Now we are to the big question in Walsh and Keesmaat’s Colossians Remixed: Is Paul’s gospel, especially since it counters the philosophy’s “gospel,” just another rhetorical power play? Is it just another constructed regime of truth?
They say we have to ask this question of the whole Bible, which we do. Is it totalizing or does it provide a story that contains antitotalizing dimensions? Are there “counterideological tendencies”? Yes!
1. A radical sensitivity to suffering — from Genesis 6 all the way into the cross of Christ.
2. The story is rooted in God’s creational intent — an inherent universalizing story.
They map these stories — and we can but summarize briefly. Knowing Israel’s pain in Egypt (Exo 3:7), lament (Ps 44), servant who suffers (Isa 43:24).The Bible makes no false promise of “presence” but recognizes the “absence” of shalom and justice.
And, number 2, Israel was elected to be a light to the nations. Its election is not to be a totalizing nation but a universalizing covenant. All of creation fits into this covenant redemptive design: Gen 9 … and metaphors of earth-speech.
“If this drama has the redemption of all creation as its focus, then any violent, ideological, self-justifying ownership of the story … brings the story to a dramatic dead end that has missed the creationally redemptive point” (109).