Typological Glory of Israel

This basic pattern of bearing God’s glory-image was recapitulated at a typological level for the nation of Israel. Like the protological son before them, the nation of Israel bore God’s glory as typological son (Exod 4:22; 28:2, 40; 40:34; Ps 3:3; Zech 2:5). As a type, the nation exhibited a form of the glory that anticipated the eschatological glory yet to be recovered and consummated.... Just as Adam lost the protological glory when he fell in the garden, so also this typological glory did not remain. The nation of Israel, after repeatedly breaking covenant, “fell” from glory and was exiled into Babylon. In climactic conclusion to God’s typological presence with the national image bearer, the glory of the Lord left the temple (Ezek 10:18; cf. 1 Sam 4:21).

 


God's Program of Transformation

The new creation is yet to come (2 Pet 3:13; Rev 21:1; Isa 65:17ff), but it has also already come. God’s program of transformation is not entirely future. Those whom the Spirit has called, regenerated, and united to Christ experience the new man in the present time (Heb 12:22). They have been made alive together with him and seated in the heavenly places in Christ (Eph 2:6). They rise to walk in newness of life (Rom 6:4). Having died to sin, they have been and are being renewed (2 Cor 4:16; Eph 4:23; Col 3:10). In a very real sense, believers already share in the glory of Christ and the hope of the glory to come, namely that which is inextricably linked with Christ’s return and the transformation, which ensues as a necessary entailment of that event. Still, the new man awaits a consummation. Believers do not yet outwardly manifest the glory they one day will manifest when they see their Savior face to face. For at that time they will be changed, in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye (1 Cor 15:51–52).

 


Never Let Studying Defeat The Purpose of Studying

No one wants to be used, especially not your church. That precious blood-bought gift of God’s grace is not a platform for you to indulge your fancy for scholarship, nor a venue for you to cloister yourself off from the nitty-gritty of your calling. In fact, if your congregation starts to begrudge your study time (for example, if you hear things like “He spends all his time holed up in his office”), you will need to take a close look at your priorities. It may be that your congregation is serving a vital role in your own sanctification by calling into question the degree to which your study time is really in the service of Christ and his kingdom.

 


Avoiding Controlled Alienation

...Gadamer argues (rightly, in our mind) that it is in fact our very personal relation with the object that actually provides our way to understand the object. For Gadamer, “Prejudices are not necessarily unjustified and erroneous, so that they inevitably distort the truth. In fact, the historicity of our existence entails that prejudices, in the literal sense of the word, constitute the initial directedness of our whole ability to experience. Prejudices are biases of our openness to the world. They are simply conditions whereby we experience something — whereby what we encounter says something to us.”8 In fact, attempts to gain some personal remove from the subject at hand — what Gadamer calls “controlled alienation” — work against our ability to know as we ought. “What kind of understanding does one achieve through ‘controlled alienation’? Is it not likely to be an alienated understanding?”9


8
Hans-Georg Gadamer, Philosophical Hermeneutics, trans. David E. Linge (Berkley: University of California Press, 2008), 9.
9
Gadamer, Philosophical Hermeneutics, 27.
 


Theology in Social Contexts

Because theology is an attempt to appropriate the truth of Scripture in light of life’s questions, each theologian’s theological paradigm cannot help but be heavily influenced and directed by the particular questions that arise from his or her unique social location.

...

...it was Luther’s immersion in the functionally semi-Pelagian soteriological paradigm of medieval scholasticism that caused him to rethink the doctrine of justification by faith.

 


Pressing Deeper Beyond Apologetically-focused Theology

An apologetically focused theology, though essential, forms only the outer ring of the theological enterprise. It defends the structure, but it is not itself the whole structure. Certainly, we must continue to advance a robust evangelical presence in the wider academic community; evangelical academic theology must continue. But we must also recognize that being forced to play within the present academic boundaries limits the ecclesial impact of academic theology.

 


The Pastor's Professor is Not The Pastor

Despite assumptions to the contrary, the pastoral office retains the burden of the church’s theological leadership, regardless of the vocational context of professional theologians and scholars. Or to say it again, the burden of maintaining the theological and ethical integrity of the people of God is inevitably linked to an office within the church, not to a group of people with intellectual gifting. Insofar as pastors bear the day-to-day burden of teaching and leading God’s people, they simply are the theological leaders of the church. As goes the pastoral community, so goes the church. Assuming sufficient tenure, show us a pastor with robust theological depth, and we’ll show you a local church with a corresponding theological depth. Likewise, show us a pastor who lacks the capacity to think meaningfully about the gospel, and we’ll show you a church that lacks the same. It doesn’t matter how theologically informed the pastor’s professor is. The theological integrity of a local church will not rise above that of its pastor. What is true for individual churches is true for the church as a whole.

 


The Eternal Fatherhood

The fatherhood of God possesses three analogous and related components: creative fatherhood, theocratic fatherhood, and adoptive (redemptive) fatherhood. First, God's very creation of mankind, the imprint of his image on man, and his providential care over all his creation, demonstrate his fatherly origination and care for humanity. Since God is Father, those whom he created in his image are his sons. Second, the theocratic fatherhood of God appears in his corporate adoption of Israel as his chosen people. As demonstrated by the exposition in Romans 9, this covenant people is definitively recognized by God as his son (cf. Ex. 4:22-23). In establishing the son ship of Israel, God elucidated his sovereign expectations of his people (Ex. 4:23), but also his particular and paternal care for his chosen ones. In this elevated position as corporate son, Israel typologically foreshadowed the exclusive privileges of those adopted under the provisions of the new covenant, and affirmed the intended teleology of covenantal sonship. Third, the adoptive fatherhood of God restores the original blessings of intimacy established in the Garden of Eden, and advances these blessings to their glorious denouement in solidarity with Christ the Son par excellence (cf. Rom. 8:12-17) by the eschatological Spirit. In view of this development of the filial interactions of God with humanity in history, we must say that God acted in a fatherly fashion throughout Scripture, because he is a Father by nature. More specifically, the ontological character of God as Father is determinative of the creative and the redemptive; God's fatherly actions in creation and redemption are derivative of his eternal ontological character. Presupposed by God's eternal fatherhood, created men are sons, who alone are redeemed to intended sonship privileges and constitution by the messianic Son himself. Adoptive sonship realized in Christ is grounded for Paul in the eternal reality of God's fatherhood, and is in direct continuity with the created reality of Adamic sonship as a finite replica of the archetypal sonship of Jesus Christ.

To reiterate, Jesus' eternal sonship explicitly attests to God's eternal fatherhood and man's created sonship.