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how to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference

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Andrew, in the post above I follow along just fine until I hit the comment that “The door of the Law is firmly closed, allowing neither Jews out to find salvation nor Gentiles in to become part of the covenant people.”  I plan to read your Romans post in this series in just a couple minutes but for the meantime, while I can see Paul’s argument at the beginning of Roman’s does argue that the Jews are locked out of salvation, I don’t remember the argument that the Gentiles are locked out.  How did the law close the door to the Gentiles if they in fact could choose to follow it?  Weren’t there cases of converts to Judaism in the Old Testament?  My memory is poor, but Rahab comes to mind.  She’s an especially interesting case since she survived despite God’s own command to extinguish the life of her and all her countrymen while also being mentioned as an example of faith by the author of Hebrews.  So my question is, where does Rahab fit in Romans 1-4 prior to the coming of Christ?  What is her dillemma, a Jewish one, or a Gentile one?

That’s one point of hang-up.  As I read on I come to another.  In your diagram, you have a text which says that “Jesus death saves Israel from destruction.”  How?  After all, when Jesus warned his disciples about the coming destruction, he doesn’t say believe in me to be saved.  He instead says something very unspiritual: “Those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and hope to God you’re not pregnant.”  Surely, there were true people of God (disciples) who died in the war and were not saved.  Not because they didn’t believe.  They simply failed to get the heck out of Dodge.  So while his warning may have saved a few people, I fail to see how his death saved anyone historically from Roman destruction.  Maybe here I’m misinterpreting you, but help me understand.