Monday, October 26, 2009

Oh! Supernatural Bible Reading

Jared Wilson is writing gold again, this time reflecting on finding Christ in the Scriptures...
"That's not typology," he said, "that's an instinct." My best guess is that gospel-wakefulness makes the difference. Typology is mechanical. Instinct is supernatural. I think this is one reason why, for all my appreciation (and utilization) of good scholarship, when a blogger goes academic about the Christian life and ministry, my eyes glaze over. It is why something John Piper said at the last Gospel Coalition Conference resonated with me so strongly: "Commentaries can be sermon killers. No commentary has the word Oh! in it." I think that's the difference between Christian instinct and Christian typology: the word "Oh!"


  1. I don't get (yet again) the distinction he's making. I mean, I get the overall point (mechanical vs instinctive) but I don't see why typology is on the wrong side of the divide. I love typology. Typology is wonderful. Typology is the (instinctive!) basic biblical philosophy of history. We need more typology and Pastor-teachers whose ministry overflows with typological readings of the biblical text.

    And all the things that Keller says aren't typology, are.

    Anyway. Probably a lingo thing, but just wanted to get it on record. Typology is good.

  2. Or, to put it another way - oh! typology is good! Oh, how I love typology! Oh, not for it's own sake, but, oh, for how it shows me Christ at every corner and teaches me how to think about the world, my life, and human history as part of His Story. Oh!


  3. I guess it's about engaging the heart with this stuff. Rhetorically it might introduce a false divide but let's have more typology, more gospel-wakefulness (which I certainly need!), more 'oh!' moments.

  4. It appears that he is using 'academic' as a synonym for 'dry' and 'lifeless', and falsely dividing the supernatural from structured ways of thinking.

    Seems to be a recipe for making the bible say whatever you want it to say, and replacing weighty and incisive thinking which engages with the bible, our hearts and the culture with warm and fuzzy 'ahh bisto' moments.

  5. Why would you think that typology is mechanical? Am I missing something? I don't get the connection.

  6. I don't get the mechanical vs instinct divide.

    Isn't Ps 119 a good example of instinct working with mechanics? The mechanics of the alliteration being filled with instictive Oh! moments.

    Can we not say that typology is the spark that creates a Gospel wakefulness flame? The list on Jared's blog looked like typology to me and i went Oh! went i was reading it!

  7. They are two sides of the same coin aren't they? The best way to get those 'Oh!' moments - is to study Typology in the first place.

    The most charitable interpretation of what he was saying was that we shouldn't just be doing typology as an academic exercise.

  8. I think it's just a case of saying this stuff should make us go "Oh!" - and I'm glad it does.