Sunday, November 9, 2008

Thesis 23: Evangelism In The Old Covenant

Abram expanded his household through hospitality, evangelism and domestic apprenticeship.[1] Evangelism expands the dominion of Patriarchy. Biblical evangelism is Patriarchy (#71, #75). The “Gospel” is the “good news” that Christ is King and is going to turn back the curse and bless all nations. The Scripture preached this good news (“Gospel”) to Abraham,[2] saying that God would build and bless all the Families of the earth[3] through his Seed.[4] The Gospel promise to Abraham is being fulfilled in Christ and His Church.[5]

1. Genesis 12:5, #20
2. Galatians 3:8
3. Genesis 12:3; 18:18-19.
4. Galatians 3:16; #36
5. Acts 13:32-37; 3:25-26; #69

"Patriarchy" is defined on this blog as a family-centered society with no "church and no "state." Our definition would therefore include something that might be called a "matriarchal" society, if that family structure is the sole social structure. Our word is derived from patria, family, not pater, father. It's a separate, historical argument as to whether there is any such thing as a "matriarchal" society. We're not arguing for or against a particular relationship between husband and wife (for the most part); we're arguing against non-familial institutions.

On "blessing":
The Meaning of "Blessing"
Christmas: A Celebration of Paradise
Deuteronomy 28 - God's Blessings upon Obedience

On hospitality, evangelism and domestic apprenticeship:
• James B. Jordan: "God's Hospitality and Holistic Evangelism"
cf.: Sacred spaces and places
• Gary North: "Family Authority vs. Protestant Sacerdotalism"

Abraham and Government.
Government without the State
Public Service

The take-home point here is that "New Testament Christians" should not be less evangelistic and less hospitable than Abraham, and there is more power from the Holy Spirit under the New Covenant to bring order to society through families and the businesses and associations created by families.


Kevin Craig said...

As I pointed out here (Pierre Joseph Proudhon: Agrarian Jurisprudence) F. Willeson, The Yalid in Hebrew Society, 12 STUDIA THEOLOGICA 192-210 (1958) estimates that Abram's household in Genesis 14:14 numbered near 12,000 people. James Jordan (The Future of Israel Re-examined) fleshes this out:
Most Christians think of the Jews as a race of people descended from Abraham. In this section of this essay I want to call this assumption into question, by looking at the history of Israel in the Old Testament. When God called Abraham and made him a priest to the gentile nations, He commanded him to use the sign of circumcision to mark out the Hewbrews from the other nations. Abraham's household at this time included at least 318 fighting men (Gen. 14:14), as well as their wives and children, possibly many more servants. All of these men were circumcised. We see these servants mentioned in the book of Genesis several times (Gen.26:19ff.; 32:16), and when Jacob went down to sojourn in Egypt, so many people went with him that he had to be given the whole land of Goshen to dwell in. Genesis 46 provides a list of only 70 actual blood descendants of Abraham who went into Egypt. Thus, from the very beginning, the Israelites were defined by covenant, not by blood and race.

The same was true for each of the tribes within Israel. A Levite was not necessarily a blood descendant of Levi, but more likely was a descendant of one of the patriarchs' servants who was a part of Levi's company. Only a small percentage of Levites would actually have been descendants of Levi.

These several thousand people became over two million by the time of the Exodus 215 years later. Only a small percentage of the people who came out of Egypt had any racial connection with Abraham. Moreover, added to the company of Israel at this time was a vast mixed multitude, many of whom became circumcised members of the nation, and therefore members of individual tribes as well.

There was another admixture of converts in the time of David and Solomon. Think of Uriah the Hittite, for example. Then again, the book of Esther tells us that during and after the Exile many more gentiles became Jews(Esth. 8:17).

What this means is that very few Jews at the time of Christ had any of Abraham's blood in them. They were a nation formed by covenant, not a race formed by blood. To be sure, Jesus Himself was a true blood descendant of Abraham, and His genealogy is important for theological reasons, but few other Jews could trace their genealogy to Abraham. What I seek to establish by this survey is this: With the passing away of the Old Covenant, there is no longer any such thing as a Jew in the Biblical sense, unless by "True Jews" we mean Christians. There is no covenant, and therefore there is no nation, no "race."
At the heart of God's covenant is adoption and hospitality. Ideally, Israel was inclusive and world-embracing.

Today, Jews are exclusive.

Kevin Craig said...

Micah 4
But in the latter days it shall come to pass that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains; and it shall be exalted above the hills, and peoples shall flow to it.
2 And many nations shall come and say, Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may teach us His ways, and we may walk in His paths. For the law shall go forth out of Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

Psalm 87
2 The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
3 Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God! Selah
4 “I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know Me; behold, Philistia and Tyre, with Ethiopia: ‘This man was born there.’”
5 And of Zion it shall be said, “This and that man were born in her; and the Highest Himself shall establish her.”
6 The Lord shall count, when He writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah

Kevin Craig said...

Isaiah 19:18-25

18 In that day five cities in the land of Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear by the Lord of hosts; one will be called the City of Destruction.

19 In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord at its border. 20 And it will be for a sign and for a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the Lord because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and He will deliver them. 21 Then the Lord will be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day, and will make sacrifice and offering; yes, they will make a vow to the Lord and perform it. 22 And the Lord will strike Egypt, He will strike and heal it; they will return to the Lord, and He will be entreated by them and heal them.

23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will serve with the Assyrians.

24 In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria—a blessing in the midst of the land, 25 whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.”