Friday, August 26

Inclusivity of the Good News

I'm accustomed to the term "exclusivity of the Gospel" to designate the truth that Jesus is the doorway into the Kingdom of God. But a recent manuscript study in the book of Ephesians has made me rethink this phrase.

"With all wisdom and insight [God] has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth." (Eph. 1:8-10, New Revised Std. Version). Paul emphasizes the phrase "in Christ" by repeating it liberally throughout the book of Ephesians.

The book presses, for me, not so much the exclusivity but the inclusivity of the Gospel. God intends to unite all things in Christ.

Now, I still believe God values free will so thoroughly that he allows a place for those who refuse to be included in Christ . . . perhaps that is what Paul means by "under his feet" in 1:22. Then again, he says "and has made him head over all things." In the ancient greco-Roman worldview, the head is the source of nourishment, life, light, and even protection. Hmm. I shall seek further understanding of this.

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