Wes: I thought your work on 2 Cor 5 and the ethical understanding of "becoming the righteousness of God in him" are spot on with the matters raised in Rishmawy's post, especially how a new way-of-being results in a new way-of-seeing. Thoughts?
God’s intention in the election of Israel has always been the blessing of the nations and the salvation of the world. The Arabs, descended from Ishmael or not, comprise part of that broader crowd of “all the families of the earth” that God intended to bless through Christ. “All” really means “all” here. If, by faith, an Arab or a Palestinian is united to Christ, then in the body of Christ they “are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (Gal. 3:29) in the truest sense, because “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). At the wedding supper of the Lamb, when members of every “tribe, tongue, and nation” (Rev. 5:9; 7:9) gather to sing the praise of the King, those redeemed from the Arab peoples, descendants of Ishmael or not, will join in the same song, giving glory to Jesus in ways that draw on their particular ethnic and racial particularity—as Arabs and Palestinians. The bottom-line is that thinking of an entire group of people, one of the families of the earth, primarily as an obstacle to peace, instead of as an object of God’s reconciling love in Christ is a sub-Christian view of God’s purposes for the nations in the drama of redemption.