Monday, July 23, 2007

Regarding My Non-Jewishness

I've gotten several e-mails (and a nice comment from Mo) regarding my thoughts below on feeling rather "left out" of most of the Bible as a Gentile (#7). I wanted to clarify my thoughts on this a bit, since it has gotten a little attention.

First, the list of ten initial thoughts after reading the entire Bible contained both feelings/impressions and more rational/logical ideas. This particular comment was primarily a feeling more than some theological breakthrough. As I read through the scriptures I felt somewhat like an outsider reading the faith story of another people. (Remember, I was trying to pretend like I didn't know what was coming.) After Jesus, and more clearly Peter and Paul, invited the Gentiles into the Kingdom, I began to feel like the OT was my story, but my story as an adopted, though very loved, son. I do feel like the entire Bible is for Gentiles as well now in light of that, but I do not think I would have easily reached that understanding without Acts, the letters of Paul and a few stories in the gospels.

I understand that there has been a recent (last few decades) missiological focus on God's concern for the non-Jewish peoples throughout the Old Testament. I have read several essays tracing this attribute of God, and I do not deny it. I would say, however, that it is somewhate encrypted and would be very hard to see without the NT breaktroughs mentioned earlier.

I also think that some people have read my ideas as suggesting that God is not missional in character. I still believe in a missional God and a missional people, but I feel that his primary missional focus was intended to be through the submission of Israel, which never really came about. The Abahamaic Blessing (all nations being blessed through him) has certainly now been realized, or is being realized, through The Kingdom of Jesus. Regardless of what could have been in the old covenant, the new covenent launches us all into a mission to see the forces of evil destroyed by the powers of love, forgiveness and submission to God in Christ.

No comments: