In my book 40 Questions About Typology and Allegory, I offer a longer definition of typology that I hope encompasses the kinds of types that are discernible in the Old Testament. A biblical type is a person, office, place, institution, event, or thing in salvation history that anticipates, shares correspondences with, escalates toward, and resolves in its antitype. In Luke 24, Jesus taught that the Old Testament pointed to him.
An ancient way of reading the Old Testament involves discerning how various people, institutions, and events point forward to what God does later in redemptive history. Throughout church history, Christian interpreters have insisted that God designed earlier things recorded in Scripture to correspond to and escalate toward later things recorded in Scripture.
Welcome to the subject of typology. The word “type” refers to an impression or shape of something. Christological types are Old Testament people, institutions, or events that are shaped by God in a certain way for the purpose of anticipating the person and work of the Messiah. Think of a type as a kind of outline that’s filled in later. Or think of it as a shadow that’s cast by christological light shining into the Old Testament era.
Let’s get to some examples.
In Matthew 12, Jesus said, “For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:40). Jesus is drawing a comparison with correspondences, and he himself is the escalation of Jonah’s descent and ascent. Jonah is a type of Christ.
In John 3, Jesus said, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life” (John 3:14-15). In this case, the bronze serpent in the wilderness is a type of Christ. All who look to the serpent lived physically, and all who look to Christ live spiritually (and ultimately physically at the resurrection). Correspondences and escalation.
You Might also like
2022 General Assembly Update: Good Things Are Happening In The PCABy George Sayour — 9 months ago
BCO 16-4 as amended would read: “ Officers in the Presbyterian Church in America must be above reproach in their walk and Christlike in their character. While office bearers will see spiritual perfection only in glory, they will continue in this life to confess and to mortify remaining sins in light of God’s work of progressive sanctification. Therefore, to be qualified for office, they must affirm the sinfulness of fallen desires, the reality and hope of progressive sanctification, and be committed to the pursuit of Spirit-empowered victory over their sinful temptations, inclinations, and actions.”
This year’s General Assembly was held in Birmingham, AL, the birthplace of the PCA. The number of voting Commissioners, TEs & REs (often referred to as Pastors and Elders), was around 2300 and was a record. The Assembly was a blessed time of co-laboring for the Kingdom with many like-minded brothers, for the Glory of God, the Good of Christ’s Church, and the Spread of the Gospel.
Here JUST A FEW highlights from the Assembly.
Pastor George’s 2022 PCA GA Update & Commentary VIDEOS:
1) Approved Petitioning the U.S. Government to End Abortion
Therefore Be it Resolved, That the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, on behalf of the Presbyterian Church in America, be directed to communicate to the President of the United States, the leaders of Congress, and the Governors and leaders of the State Legislatures of the 50 States, the following statement:
“God declares in Sacred Scripture that civil government, no less than the Church, is a divine institution and owes its authority to God. The Bible is the supreme revelation of God’s will and teaches that the unborn child is a human person deserving the full protection of the Sixth Commandment, “You shall not murder”.
We who love our nation, in the name of God who alone is sovereign, call upon you to renounce the sin of abortion, to repent of the complicity in the mass slaughter of innocent unborn children, who are persons in the sight of God, and to reverse the ruinous direction of both law and practice in this area. The obedience to God which places us in subjection to your rightful authority, requires of us to proclaim the counsel of God as it bears upon the same God-given authority.”
2) Taking Abuse Seriously
The PCA Study Report on Abuse was Presented.
Overture 2021-40 To Allow Victim Protection Provisions– This amends BCO 35:1-5. The gist of this is that victims of abuse don’t have to testify in church courts in the presence of their alleged abuser. This is common sense, but there was previously no provision in our BCO for this. This will have to pass 2/3 of the presbyteries.
3) Voted (1030-699) to Leave the NAE (National Association of Evangelicals)
4) Clarifying HOW the Standing Judicial Commission (SJC) will Take Original Jurisdiction of a Case
This is good, since some Presbyteries don’t do discipline on ministers who create public scandal and the SJC couldn’t previously assume original jurisdiction if Presbyteries conducted an investigation. In the low point of the Assembly, there was a Minority Report on this Overture which was ruled Intemperate for Impugning the motives of those who wanted the Overture. It implied there was an issue with their honesty in a number of places and fear-mongered unnecessarily. Thankfully, the Minority Report failed and the Overture passed. This will have to pass 2/3 of Presbyteries.
Floor Speech by TE Fred Greco in Favor of this Change. TE Greco Chairs the SJC, and is in the best position to know the affects of this Overture and he is for it.
Overture 8 – (Key Lines)
BCO 34-1 as amended would read
34-1. Process against a minister shall be entered before the Presbytery of which he is a member. However, if the Presbytery does not indict in either doctrinal cases or instances of public scandal and at least ten percent (10%) of Presbyteries request the General Assembly to assume original jurisdiction for a case of process, the General Assembly shall do so. The General Assembly may assess the costs thereof equitably among the parties, including the petitioning Presbyteries and the Presbytery of the minister.
BCO 33-1 would be amended similarly for Presbyteries to take Original Jurisdiction over Church cases.
5) Officer & Ordination Standards (These will have to pass 2/3 of Presbyteries)
These are the Overtures meant to replace last year’s Overtures regarding forbidding the Ordination of Gay Pastors. The point in these is not to disqualify a man from holding office for simply having Same-Sex Attraction(s) but it is how he views those attractions as they relate to his identity, being, sanctification, and repentance.
Overture 15 (Passed 55% – 45%)
BCO 7-4 as amended would read:
Men who describe themselves as homosexual, even those who describe themselves as homosexual and claim to practice celibacy by refraining from homosexual conduct, are disqualified from holding office in the Presbyterian Church in America.
Floor Speech by O. Palmer Robertson in Favor of Overture 15
Overture 29 (Passed by 90 % )
Pastor Greg Johnson of Memorial Presbyterian Church was the only floor speech against this Overture. He said he can affirm everything in it, but doesn’t want it in the Book of Church Order because enough harm has been done to the gay community. It should be noted, this does not make mention of any particular sin. This overture passed overwhelmingly (1922-200). Here is what it says:
BCO 16-4 as amended would read:
Officers in the Presbyterian Church in America must be above reproach in their walk and Christlike in their character. While office bearers will see spiritual perfection only in glory, they will continue in this life to confess and to mortify remaining sins in light of God’s work of progressive sanctification. Therefore, to be qualified for office, they must affirm the sinfulness of fallen desires, the reality and hope of progressive sanctification, and be committed to the pursuit of Spirit-empowered victory over their sinful temptations, inclinations, and actions.
Overture 31 (Passed Unanimously)
BCO 21-4.e as amended would read: Ordination Requirements and Procedures
In the examination of the candidate’s personal character, the presbytery shall give specific attention to potential notorious concerns. Careful attention must be given to his practical struggle against sinful actions, as well as to persistent sinful desires. The candidate must give clear testimony of reliance upon his union with Christ and the benefits thereof by the Holy Spirit, depending on this work of grace to make progress over sin (Psalm 103:2-5, 15 Romans 8:29) and to bear fruit (Psalm 1:3, Gal. 5:22-23). While imperfection will remain, when confessing sins and sinful temptations publicly, the candidate must exercise great care not to diminish the seriousness of those sins in the eyes of the congregation, as though they were matters of little consequence, but rather should testify to the work of the Holy Spirit in his progress in holiness (1 Cor. 6:9-11).
BCO 24-1 would be amended similarly for Ruling Elders and Deacons.
6) Miscellaneous Items.
Overtures Condemning CRT, Secret Orgs in the PCA, & Political Violence ALL FAILED.
Reduced Fee for Ruling Elders to $300. Teaching Elders increased to $500 (or $550?) This is good as REs have to take vacation and often pay out of pocket. Hopefully this will encourage more REs to attend.
Nominating Committee Nominees for Permanent Committees, Agencies, Boards, Standing Judicial Commission were mostly Conservative Confessional Men. This will have a long-term impact.
A lot of Overtures passed around our BCO Processes for how we do things within churches, presbyteries, and church discipline.
Last year’s Overtures that passed the Presbyteries were all approved.
50thAnniversary Plans underway for Next Year’s Assembly in Memphis.
George Sayour is a Minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and is Pastor of Meadowview PCA in Lexington, NC. This article is used with permission.
PCA Committees and Agencies Received At Least $13.5 Million From the Small Business Paycheck Protection Program in 2020By Staff — 10 months ago
A quick search of the PPP databases suggests that hundreds of local PCA churches received relief funds as well. One large PCA church with an associated school was approved for almost $3.2 million. Others, such as Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, AL, never applied for funds.
The agencies, institutions, and committees of the Presbyterian Church in America were approved for at least $13.5 million in relief from the U.S. Small Business Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in 2020. All the loans appear to have been forgiven according to publicly-available information.
A few mentions of the loans were made in last year’s General Assembly minutes and reports, but a complete picture is not yet available. Also unknown is how many (if any) of the loans were repaid or returned in part or in full.
According to the U.S Department of the Treasury website:
The Paycheck Protection Program established by the CARES Act, is implemented by the Small Business Administration with support from the Department of the Treasury. This program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.
The ProPublica website, one of many tracking the PPP loans, reported that 11.5 million loans were approved and $714 billion out of $793 billion approved were forgiven.
A quick search of the PPP databases suggests that hundreds of local PCA churches received relief funds as well. One large PCA church with an associated school was approved for almost $3.2 million. Others, such as Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, AL, never applied for funds, and Briarwood pastor Dr. Harry Reeder wrote forcefully against taking the Federal funds in April of 2020.
Discussion of the ethics, advisability, and wisdom of churches or church institutions, agencies, or committees receiving Federal funds of this type has been scant. Decisions to apply were taken quickly, lest the funds run out. There is anecdotal evidence of churches receiving funds and quickly returning them for reasons of conscience or as it became obvious that funds would not be necessary for the continued operation of churches during Covid.
Doubtless, some churches suffered greatly in 2020 and 2021, but there are many stories of churches whose giving stayed constant or increased in the same period. The non-effect of Covid on finances was also evident in the case of the PCA Administrative Committee, according to a report included in this year’s General Assembly Commissioners’ Handbook. And the PPP funds were part of the reason for an increase in “income.” After noting strong contributions, the report said:
The higher Earned Income was, of course, driven by the largest General Assembly in our brief history. All of this was enhanced by the “Below the Line” income (the earnings from investments and the PPP Grant) of $367,374, enabling Total Net Income for the year to reach $418,918.
The Stated Clerk’s report to this year’s General Assembly suggests the PCA was more generally blessed:
Remarkably, despite some early pandemic shudders, (local) church giving has been strong overall. Total PCA disbursements were up $25 million, approaching $1 billion. Total contributions were down $43 million last year due to some unusually large gifts in 2020 but are still trending up significantly for the 5-year period. Despite the downturn in church attendance due to Covid, giving in most of our local churches has stayed strong. Those always faithful have seen the necessity of their generosity in a tenuous time, and have continued faithful, particularly to local church efforts. Per capita giving has actually risen during the Covid years.
The question may seem like Monday-morning quarterbacking, but it must be asked: Did most PCA churches, agencies, committees, and institutions who took the PPP funds even need them? As many have noted, those public funds were not “free money.” Public funds are more properly thought of as the taxes our neighbors have paid if not the public debt our grandchildren will inherit.
The PCA’s 49th General Assembly will meet next week in Birmingham (June 20-24, 2022), and though the exact disposition of PPP funds received is unclear, there are a host of committees of commissioners who will examine minutes of the denomination’s agencies, committees, and institutions and question their officials and leaders. Faithfully fulfilling this duty of oversight may help prepare the denomination for the next crisis.
Here are the amounts of the PPP funds approved and “forgiven” by the Federal government for PCA entities:
Two loans of $270,684 and $116,289 for the “Presbyterian Church in America” and “Presbyterian Church in America, Inc.” in Lawrenceville, GA, assumedly for the Administrative Committee (and possibly another committee) totaling $386,953
Committee on Discipleship Ministries – $108,063
Reformed University Fellowship – $5,325,019
Mission to North America – $877,000
Mission to the World – $1,918,630
PCA Retirement and Benefits, Inc. – $351,601
Covenant College, Inc, – $3,240,522
Covenant Theological Seminary – $1,102,300
Ridge Haven (camp and conference center) – $196,700
Denominational total: $13,506,788
Catechizing the ResistanceBy Ben Dunson — 1 year ago
If we do not begin with ourselves, and with our families, nothing else we seek to do in the world will matter. The battle for the soul of our culture and nation will be lost before it can even begin.
The family as a resistance cell.
Rod Dreher’s book The Benedict Option, as well as his follow up Live Not By Lies, focuses on the necessary steps Christian believers must take to prepare for the trials that are quickly coming their way. There appear to be dark days ahead in our nation. The number of Christian believers in America declines with every passing year, even if some of the numbers are due to nominal Christians ceasing to identify as Christian in any sense. The impact of all of this has become particularly obvious in the realm of human sexuality where (even in ostensibly evangelical churches) biblical teaching is widely disregarded. Last year Norway passed a law making speech against homosexuality or transsexuality illegal, whether in public or in private, with one- to three- year prison sentences for transgressions. A Finnish Member of Parliament is currently on trial for simply stated the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality. This month Canada has made it illegal to urge someone to repent of homosexual desires. There are many in America advocating for similar laws (whether they will be successful remains to be seen).
The family, Dreher insists, is one of the primary bulwarks against the coming troubles. He calls families “resistance cells” against the attacks of a hostile world.
This call to battle has a long history in the Christian church, stretching back to the early church. As the tradition developed, many theologians appropriated and transformed the classical political tradition of Greece and Rome. Central to their thinking was the idea that the formation of a virtuous state must begin with the individual and the family.
Peter Martyr Vermigli, an Italian Protestant Reformer, provides a good example of this tradition in his posthumously published commentary (1563) on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics:
Among these moral subjects, the first place is surely held by ethics, then economics, and finally politics. I see this order as circular. Through ethics, those who are its students will, one by one, become good men. If they prove upright, they will raise good families; if the families are properly established, they will in turn create good republics. And in good republics, both law and administration will aim at nothing less than each man becoming a good citizen, for they have eyes not only for the body but also for the spirit, and they will take care that citizens live according to virtue.
In this article I will look, not at the idea of the family as a little commonwealth in general (as important as that is), but at the necessity of such commonwealths being properly formed and regulated through the practice of catechizing, which has a long and venerable tradition in Christian churches.
This tradition is of vital importance today. Without a vigorous program of Christian nurture and instruction in our families it will not matter what success is achieved in the broader commonwealth. Many Christians, rightly concerned about the state of society, fail to begin in the very place where they can actually have a significant impact: their own homes. If we cannot get our homes in order what makes us think we will ever be able to get our communities, states, and nations in order? Even more importantly, of course, the eternal well-being of our children is at stake.
The Danish Lutheran theologian Niels Hemmingsen put this “focus on the family” well in his 1562 work On the Law of Nature:
But since man is, as it were, a commonwealth in miniature, the result is that the virtues of the soul by which the soundness of the state of man is preserved should be transferred to the society and dominions of men. For by these four virtues—prudence, temperance, courage, and justice—men’s societies are preserved, that is, their households and polities.
Man is a commonwealth in miniature, as is the family. The reformation of our society must begin at home.
Why we must catechize the resistance.
When we consider the intense spiritual and moral challenges our children will face in the coming years, we must turn to the Scriptures as our guide. The Bible calls Christian parents to raise their children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4 ESV; the King James Version of the Bible more famously says “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord”). What does this mean?
First, it means teaching our families the whole counsel of God’s word. That is what is indicated in the word “discipline” or “nurture.” The King James Version’s “nurture” captures the holistic sense of the word, which is not simply about correcting bad behavior. Second, it means to “admonish” our children. This includes instruction, but also includes correction when one goes astray. Taken together, Ephesians 6:4 gives parents a great responsibility: God has entrusted us with the spiritual and intellectual development of our children. We must teach them the Gospel, we must teach them “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27), and we must teach them how to think about culture and about all of the influences that will bear down on them in this world. We must be vigilant: our children will be bombarded with ideas that are contrary to God’s word. This will come at them in schools, in the TV shows they watch, in the music they listen to, and in the conversations they have with their friends. They will face a multitude of moral and theological untruths at every turn. It will not be easy to counteract this, but we must. God requires this of parents.
We see this imperative in the Old Testament as well. Deuteronomy 6:7, speaking of the commandments of God, tells parents: “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Speaking of the things of the Lord must be a constant in our family conversations, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. They must know what is true about God and themselves and they must learn how to evaluate the world accordingly.
Proverbs 22:6 shows us the way: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” God has ordained both the means (training) and the end (not departing) of the salvation, and spiritual protection, of our children.
If we do not teach our children what God requires and forbids, and how to discern which is which, they will be utterly defenseless in a dark world. Our children must be inoculated against all strains of unbelief through a steady exposure to the truths of Scripture. They must see and savor the goodness of Jesus Christ in his word so that, as the hymn says, the “the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.” God gives parents this awesome responsibility.