Skip to main content

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.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

"Big eyes full of wonder"

Books. Fiction. Libraries. Second only to churches as are the best gateways in your community to ultimate reality and new possibilities.

Our local library has just re-opened after refurbishment, and I love that our boys have spent several mornings there during the summer holidays, discovering some wonderful new stories.

I realised a few months back that I wasn't reading enough fiction. My work necessitates reading a lot of non-fiction, a mix of historical and contemporary thinking, biblical studies and theology. But fiction is the cinderella. Easily overlooked, and yet able to awaken my imagination and show me the way things are meant to be.

So I've picked up a few more lately - bought and borrowed. Not every book attempted flies, and that's ok. These have been winners though.

Ink. This is Alice Broadway's debut novel. It's young adult fiction and tells the story of Leora who lives in a world where the events of your life are tattooed on your skin. Nothing gets hid…

Uniquely Matthew

Reading gospel accounts in parallel is sometimes used to blur the differences in perspective between the evangelists, seeking to harmonise the texts and find a definitive historical account of what happened. No such thing exists because every account is biased and limited. You simply can't record everything. You have to hold a vantage point. And that's not a problem.

Matthew, Mark and Luke take a very different vantage point to John who was of course an eyewitness himself of the events. Comparing the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke across the death and resurrection of Jesus yields two steps.

Firstly, the common ground. All three accounts tell of...
Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross…. · Jesus labelled as King of the Jews…. · Criminals crucified with Jesus… · Darkness in the daytime… · Jesus' loud final cry… The women who witnessed Jesus death, and Jesus' burial… · The tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Arimithea… · The women who went to the tomb on the morning of the…

Songs we're singing in Church

Christians are a singing people, it's part of what we do when we gather.

Our church meets morning an evening on a Sunday - normally using 5 songs in each service. So, over the year that's about 520 song-slots available. The report from the database system we use ( tells us that in the past year we've sung about 150 different songs.

Our current most used song has been sung 11 times in the last year, just under once a month. Our top 10 are used about every 6 weeks. By #30 we're talking about songs used every two months. The tail is long and includes loads of classic hymns from across the centuries, plus other songs from the past 40 years, that we have used around once a term or less.

1. Rejoice - Dustin Kensrue

2. Come Praise & Glorify - Bob Kauflin

3. Man of Sorrows - Hillsong

4. Cornerstone - Hillsong

Rejoice was a song I didn't previously know, along with a couple of others that have quickly become firm favourites for me: Chri…