Friday, 19 February 2016
Seeing Judaism Anew: Christianity's Sacred Obligation,
Ed. Mary C. Boys, Rowman and Littlefield, 2002
Chapter 13, "Covenant and Conversion" (pp. 151-162), page 154
Dr Cunningham, then, starts on the subject of covenant, by suggesting that covenant is not a fixed act, but an ongoing relationship. He wonders whether 'covenanting' - a present participle expressing a continuing action - would be a useful way of considering things.
Since G-d is one of the participants in the relationship, covenanting with G-d is by its very nature everlasting and will endure until the full establishing of G-d's reign at the end of history. Covenant with G-d goes on even when the human partners sin and suffer the consequences for not meeting their covenantal obligations fully.
Explaining that Jews understand their duties in different ways from Christians, he goes on:
A key aspect of Jewish covenanting is the obligation to follow G-d's commands. In doing so, Jews give witness to G-d before all peoples and so ready the world for the peace and justice of the kingdom of G-d. If Jewish covenanting with G-d must by its nature live on until the end of days, then this obligation and this distinctive witness are intended by G-d to endure throughout history as we know it.
I'm not certain whether this suggests that Gentile believers in Yeshua are not obligated to follow G-d's commands - at face value, the text seems to lean that way, but perhaps Cunningham has in mind Jewish commands and Gentile commands.
More in the next post ...