Thursday, 24 September 2015
We the People: Israel and the Catholicity of Jesus,
Tommy Givens, Fortress, 2014, page 10-11
Givens turns to one of the big questions in theology: who is the people of God? Claiming that neither John Howard Yoder or Karl Barth answer the question, he connects it to the question, "Who is Israel according to God's election in the flesh?"
The question, "Who is the people of God?" has typically invited not the telling of a history in the flesh but the construction of a border between a true and false people of God or between a natural and adopted people of God.
But aren't those unhelpful? Givens thinks so:
Constructing such borders is precisely that - our construction, an imposition that attempts to resolve theambiguity of the flesh of the people. It is not a way forward through the modern discourse of peoplehood but a way of remaining captive to its vicious cycles.
Givens will attempt to move beyond Barth to answer the question, "Who is Israel according to God's election in the flesh?"
In doing so, I dispose of what has become a standard answer to that (or a similar) question in many quarters, one which is really no answer at all and an accretion of the modern discourse of peoplehood, namely, tha Israel proper is ethnic Israel.
But that's coming in chapter five ...