13 February 2008

bound to the land

In a book drawn from his doctoral thesis, Michael Fuller discusses the motif of exile and re-gathering of Israel as the restoration of the kingdom.  While I will look at reviewing more of the book in its entirety later, I wanted to briefly explore one of his conclusions.  His claim (working from Luke-Acts) is that the Twelve - as representative of Israel - are "bound to the Land" as part of the eschatological restoration of Israel.

Building into this, he makes a number of assertions with which I can readily agree:
1) the Twelve are indeed representative of Israel
2) the enthronement of Jesus is the decisive moment of restoration for Israel
3) the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples confirms the exaltation of Jesus
4) the coming of the Holy Spirit is portrayed by Luke as the inauguration of the 'last days'

Fuller then continues his reasoning to demonstrate that Luke's perspective centers on the traditions of Israel which link restoration and re-gathering specifically to the Land.  Thus, any geographic movement of the gospel is found outside of the Twelve (mostly taken up by Paul).  While I think that Fuller has constructed a good thesis overall and that his argument is well placed, I am still a bit hesitant to accept this final point of the restoration being bound to the Land.  Within the overall framework of Luke-Acts it appears that the focus is on the outward movement of the gospel on so many levels that one might be more prepared to see a perspective which emphasizes the Jewish belief of God's restoration of all creation as an outworking of a restored Israel.

If anyone else has said this before, I have yet to discover it - perhaps it is articulated in a manner which I would more readily accept.  Or it could be that this week is getting waaay too long.

1 comment:

Ben said...

Just came across your blog. Can I contact you off-line? I didn't see any info "about" you, but you are reading all the things I am about to read. This leads me to suspect that you might be further along in writing something I am thinking about working on for my dissertation. If that is the case, I'd hate to find out a year from now if you know what I mean.


(I think my e-mail will show up for you.)