Jesus Christ and the Lint-Roller? Typology, Figuration, and the Form of the Son

One way in which the biblical-theological work of Geerhardus Vos in the late 19th and early 20th century differed from what then and since has been called biblical theology was Vos’s commitment to the vertical dimension of history and revelation in relationship: by the vertical we mean that revelation is not limited to, exhausted by, or even primarily focused on the horizontal, historical, sequential elements of before/after, promise/fulfillment, and versions of typology that can be reduced to such concerns. Instead, at every point God’s revelation in and through history is related to, in fact anchored by and in, the triune God, Father, Son, and Spirit, the realities of heavenly and glorious life and fellowship within the trinity and the economic purpose of that triune God to glorify the Son in the Spirit by way of his Church. That “vertical” reality is primary; history is explained by it, not the other way around.Ironically, a purely horizontal approach can confuse the idea of “fulfillment” with displacement, and the Son of God’s relationship, personally, to the OT (and its people) becomes at least a strained and weak thing. Unfortunately, the horizontal model continues to be the most familiar and conventional way of thinking about biblical theology, the relation of the two testaments, Christ and the OT, and so on, even among some who would claim to work self-consciously in the wake of Vos’s proposals. Since Vos, a great deal of excellent work has been done in the history and theological nature of Scripture and its reading, and much of it can advance insights Vos commended to our attention. Advancing those insights, and doing so in conversation with other voices in biblical, historical, and theological scholarship will require sustained consideration of the effect of the vertical upon our understanding of Christ himself and the relationship of Church in Christ to all of Holy Scripture. And this is a wonderful thing to learn and to pursue. In today’s episode, we even suggest that the lowly lint-roller – yes, a lint-roller — might help us avoid the errors of the before/after, promise/fulfillment model in favor a more conspicuously Christian practice of Scriptural reading.To discuss this and more, we are pleased to welcome back once again friend and minister of Word and sacrament, Pastor Jesse Crutchley, pastor of Severn Run Evangelical Presbyterian Church, a PCA congregation in Millersville, MD, and member of Greystone’s ministerial council.To purchase a Greystone “Never Just Passing Through” t-shirt or mug, email [email protected]

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The podcast of Greystone Theological Institute, exploring questions of theology, ethics, church faith and life, and more from the perspective of confessional Reformed catholicity.