Sunday, 3 January 2016
Fullness of the Gentiles I
Paul and the Torah,
Lloyd Gaston, Wipf & Stock, 2006, page 149
Lloyd Gaston now turns to two further questions. The first is, "Why will the fullness of the Gentiles come in?"
One answer is that it is by the preaching of Paul and his associates (Romans 10:14-18, "those who are sent"), by the activity of "the remnant according to the election of grace" (11:5). One could apply here Eckhardt's concept of the "bridge generation", which he defines as a "vocational remnant of Jews serving as instruments for the salvation of the world within a relatively faithful Israel." It is for this reason that Gentile Christians owe a debt of love, not just to the Jerusalem "saints" but to all Israel: "for if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are obliged to serve them in material things" (15:27). Here is the Pauline version of "salvation is from the Jews" (John 4:22), and it seems to be his normal way of thinking about the matter.
Historically, Jewish believers have been well if not over represented in mission organisations and proved very succesful in sharing the gospel among the nations.