Monday we looked at the big tough question about “missional” even being appropriate for the Old Testament. Today we look at chp 7 in Chris Wright, The Mission of God, to discover the number of texts that push the universal button in the Old Testament. If Jonah is your typical response to Gentile missions, that doesn’t make it right (or wright).
What do you think of Wright’s themes of election below? How do you understand election?
This chp is a sketch of texts that confirm the two big themes in our questions for the week: the universal vision and the particular reality. In Wright’s terms, God wants his name known throughout the world but God chooses to do that through a particular people, Israel, shaped by the Covenant and in whom the story was Wrigh Large in Jesus Christ and the Church.
I suggest you pick up your Bible and read a few of these texts. You might then ask if Israel was justified in its non-missional ways and you might want to ponder why and why not.
1. Pentateuch: Exod 9:13-16; 19:5-6; Num 23:8-10; Deut 28:9-10.
2. Historical books: Josh 4:23-24; 1 Sam 17:46; 2 Sam 7:25-26, 29; 1 Ki 8:41-43, 60-61; 2 Ki 19:19.
3. Psalms 22:27-28; 47:9; 67:1-2; 72:17; 86:9; 145:8-12.
4. Prophets: Is 19:24-25; 26:6-8; 45:22-23; 48:18-19; 60:12; Jer 4:1-2; Zech 8:13.
He likes Is 19:24-25: “Is. 19:24 On that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25 whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, ?Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my heritage.?
Particular instrumentality through Israel:
Exod 19:5-6; Deut 7:6; 26:18-19; 28:9-10; Jer 13:11; 33:8-9; Deut 4:23-25; 10:14-15.
Now a summary of election, and what Wright does here is push back hard against the systematizers who do not understand “election” as it is found in the OT but who force it into systematic categories:
1. Election is set in the context of God’s universality.
2. Election does not imply rejection of other nations.
3. Election is not warranted by anything special about Israel.
4. Election is founded only on God’s inexplicable love.
5. Election is instrumental, not an end in itself (where too much of some theology ends).
6. Election is part of the logic of how God is at work in history.
7. Election is fundamentally missional, not just soteriological.