Sunday, December 20, 2009

A masterful summary of the Old Testament

Theology responds to the Word which God has spoken, still speaks, and will speak again in the history of Jesus Christ which fulfills the history of Israel....

....this history speaks of a God who calls his own people to himself. Outof a tribal community which exemplifies all mankind, he calls his own people by acting upon it and speaking to it as its God and treating and addressing it as his people. The name of this God is Yahweh: "I am how I will be" or "I will be who I am" or "I will be how I will be." And the name of this people is Israel, which means- not a contender for God, but - "contender against God." The covenant is the encounter of this God with this pepole in their common history. The report of this history, although strangely contradictory, is not ambiguous. This history speaks of the unbroken encounter, conversation, and resultant communion between a holy and faithful God with an unholy and unfaithful people. It speaks of both the unfailing presence of a the divine partner and the failure of the human partner that should be holy as he is holy, answering his faithfulness with faithfulness. While this history definitely speaks of the divine perfection of the covenant, it does not speak of its human perfection. The covenant has not yet been perfected. Israel's history, therefore, points beyond itself; it points to a fulfillment which, although pressing forward to become reality, has not yet become real.
Ah this point, the history of Jesus, the Messiah of Israel, commences....
Karl Barth, Evangelical Theology: An Introduction, pp. 20-21

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