In 1954, as the connection between smoking and lung cancer was becoming more discernible through research, the tobacco companies provided “A Frank Statement” to counterattack the bad publicity they were receiving. Siddhartha Mukherjee, in his book The Emperor of All Maladies, points out that this statement was anything but frank: “By half revealing and half concealing the actual disagreements among scientists, the advertisement performed a complex dance of veils. Obfuscation of facts and the reflection of self-doubt—the proverbial combination of smoke and mirrors—would have sufficed for any ordinary public relations campaign. But the final ploy was unrivaled in its genius” . . . they proposed more research and even offered aid and assistance.
The Shema, from which Jesus appropriated the greatest commandment, is found in the book of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy is a restatement of the Mosaic covenant, which was grounded in Israel’s redemption from Egypt (Ex 2:2). This redemption was grounded in God’s covenant with Abraham (Ex 3:15). This covenant was the result of God’s gracious choice (Gen 12:1) and his plan to redeem for himself people from all nations through Abraham’s seed (Gen 12:3). Further, this covenant was rooted in God’s promise in the garden to defeat Satan with the seed of the woman (Gen 3:15). In this unfolding of redemptive history, God is actively restoring creation to its original design—a world filled with image-bearers who reflect the glory of their Creator. This is precisely what Jesus came to do.