God’s “oneness” and his establishment of a worldwide community of believers (Bruce Longenecker)

I finally have a chance to read Bruce Longenecker’s The Triumph of Abraham’s God (Nashville: Abingdon, 1998), a book that I should have read a long time ago.

As I read the New Testament, I become increasingly convinced that God’s sovereignty over the cosmos, his triumph over evil, and his gathering of a worldwide community of believers in Christ, are crucial to our understanding of the gospel. We are called to participate in this gospel by proclaiming Christ to the nations and by our active involvement in the worldwide missional community that he has established.

Here is a wonderful quote from Longenecker’s book that leads me to worship, and say “Amen!”

Accordingly, in Paul’s thought, God’s ‘oneness’ — that is, God’s sovereignty, supremacy over competing deities, and worthiness as the one who alone is to be worshipped — is advertised in the social constituency of God’s people. God’s eschatological triumph results in, consists of, and is exhibited by, the establishment of a community of catholic membership. The formation of such a group is itself the placard, the display, and the disclosure of the power of the ultimate divinity. This fundamental tenet of Paul’s vision for Christian corporate identity is articulated succinctly in Gal. 3.28: in the eschatological community of God’s people ‘there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus’. (page 57)

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