I've been thinking about Neusner's suggestion that each religious system has three basic components and what each component means and how they interrelate:
(1) Way of Life;
(2) World View;
(3) Theory of Social Entity.
How do these components arise and work together? I've come to understand that a World View is a bundle of conceptual models that one uses to understand the world and answer life's big questions. It's also the basis for the other two components.
How does this apply to us Messianics? Does it help us at all?
I think so...
When we stop to realize that our view of Torah (which belongs to the component of World View and more specifically the conceptual model that describes systems of authority/law) affects virtually all aspects of our world view (What is the right way to live? What is good/bad? Where do I come from and what is my destiny? What is the nature of reality? Is there more than the material universe? Does G-d love me? How can I have a good relationship with G-d? etc, etc), and affects even the other two components--our way of life and our theory of the religious social entity to which we belong--it becomes apparent that one's view of Torah (view of Law) is the key distinctive of a religious system.
So what is the conceptual difference between Christianity and Judaism (as broad religious systems)?
THE CONCEPTUAL MODEL FOR LAW (as part of World View).
Christianity rejects the Law of Moses. And that's why Christian groups like Jews for Jesus, as one example, are so deceptive. Affiliate groups of Jews for Jesus say that Torah is abolished as law:
"We believe the Law of Moses as a rule of life has been fulfilled in the Messiah and therefore believers are no longer under its' obligation or condemnation," (from: http://www.messianicassociation.org/believe.htm)
And keep in mind that Jews for Jesus specifically identify as Christian:
"Regardless of what anyone says, we are Jews in that we are physically descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. At the same time we are also Christians—those who believe in and follow Jesus, the Jewish Messiah. One classification does not cancel out the other, even though rabbis like to teach that Judaism and Christianity are mutually exclusive categories and hence are antithetical to one another," (from: http://www.jewsforjesus.org/about-jews-for-jesus/faq)