James Jordan Posts
October 28, 2011 by Matthew Mason
Jim Jordan has probably influenced my reading of Scripture more than any other living theologian. In his forward to The Glory of Kings: A Festschrift in Honor of James B. Jordan, (also online at First Things) R. R. Reno describes Jordan as “one of the most important Christian intellectuals of our day.” If you’re not familiar with his work, Reno explains why it’s about time you were. Here’s an extract:
Any particular detail of Jim’s biblical theology is up for debate, but the larger project is compelling—and much needed today. Many of us have limited biblical imaginations. We have stock phrases and favorite passages. We think of ourselves as biblical, but our friends recognize that nine times out of ten we’re quoting from Paul’s Letter to the Romans or the Book of Revelation or the Gospel of John. The Old Testament functions as a hazy background. The Psalms have no living power. Although we would vigorously deny it, we are functionally allied with Friedrich Schleiermacher, who notoriously set aside the Old Testament, or Immanuel Kant, who rejected the “Jewish” parts of the Old Testament as unusable.
Should we be surprised, therefore, that our preaching and teaching remains “spiritual” or “theological” in an abstract and theoretical way? Nothing we say is heretical. Orthodoxy carries the day. But it all floats a few feet above the ground. The gears of faith never seem to do what Jim’s biblical theology does: mesh with the gritty realities of life.
Jim does something few achieve, even (perhaps especially!) those who make loud claims about their biblical fidelity. He puts the living realities of the Bible at the center of his thought.0 Comments