Chosen - for a purpose

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." 1 Peter 2. 9


In concluding his textbook 'Groundwork of Philosophy of Religion', David Pailin offers a philosophical view of faith as finding "the story of reality and our place in it." It might seem odd that he leaves God out of his definition, except when one factors in that, rather like in the biblical book of Esther, where explicit mention of God is also absent, his presence is assumed - and not just in a peripheral sense but as the heart of everything.


Approaching the Bible as if it were like a normal book, to be read from beginning to end, is a frustrating experience because it is more like a library of different books which, although grouped together according to genre, do not follow each other in a strictly sequential sense. Yet there is an underlying (or overarching!) trajectory, beginning with creation, taking into account the fall and then following God's plan of redemption - through Israel, Jesus and the Church.


Recently theologians have described the Bible's trajectory as like a play in 6 acts: the 5 already described and the culminating act in which we find ourselves today: the climax! We know how it will end: with the return of Jesus, his judgment of the world and the renewal of creation as heaven is brought to earth. Our role is to find our place in this denouement. The script may not have been written for us but we have the Holy Spirit as our director...

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