First Installment of Totus Christus Review

I have not gotten that far in my reading so my comments thus far will probably be answered later in my reading. But here it goes. Mike Bull has some real good insights into the Bible and in alot of cases makes a clear case and argument for his Bible Matrix structure of either his Dominion Theme (Creation, Division, Ascension, Testing, Maturity, Conquest, Glorification; in a Chiastic Structure, with Testing as the center piece), or his Creation theme (day 1, day 2, etc;) or his Feast Pattern (Sabbath, Passover, First-fruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles; also in chiastic form with Pentecost being the center). It would look something like this:

Creation / Day 1/ Sabbath
Division / Day 2 / Passover
Ascension / Day 3 / Firstfruits
Testing / Day 4 / Pentecost
Maturity / Day 5 / Trumpets
Conquest / Day 6 / Atonement
Glorification / Day 7 / Tabernacles***

Bull finds one or more of these patterns through out the whole Bible, as the General Pattern of the Bible as a whole, and in the individual stories, like the Abraham narrative for example. While some of this can be seen, and Bull makes a good case for some of it, at times it feels like he is really straining to find this structure, either the creation, dominion, or feast structure in every single portion of Scripture. Now if it is there, it’s there. And in alot of cases, it is. But in some cases I don’t see it. And this I would say is my criticism thus far. What are the “identifiers” that let me know what I am dealing with? How do I know where in the text we begin our “Sabbath” section and where the “Passover” Section picks up? Or the most difficult one I am having trouble with is Ascension. What is Ascension? What does it mean, what does it look like? What are the signatures of it?

Essentially What I am saying is: I wish Mike Bull would¬† have done some better explaining rather than just stating his position with out actually explaining how he gets there. Which is exactly what he does. The Whole Book is essentially a continuation of the Dominion Theme, with some extra stuff thrown in for. At times it seems like he forces it and just arbitrarily breaks texts down into seven parts and then slaps a name on it and says, “See, this is the Day 2 / Division/ Passover theme because I numbered it that way.” And I am sure that HE SEES IT. I don’t, not all the time, and I just wish the book would have done more explaining, whether in the beginning, or as we go along, and explain to us and show us the territory markers in the text where we can say, “Oh, I see. In this section because it talks about….[insert key word(s)] we therefore know that we are in….section. Mike Bull seems to take this for granted, OR, he is doing it on purpose, hoping that by simply exposing ourselves to it over and over and over again, we will become familiar with it, see the key words that I am talking about, and then agree with him. If that is the case, then this post is premature, and essentially pointless. Though he does place certain words in bold seemingly to do that very thing that I am accusing him of not doing. But sometimes I don’t understand the connection of the bolded words with the certain part of the structure.

Another issue that I would have liked to see more of, is Scripture references. I know in the narratives in Genesis we are all pretty much familiar, but when Bull is breaking a text down into its seven fold structure he doesn’t use specific verses. I would have liked to see more of that.

That’s all for now. Thanks Mike, the book is really good, these are just a couple things I am still wrestling with.

*** For Some Reason WordPress would not let me make this a chiasm, so when you look at it, think “Chiasm”.¬† Thanks.

Totus Christus

I just recently received this monster book in the mail this past week, Totus Christus by Australian native Michael Bull. “This book is an unofficial introduction to the groundbreaking interpretive work of James B. Jordan and Peter Leithart – theology you can eat and drink. Over the course of the summer, and as long as time permits, my colleagues, Dr. Jack Simpson, Mr. Carl Wegner, and myself will be offering a review of this work. Mostly this review will be for the sake of the author who asked us to do so, so that he can make a great work better. It will be more of a negative review so that he can correct anything that we might find difficult to understand, or that we think he might be able to clear up better, or if we think he is straight up wrong about something. So with that, we offer to you a review of Totus Christus: A Biblical Theology of the Whole Christ.