A Flawed Gospel?

What does a flawed gospel look like? Dunn reads Paul like this:

What is so agonizing for Paul is that if Israel does not finally embrace the Christ, then his own gospel is flawed at its heart–the gospel of God’s righteousness, his free grace and faithfulness to the undeserving and ungodly; if it does not continue to Israel despite Israel’s unfaithfulness then it is not the gospel which he proclaims to all. (Romans 9-16, 532)

3 thoughts on “A Flawed Gospel?”

  1. You have been asking some of the questions that occur to me as I study the psalms. There is a complex of identity between the elect Israel, the elect poet, the anointed David, the one who fears God, whether reader or writer.

    (I note that Psalm 106 can be read as if it were written by one who is ‘outside’ the chosen people – it reminds me of the words of the thief on the cross)

    remember me יְהוָה
    in the acceptance of your people
    visit me in your salvation
    to see the good of your chosen
    to be glad in the gladness of your nation
    to praise with your inheritance.

    Those are anointed words. They are inclusive, hopeful, touching, and show one who is known in the mystery of God. If this is what Paul means by ‘Christ’ in the NT – as opposed to a second name for Jesus, then the Anointing, though fully focussed in Jesus, is greater than our conception of it. Of course it continues to Israel of the flesh. Our philosophy must deal with that scandal of particularity. Even as it must deal with our own persons individually and severally.

    I am not at the ‘answer’ stage. I am still groping for the right question. I don’t find faith in answers but rather in that ongoing mystery of conversation that is implied in the psalm above and that I work within every waking and sleeping moment. In spite of mis-steps and my own stupidity for which I am grateful for psalm 38 and psalm 6, I am not afraid of being one who questions. There is too much reason to praise to be bothered with the narrowness of some answers.

    In short, God is a teacher (Torah) – or reflecting on Rashi – God is at the place of the lilies (Torah students) and ‘they shall all be taught by God’. Let’s get on with it.

  2. I read Paul on Israel as saying as long as Gentiles keep coming in so will Jews (Rom 11.25) by the same method (Rom 11.23), but not as saying every Jew will come in at some time (Rom 9.6, 11.26). I suppose it amounts to a claim that there will never come a time when the last Jew comes in and Gentiles keep coming in for a while afterwards!

    1. ..As “law” and “transgression” and “desire” are all very much connected by that oh-so stirring statement made by Paul in chapter 7 of Romans. Transgression in pursuit of desire (for reconciliation) only takes place if there is the opposing entity or attraction of law; this creates a nexus of loving reconciliation which moves in and through yet beyond law.

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