But as for Me: The Question of Election in the Life of God's People Today

But as for Me: The Question of Election in the Life of God's People Today

But as for Me: The Question of Election in the Life of God's People Today

But as for Me: The Question of Election in the Life of God's People Today

Excerpt

We do not have anything we could offer them [the Jews]. But what they offer us excels us...only the miscarried Jew is like us...the ordinary person is an unfulfilled Jew.

What does it mean that God calls us to be his own? This question lies behind the whole history of the Biblical literature, for, from one perspective, it was written in various times as God's people struggled to respond to this enigma and to understand it. In the present attempt to answer this question, I will look at the historical meaning of Israel's chosenness.

In the light of Israel's self-consciousness, one interpretation can be dismissed immediately. Election is not on the part of God a mere declaration of intention not followed by real actualization or incarnation, nor is it an external quality adding itself, through whatever extraordinary process, to the innate or natural human qualities. Election does not add anything to a panoply of virtues, congenital or acquired. On the contrary, according to Biblical testimony the "chosen Israel" is a wholistic reality, a "Gestalt" as we say today. There is no Israel facing her election; nor is there, so to speak, an election in quest of someone to be elected. There is only Israel as elected, or an election as applied to God's people. In the experience of Israel it is a transforming power permeating the community, thereby changing Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israel. Capable of operating in people, world, and history, God's grace is a creative power manifesting itself in the movement from chaos to order ( Gen. 1:2-3).

This particular self-understanding, one can argue, falls in . . .

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