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A Glossary of Klinean Terminology

Lee Irons

Covenant: divinely sanctioned (oath-bound) commitment. All biblical covenants involve commitments on God's part toward man and on man's part toward God. For commitments to be covenantal they must be divinely sanctioned, that is, the commitments must be inaugurated or ratified by means of an oath. The biblical terminology for making a covenant includes such language as, "to cut a covenant" (referring to the ritual slaughter of a suitable animal) and "to enter into an oath" (thus showing that the slaughter of the animal is equivalent to swearing an oath). If the oath is taken by God, then it is a covenant of grace in which God commits himself to do something for man, and the oath makes the blessings promised in that covenant guaranteed to those who receive them by faith alone. The Abrahamic, the Davidic, and the new covenants are covenants sworn by God alone, and hence covenants of pure grace. By contrast, if the oath by which a covenant is ratified is taken by man, then it is a covenant of works in which man commits himself to perform certain prescribed works as the legal ground for receiving the blessings offered as a reward. In these cases, the oath makes the covenant conditional, with blessings promised upon obedience and curses threatened for disobedience. The three primary instances of this type of covenant are the Adamic covenant of works, the Mosaic covenant, and the covenant of redemption between the Father and the Son.

Typology: a type is an OT figure, law, or event which foreshadows the person and work of Christ. The concept is referred to frequently in the NT (Rom 5:14; I Cor 10:6; Gal 4:24; Col 2:17; Heb 9:24; 11:19; I Pet 3:21). Examples: the OT sacrifices pointed ahead to the final sacrifice of Christ, the Lamb of God; the land Israel inherited was a prefigurement of heaven; David symbolized Christ our King. The NT makes such connections many times (e.g., Mat 12:40; Jn 3:14-15; I Cor 5:7; Hebrews). Typology is the entire system of OT types and their fulfillment in Christ. The fundamental principle of typology is that of replacement: when the types are fulfilled, the types are discontinued (Col 2:16-17). When the sun rises, the shadows fly away!

Theocracy: the sovereign reign and realm of God (both aspects are essential). A theocracy exists when God claims a specific location as the place where He chooses to put His Name, thus constituting that locale as a holy realm, that is, a sanctuary or temple. Theocracies have existed in the past at three major points: in the garden before the fall, in the ark of Noah, and in the land of Canaan from the conquest until Christ. In a theocracy, the dominion of God is external, visible, and "glory"-ous (i.e., the physical creation is engulfed in the transforming radiance of the divine Glory). Theocracy involves a separation of a particular chosen people from the world around them to be a holy nation. The kingdom has two dimensions: priestly (cultic) and kingly (culture). These two dimensions are integrally related, but culture is subordinated to the cult, since the temple is the central focal point of the theocracy. Theocratic principles have been radically transformed with the coming of Christ, the final Priest and King. He reigns in heaven (the semi-eschatological theocratic realm) over his people (the church), but the external, visible dimension of His reign will not be realized until His second coming. Then, all of creation, together with the redeemed, will be physically "glory"-fied so as to become God's eschatological theocracy, the New Jerusalem.

Cult: that aspect of life pertaining directly to worship (vertical). Cult in this context does not refer to fringe or heretical religious groups but to man's priestly duties of offering tribute (sacrifice) to God. Although we must do all things to God's glory throughout the week, the Sabbath is set apart as a special day for meeting with God in his holy temple.

Culture: that aspect of life pertaining to all of life (horizontal). Culture is larger than literature and the fine arts. It refers to all areas of life other than cult: man's kingly duties as summarized in the dominion mandate (Gen 1:26, 28). Family, society, technology, civic life, politics, architecture, medicine, etc., are part of culture. What we do during the other six days of the week is primarily cultural activity (except for prayer, etc.).

Common grace: in contrast with special or saving grace, common grace refers to God's general kindness to fallen humanity. He allows life to continue in spite of the fact that men deserve no earthly existence, much less a generally good one. God restrains his judgment (II Pet 2:9) and sends his rain and sunshine on the just and the unjust (Mat 5:45). Common grace did not exist before the fall (since it can only be given to sinners), and it will be terminated at the day of judgment. Although common grace existed from the very moment sin entered the world (Adam and Eve didn't die immediately upon eating the fruit), yet it was not formally granted as a unilateral covenant until after the flood (Gen 8:20-9:17). The covenant of common grace provides the backdrop upon which the covenant of special grace unfolds with the seed of the woman.

The holy and the common: in the OT God called his people to be holy (separated unto himself) by requiring them to observe the distinction between the holy and the common. Their food, their land, their customs, their marriages - all had to be separate from the unclean nations around them. Holiness in this context is not equivalent to personal sanctification or obedience but refers to a state of ritual or cultic purity that allows one access to the temple. To say that something is common is not necessarily to say that it is evil, sinful or impure. It simply means "not holy," that is, not ritually acceptable for temple worship - either because it is unclean or because it has not been properly consecrated. In a theocratic situation, both cult and culture are holy. In a pilgrim situation (e.g., patriarchal age, church age), only cult is holy - culture is common.

Intrusion: 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.