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Synopsis


God's favor towards some serves God's plan for the larger world.

The fact that the Jewish people are especially chosen by God is an idea affirmed by both early Christians and rabbis. However, the idea that God would favor one person or group over another is highly problematic in today's democratic and pluralistic society. Being the Chosen is often seen as better ignored or even repudiated by both Christians and Jews.

According to Joel Kaminsky, God's larger plan for the world is worked out through the three-way relationship between God, Israel, and the nations of the world. He asserts that we need to reexamine the Bible in light of this matter. What is needed is a better understanding of what the Bible really says about God's choosing. Beginning with the familiar stories in Genesis (Cain and Abel; Isaac and Ishmael; Jacob and Esau; Joseph and his brothers; but also Hagar and Sarah; Leah and Rachel; Isaac and Rebekah), Kaminsky shows how God chooses, how humans participate, what we know from the Bible about God's intentions, and whether God's plan for the chosen people succeeds. The book continues through the Old Testament, asking about the fates of those whom God chooses to favor, those whom God rejects, and those who are neither favored nor rejected. Finally, Kaminsky shows how both the New Testament authors and the rabbis affirmed the Old Testament view of God's election. Each chapter engages modern problems with a theology of election and every chapter affirms the biblical paradox the God's choice in favor of some serves God's plan to benefit all.

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