Wednesday, 30 September 2015
We the People: Israel and the Catholicity of Jesus,
Tommy Givens, Fortress, 2014, page 38
Yoder explains (in The Original Revolution) how he sees Israel having its identification with the physical land of Israel being progressively loosened during the time of the prophets. He points to an increasing vision of God's concern for all the nations and promises of a time when all peoples would come up to Jerusalem to receive or be taught the Torah. Tommy Givens continues his engagement with Yoder:
Abraham did not try to guarantee the future of his people because he trusted God to provide for it per God's covenant promise. Against all appearances - even against the apparent consequences of his obedience to God's commabds (e.g. to sacrifice Isaac) and the prospect that he would see next to nothing of God's promises fulfilled before dying - Abraham obeyed and believed. This faith of Abraham, according to Yoder, was the seed of the covenant people who would come to define its boundaries less and less by geography or ethnicity and more and more by costly obedience to the universal, nonviolent purpose of God.
I hate to disagree with an experienced, qualified, published theologian, but I just don't buy that. I don't see that picture in either the Scriptures or the Jewish writings. On the contrary, the ties with Eretz Yisrael only seemed to have increased over the years of diaspora: breaking the glass at a wedding to remember Jerusalem; the shout at the end of the Seder - Next Year in Jerusalem.