|"I'm just off to tell Moses what he means to say."|
[W]e always read scripture Christocentrically, christologically, and christotelically...Christotelically? It ain't in the Merriam-Webster. Ain't in the Oxford, and lawdy, it ain't in the Chambers either. Check that ultimate authority on all things - Wikipedia - and, oh dear, it is still missing in action. From what I can gather, the term (Christotelical) was coined (cooked up) by Peter Enns in the Westminster Theological Journal, where a great many other things have been creatively cooked over the years. Enns simply tortured the Greek word telos till it screamed for mercy, then bunged it together with the front end of christology. Gimme a break! Quidditch will enter the Chambers before this bit of fatuous nonsense.
Oh, sorry, I forgot; it already has.
But back to Smith's amazing christotelical time machine! How anyone can maintain this supercessionist bulldust on this side of the Shoah defies comprehension, and yet Smith seems totally oblivious to the problem. This incredibly myopic theory requires us to believe that nobody could possibly, truly, understand the books of Job, Jeremiah or Psalms, for example, until the Council of Nicea rolled around. Too bad if you were Job, Jeremiah, a psalmist or a Second Temple Jew... and too bad if you're a twenty-first century Jew. Which is, of course, the position taken by Al Mohler and former Southern Baptist President Bailey Smith.
With all due respect to those dear people, my friend, God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew. (source)Talk about dripping condescension! Nope, more likely it's Mohler and the Smiths that are clueless.
To be clear, I'm not even vaguely suggesting that the author of The Bible Made Impossible is anti-semitic, any more than Barth was. To read his book is to appreciate a genuine effort to move evangelicalism onward from crass biblicism, and that's got to be a good thing. But reading the Bible backward as he advocates it certainly does disenfranchise everyone who can't bring themselves to stand in line and salute along with the disciples of bog-standard trinitarian orthodoxy.
So to point out the issue of supercessionism is only to state the obvious. A backward reading of the Bible poses even broader problems, and one suspects that not even the ghost of Karl Barth could paper over those cracks.
To be continued.