A Musical Case For Typological Realism Part 4

The final part of my four part discussion of music and typological realism has just been posted over on the Theopolis Institute:

Music is the glorified form of temporal action and speech. It transfigures and elevates our temporal activities. Figural or typological reading of Scripture attends to the musicality of God’s historical activity, to the ways in which the realm of human action has been taken into the divine symphony. This glorification and healing of human time transfigures: its characters and scenes come to bear and display a greater majesty, participating in and manifesting a beauty and a reality higher than themselves.

The musicality and, hence, the higher unity of time is established through the work of the Holy Spirit. Typology is where we follow the coherent unfolding of the symphony of the Spirit throughout history—the symphony of which Christ is the unifying theme. As an antidote to our overdependence on quasi-spatial and quasi-substantial models for union with Christ, the typological realism I am advocating suggests that our union with Christ should be regarded as existing in large measure within the orchestrated time of the Spirit.

We are united to Christ as he has come into our dissonant and discordant time, healing and transfiguring it through his action, and as the Spirit works this glorious music of Christ into and out of our lives. We are caught up within the Song of the Word, a song once intimated in the softest of broken whispers, then clearly and definitively expressed by its unaccompanied Author, now swelling through the Spirit’s inclusion of new voices under his lead, until one day all creation will resound with it.

Read the whole piece here. If you haven’t already done so, read parts 12, and 3 first.

About Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
This entry was posted in Bible, Christian Experience, Creation, Eschatology, Guest Post, Hermeneutics, Liturgical Theology, Music, NT, NT Theology, OT, OT Theology, Philosophy, Sacramental Theology, Scripture, The Church, The Sacraments, Theological, Theology. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A Musical Case For Typological Realism Part 4

  1. Semyon says:

    Hi Alastair

    Thank you for this series that you have penned. I think that there is much to meditate on here. I couldn’t help but feel that this is what Tolkien was thinking of when he wrote of the creation of the world in the Silmarillion wherein God is portrayed as having a song. All elements added to the song by Melkor introduced discord (manifest in the failings of man) yet however this discord is then transformed into a concord where the innovations introduced only add to the glory of the completed product. Exemplified best in this following passage: “And thou, Melkor, shalt see that no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined.” Thanks again.

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