Thursday, June 07, 2007

Dr Meredith Kline

I first came across Dr Meredith Kline's works last year when I was doing Old Testament Advanced Exegesis on Joshua. He is a covenant theologian, in which biblical theology is essentially understood from the idea of covenant keeping by God towards man, and vice versa. It was about the intriguing idea of understanding Old Testament ethics with the idea of "Intrusion Ethics". According to Kline, the idea of intrusion is essentially: "into the midst of the common grace field, God sometimes intrudes the principle of final judgment ahead of time (e.g., the flood; the conquest of Canaan). Normally, intrusions are associated with the setting up of a theocracy (e.g., Noah's ark; the Israelite theocracy). When heaven comes to earth, judgment ensues! The cross and resurrection of Christ was also an intrusion, and it was the prelude to the setting up of the spiritual, heavenly theocracy of the reign of Christ in the church. Intrusions are not normative and can only be instituted by divine special command (i.e., the Lord's commanding Joshua, Saul, David to exterminate the Canaanites). Under normal, common grace conditions, we must love our enemies just like God does (Mat 5:44-45). Only at the final day, when heaven comes to earth permanently, will we be asked to hate our enemies."

By grace, God 'intrudes' upon the world to save the world, like Noah's ark story whereby God has to intrude to provide a way out for an ill-fated world of sin. Other intrusions includes the choosing of Israel through Abraham, Jesus's incarnation...

It is a brilliant way to maintain an eschatological perspective when interpreting the past work of God in the historical Israel and the world that God has set out to redeem from the very beginning.

Dr Kline passed away on April 14th, 2007.

1) Meredith Kline Online
2) Intrusion Ethics
3) Glossary of Terms

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