Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Through New Eyes 2

It has been a long time since the first post on this book.


One of the things that really attracts me to Jordan's work is the importance he places on typology. Typology has long been neglected, often for (an understandable but misguided) fear of descending into uncontrolled allegorising (I remember my Dad's indignation when an elder (!) at the church I grew up told him that he thought typology was 'tripeology').

For Jordan, typology is related to the symbolic nature of the whole creation and even history itself. Man, as God's image-bearer, has the task of building civilisations, the blueprint for which is Heaven itself (i.e. not heaven = sky). In creation God himself was working to lay the foundations and set the pattern for this glorification of earth.

Moreover, Jordan argues, at various stages in history God gave visions of Heaven as blueprints for the task of glorifying the earth. These successive visions are 'types' or patterns, with each one more glorious than the last (Tabernacle-Temple-Ezekiel’s Temple-New Jerusalem). Not surprisingly then, history too is intrinsically typological:

"Typology is the fundamental Biblical philosophy of history…It means that the successive stages of world history have a meaning, a meaning related to the heavenly pattern and God’s purpose to glorify man and the world progressively."


"The key to unlocking the meaning of history lies in the typological blueprint of heaven, as heaven progressively is impressed upon the earth, and as the Heavenly Man, Jesus Christ, is progressively impressed upon His people.” (p50-51)

Jordan helpfully notes how typology was central to the exegesis of the Church Fathers, not least because it was able to answer both Gnostics (since typology shows that the bible has an essential, historical and covenantal unity) and Judaisers (since typology shows how the New transcends and fulfills the Old).

Typology then, is a much needed perspective on the bible if we are to undertake the task we pray about in the Lord's prayer;

Our Father in heaven
Hallowed be your name
Your Kingdom come
Your will be done
On earth as in heaven

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