The focus Max King's latest book Irrevocable is on Romans 9-11. At first I got the feeling that this is going to be another book looking at how the church should relate to Israel - not in a dispensationalist way but in one that sees the promises God gave to Israel as being transferred to Jews and Gentiles together who make up the body of Christ. As a reader in the UK I didn’t find this idea as controversial as many Christians in the States might find it. It is what I would expect knowing that Max King does not hold a premileenial viewpoint which has led so many American to support the present day state of Israel as a fulfilment of biblical prophecy.
What I think more people will be surprised by is Max King’s argument in Irrevocable that “All Israel will be saved” refers to all being saved in Christ. When you get to the end of his argument you realise that he believes that all means all and that ultimately everyone will be reconciled to God through the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. The traditional understanding of hell is something that is increasingly being questioned in many circles in recent years as more and more Christians deconstruct their beliefs. The idea of universal reconciliation has come to the forefront in recent years although it has a long history not just in the 20th century also in the writings of the early church which were not considered heretical.
Though not fully a verse by verse commentary Max King does pull out the main themes and weave then together to show how they lead to his conclusion. Some many dismiss the idea as universalism but this is not really argueing that all roads lead to God which is how universalism is characterised although there are hints that such an integrationist approach may be possible in future. Here Max King is looking at Paul’s argument to the church in Rome where Jews and Gentiles were worshipping together. but perhaps needs to be more accessible to have the influence that it could have. Max King’s argument is very thorough and scholarly in expositing these chapters of Romans. But perhaps that will come with others championing the ideas in this book.