Kline: Images of the Spirit


Kline argues that the Spirit is the Glory-Spirit who is a sign of creation’s telos (Kline 110). He takes note of the Spirit’s activities and how they manifest God’s glory.  All of that sounds well and good. Sunday Schooley even. But Kline takes it a step further. “Glory” is a revelational modality of heaven. And sometimes that is quite terrifying.  In the rest of the book Kline unpacks that claim.

The Spirit reveals himself in the “Glory-Cloud.”  The Glory is not a static structure, but mobile. It is a angel-propelled chariot throne (18).

Kline also develops many important avenues for understanding the image of God.  In line with the creating acts of the Glory-Spirit, man has a royal-judicial office and an ethical dimension to that glory (27). Royal:  kings are invested. We “put on” Christ (Eph. 4:24). Ethical glory: holiness, righteousness, and truth.

The Glory-Canopy is viewed as a sanctuary-canopy (Isaiah 4).  Exodus 25-31 have fiats and Exodus 35-40 have the corresponding fulfillment.  The Glory-Canopy hovers over the tohu at the top of Sinai and reproduces the world below in the building of the tabernacle.  Hebr. 9:23-24.

Thesis: “TO be caught up in the Spirit was to be received into the divine assembly, the heavenly reality within the theophanic Glory-Spirit (58).  And cool things happen in the Glory-Cloud. Elijah can move from place to place (1 Kgs 18:12, 46).

The book is fascinating and stimulating.   It served as the foundation for later important thinkers, ranging from Jordan to Chilton to Frame.  There are many good (though undeveloped) suggestions for an eschatological metaphysics. One interesting omission:  Kline didn’t have a chapter on the Image as King. To do so would have negated his intrusion ethics.




About J. B. Aitken

Interests include patristics, the role of the soul in the human person, analytic theology, Reformed Scholasticism, Medievalism, Substance Metaphysics
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