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To: Lee N. Field

I suspect you’re right but I can’t help loving to nibble on the bait. :O)


23 posted on 05/24/2012 5:29:53 PM PDT by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD; wmfights
I suspect you’re right but I can’t help loving to nibble on the bait. :O)

Just to stir the pot, an excerpt...*

From Herman Ridderbos, Paul: an Outline of His Theology, Chapter 8 (The Church as the People of God), Section 58. The Future of Israel, p359 and following.

...Israel as a nation will not again exhibit the image of the people of God before the gentiles, too, have brought their full portion into it. Till such time, that is to say, until this great hour of the consummation, Israel will in part exhibit the image of hardening, the evidence of the judgment of God. Only under the concurrent mark of God's judgment on the unbelief of a part of Israel will Israel come to its fullness and just then be redeemed from that judgment. The mystery (v. 25) is thus situated in the manner in which this fullness of Israel is to be saved: in the strange interdependence of the salvation of Israel and that of the gentiles. Israel, which was chosen from among the gentiles, must, contrary to every human expectation, first give way to the gentiles. But as Israel because of its disobedience has become a cause of salvation for the gentiles, so now the gentiles must provoke Israel to jealousy. There is thus an interaction. God grants no mercy to Israel without the gentiles, but neither does he do so to the gentiles without Israel. As he first shut up all under disobedience, so will he have mercy on all. The whole argument of Romans 11:11-32 leads to the indication of this mutual relation of dependence, of this undulatory movement of salvation (cf. vv. 30-32), and on this, too, the doxology of the depth of the riches, wisdom and knowledge of God and of the inscrutablness of his ways if founded (vv. 33-36).

There is therefore no contradiction between the definition of the New Testament church as the people of God and hoding to Israel as the object of God's irrevocable gift of grace and calling. By making faith the criterion of the children of Abraham (Gal. 3:26ff.), and giving believing gentiles a place among his posterity (Rom. 4:16), the election of historical Israel is not nullified or rendered inoperative in order to make room for the formation of the new people of God, the Christian church. Rather, Paul wishes to show that it is precicely in historical Israel that God has chosen the Christian church and called it to himself (Gal. 3:16); on the one hand this is to say that all who belong to Christ by faith also belong to this church, but on the other hand that the historical bond between God and Israel continues to be maintained in its real significance. That significance has always consisted in the fact that Israel's election is an election of grace and that for Israel, too, therefore, there is no other way than that of faith. Consequently the irrevocable character of God's gifts of grace and calling, which remain valid for Israel, consists in that he will restore Israel to this true sonship by the proclamation of the gospel and by provoking it to jealousy. But in that way he will not only preserve to himself a remnant according tothe election of grace, but he wil also lead the pleroma of Israel, Israel as people, all Israel, to salvation with the fullness of the gentiles.

On the one hand Israel is thus bound to the church of the gentiles; the stream of grace must return from them to Israel, after it has first passed Israel by because of its unbelief and come to the gentiles. But on the other hand, the church made up of the geniles is bound to Israel. For the life from the dead, the great future, is not to dawn without the pleroma of Israel; all nations will be blessed with Abraham's seed. The holy root of Israel continues to support all, the holy leaven permeats all, and the gentiles are grafted into the olvie tree of Isreal (Rom 11:24). There is re-creation, but there is also continuity, becuase Israel has always been the product of God's life-creating grace; there is a new Covenant, but not without connection to, rather with the maintaining of what consititued the essential mystery of the Old Covenant. Thus, on the one hand Paul is able to see the church of the gentiles as endowed with all the privileges and blessings of Israel, and to see it occupy the place of unbelieving Israel, and yet on the other to uphold to thefull the continuation of God's original redemptive intentions with Israel as the historical people of God. And all this because of the gracious character of God's eleciton and because of Christ, who is the seed of Abraham as well as the second Adam: the one in whom the whole church, Jews and gentiles together, has become one body and one new man. This last observation leads us now to the second great Pauline conception ofthe church, that is, the church as the body of Christ.

Errors in transcription are mine.

I realise I run the risk of overshooting attention span. Close attention is necessary for most profit. Those old Dutch guys tended to wordy.

*With a ping for thanks to wmfights, for bringing Ridderbos my attention.

28 posted on 05/25/2012 7:43:33 PM PDT by Lee N. Field ("And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise" Gal 3:29)
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