Thursday, May 24, 2007

Cruciformity: The Fundamental Option of Israel (part 2)

The Fundamental Option serves as an appropriate heuristic in that it reasonably recounts the commitment that Israel was to have with YHWH. Israel’s most basic formulation of the Shema (Deut. 6.4) not only declared that YHWH was one, but intimated fidelity in that Israel was to have no other gods. Implicit in this was that both the construction and worship of idols was forbidden in the people of God. Rather Israel’s FO was bound up in YHWH’s own steadfast love and compassionate faithfulness, which in turn required Isreal’s response of undying love and faithfulness within a covenant that Hosea likened to one of marriage. Thus the Shema was always to be a proclamation of devotion and love to the one incomparable God. Thus for Israel, according to the scriptures of Israel, love for God was a total, complex response to God’s initiative. It had both an affective and an ethical (even political) dimension, the former consisting of self- abandonment, devotion, and trust, loyalty and obedience. Gorman notes that the love of YHWH is thus a politic idiom, in that it requires the pledge to the policies of YHWH, thus to love God is to refuse every other ultimate love or loyalty. In sum, Gorman concludes that to love God is to trust and to be faithful.

In using the rubric of FO Gorman is giving us a helpful heuristic in what can already be seen to anyone with a basic understanding of the writings of the NT as the great continuity of thought with the scriptures of Israel; namely trust and faithfulness.

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