Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Abraham's Offspring

Galatians 3:29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.

29 εἰ δὲ ὑμεῖς Χριστοῦ, ἄρα τοῦ Ἀβραὰμ σπέρμα ἐστέ, κατ᾽ ἐπαγγελίαν κληρονόμοι.

This is the conclusion of one of my favorite chapters of Scripture.  Here Paul lays out how the gospel was for the Gentiles.  And in fact he seems to say that somehow by faith the Gentiles are now Abraham's offspring.  This is the culmination of his argument.  I love this chapter because it shows how I as a Gentile can partake of the promises and blessings God gave to Israel.

This chapter is also why I have a hard time diving into Dispensationalism.  Paul seems to be equating the church with Israel.  It looks like the term "Israel" goes beyond the traditional meaning of the nation-state.  In fact, given how the current nation-state of Israel operates I don't see much connection between them and the kingdom of David.  But I can definitely see how the Old Testament promises to Israel have either found or will find their fulfillment in the church.

I admit that I do not have a deep knowledge of Dispensationalism.  But what I do know is that one should judge a doctrine based on theology, history, and practice.  Does it make sense according to the Bible?  I would say that it is tenuous, based on what I know.  What church father read his Bible with a Dispensational hermeneutic?  Maybe some did and I just don't know.  The practice is what scares me.  I don't see the validity of the Zionism that we display in America.  I also see a lot of people reading their Bibles in one hand their newspapers in the other.

I'm going to lean toward Calvin until I'm convinced otherwise.  I look forward to examining this in more depth in Systematic IV.  Meanwhile, to me the straightforward reading of Scripture shows me that Paul merged Israel and the Church.

No comments: