Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Section 7: The Central Concept of Old Testament Theology

The Self-Donation of God, pg. 11-12:

"In order to understand Christ and his coming, we must first understand the history of salvation in the Old Testament which his advent presupposes. In twentieth century, there were a number of attempts to posit a central theme or concept of Old Testament. This has tended to take the form of the identification of an abstract concept or idea as a central theme.  Notably, this identification of the organizing principle of the Old Testament with an abstract concept has been the method of both Walther Eichrodt and Gerhard von Rad. In Eichrodt’s case, this was the “Covenant,” whereas for von Rad it was the significantly the more fluid, yet equally problematic concept of “Recitation."  
Instead of an abstract concept, we will choose a historical pattern. The pattern that we will identify as residing at the very heart of the history of salvation in the Old Testament is the theme "exile and return." This theme is not an arbitrary decision of one historical pattern among many, but rather stands as the very contours of the history of salvation as it is presented to us in the Scriptures. The foundational event in Israel’s story as it is recounted in both the historical and prophetic writings are in fact the redemption from Egypt and the settlement of Palestine. In the same way also, the preaching of Leviticus, Deuteronomy, the pre-exilic prophets and the later experiences of the Babylonian exile certainly must also be viewed as reinforcing this historical and theological pattern of existence upon Israel’s psyche. As we will observe, such a pattern prefigures the narrative of the Christ's death and resurrection. From the perspective of confessional Lutheran theology this way of understanding the Old Testament is particularly important in light of the fact that both exile and return are the temporal manifestations of God's law and grace."

No comments:

Post a Comment