OST is closed for business but its spirit survives on my blog.
This part I do not understand…
"I wonder, though, if we don’t make too much of the faith issue, in this
respect: Israel was under judgment (experienced concretely as foreign
oppression and the prospect of war) not because of a lack of faith but
because of a lack of righteousness, a failure of obedience (= idolatry, immorality, injustice)."
Israel (or I am guessing more accurately you are saying the people of Israel or Jewish Race) was under judgement? Was this judgement any more or less then individuals, communities, or nations are under every day? From what I understand, Israel was under occupation by The Romans and had to do what they had to do to survive.
The true "lack of righteousness" came from the Rabbis who enjoyed their wealth and power (at the hands of The Romans) and the Romans who not only tortured but murdered Jesus (and many other Jews). Both the Rabbis and The Romans saw Jesus as a threat to their power and used coerision to motivate their followers to feel this way. It was because of this greed that there was idolatry, immortality, injstice…etc.. If Jesus had not been murdered would we be having this discussion today? Noone knows.
The question that I have is can this really be considered a "state of failure"? This type of situation has been going on from the beginning of time and continues today. It is not so much a state of failure but evidence of the imperfection of mankind. Unfortunantely we have not learned from history.
How did Jesus replace any structure or symbol in or of Israel? If that was true all Jews would have accepted him as Christ. Certainly Moses was the closest thing anyone had at the time to a Christ and even he was not seen as the one.
One more question - why do you have to be god centered to be righteous?