to Christians, it's literal except where it refers to the Jews and Israel.
Yes, that's right. According to a report by the Church of Scotland, 'Israel' and the 'Promised Land' is all just one big mushy metaphor for... well, something like the fuzziness of promises that aren't promises. God's promises are just pictures, without precise meaning, and certainly could never apply to matters of geography. The 'Promised Land' in Scripture is not a literal land - it's more 'a metaphor of how things ought to be among the people of God. This "promised land" can be found, or built, anywhere'.
Except, of course, in Israel.