Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Worldview and History

I won't usually be this prolific on my blogging...but I've got stuff to write!

I think about the usual shorthand (storied shorthand, see a previous post) for the Reformational worldview: creation, fall, redemption. Unfortunately, that can easily be abused into a worldview that has recourse only to very, very ancient (somewhat unimaginable) history and contemporary history (the period of redemption). I propose, following NT Wright, that we add a little to our worldview: concrete history. I propose a new scheme: creation, rebellion, covenant (with redemption and consummation being subcategories of the last). The reason that I have for this is that it is important that Israel was the intended bringer of God's healing shalom and that Jesus himself was (and remains) Jewish. Our 'redemption' is Abrahamic, as Paul so eloquently tells us in Galatians. The Jewishness of the gospel is so very important to understand it hermeneutically, which is part of the reason for the earlier post on John 1.

Even though the 'covenant' theme is not apparent in the original Reformational shorthand, it is and has always been there in the storied form. However, redemption itself is a subcategory of covenant. The covenant was God's way of dealing with rebellion and Adamic sin, while also eschatologically setting up God's shalom again in the world. Why don't we just follow the 'Old' Covenant then? The ones entrusted with the Adamic task, Israel, failed and rebelled themselves. That is why God, through Jesus, needed to renew the covenant (and since covenants are historical documents) in a new way for a new time. Also, God's shalom was finally doing more than being symbolically acted out--the rulership of God was coming to bear (finally) in the work of Jesus. The Spirit, which the Israelites had hoped for, was being poured out. The exile was ending and Caesar's power (death, as it were) was being destroyed through resurrection life. In other words, 'covenant' had finally given birth to 'redemption'.

Shalom olam v-olam.

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