In 'Through New Eyes' James Jordan aims to help his readers become re-familiarised with the language and thought forms of the bible. Part 2 focuses on the basic elements of creation. After a chapter on the world in general as God’s house, chapter 5 moves to the Sun, Moon and Stars.
Jordan’s basic text is Genesis 1:14-18 which describes the heavenly bodies as lights, signs, governors of time, seasons and days. Stemming from their position in the heavenlies and their function as rulers of time and seasons, the heavenly bodies have a symbolic function in the bible as representing angelic and human rulers and authorities (e.g. Job 38:7, Isaiah 14:13).
Following from this, Jordan highlights a popular misinterpretation of several bible passages referring to the sun, moon and stars. Most passages which speak of the shaking/falling/removal of heavenly bodies are interpreted as referring (somewhat, but not entirely literally) to the end of the physical world/collapse of the cosmos. Jordan argues that such passages (especially prevalent in the prophets and in Jesus’ teaching) actually represent the collapse of a nation/ruler/kingdom. If the end of the world is on view it is often “the end of the “world” in a socio-political sense.” Jordan cites several examples, such as Isaiah 13:9-10, which, in context, is clearly about the end of the Babylonian kingdom (Isaiah 13:17).
In this vein, Jordan argues that Revelation 6:12-13 and Matthew 24:29 refer to the events surrounding and following the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70. Additionally, he suggests that the phrase ‘new heavens and new earth’ can refer to both a transfigured/renewed creation and also a new world order (new people, new rulers, new government).
Applying this imagery to the promise to Abraham (Genesis 15:5), Jordan suggests that the LORD promised that Abraham’s descendants would be ‘like the stars’ i.e. seated in the heavenlies (Ephesians 2:6) and given rule over the nations. This would suggest that Romans 4:13 is faithful to the original meaning of the Abrahamic covenant - Abraham's offspring will inherit the world (greek /kosmos/)