Today, on Godpod 38, Mike Lloyd, Jane Williams, Graham Tomlin and myself discussed a couple of fascinating questions: Why didn't Jesus write his own Gospel, and Does God open the lost letters of planet earth (e.g. does God answer Muslim prayers etc.)?
During the second half of the Godpod I was rather quiet, trying to find the passage in Amos, which I ended up finding too late to add to the discussion. I was looking for Amos 9:7:
"Are you not like the Ethiopians to me, O people of Israel? says the LORD. Did I not bring Israel up from the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir?"
My point was this: in no way denying that God acted on behalf of Israel, that God was in special relationship with this covenant people, God also acted in gracious redeeming activity on behalf of, so says Amos, the nations around Israel, indeed their enemies. In other words, while not contradicting the special claims of Israel, their relationship with God is, to use the term employed by Brueggemann, deabsolutised.
Applied to the question of whether God 'opens the lost letters of planet earth', this text would assert that God is indeed in relation with all people, ready to act graciously on their behalf. To say this, however, does not negate the specific and particular claims of Christain faith, but it does 'deabsolutise' them.