Sam Frost on Bible Matrix


Full preterist Samuel Frost has kindly reviewed the book:

Mike Bull recently sent me a copy of his book, Bible Matrix: An Introduction to the DNA of Scriptures, 2010, Westbow Press. Peter Leithart, who I began reading when studying the book of Samuel, writes the introduction. Leithart, as many of you may know, is a close student of the works of James B. Jordan, who is perhaps closer to our view than most, but nonetheless stays within the “orthodox” limits.

I like patterns. I believe the Bible is built on patterns (tupos, or “types”), and that’s exactly what this book is about. “Genesis 1 is the Bible Matrix. As it matures throughout the Scriptures, the identification of this pattern unlocks the book of Moses, Israel’s history, the structure of Jesus’ ministry and the book of Revelation… It also has staggering implications concerning the identity, purpose and future of Christianity…” (15). Amen. God has taught us in the historical unfolding of the Bible (its stories) how He acts, why He acts, when He acts and how we are supposed to act as a result. For me, as a preterist, God doesn’t “cease” acting this way in A.D. 70.

Now, of course, Bull is an “orthodox preterist”. But, this should not deter one from buying the book. It has much to offer in the way it is laid out, and the structuring of the biblical feasts, types, patterns consistently run throughout the book. The contents takes their cue from Bible history, climaxing in the Church. The feasts, furniture of the temple, and many other “patterns” are applied throughout to the people of God. Bull is very much “dominion” oriented (read, postmillennial), and I think does a good job at showing that it is the purpose of His people to take dominion over creation. Through the continual appeals to the patterns, by the time one gets to the end of the book, it becomes clear what this purpose is, unless, of course, God changed everything in A.D. 70 and no longer acts in the way that he has repeatedly revealed; that is, according to His nature. Of what benefit would it be for God to reveal himself over thousands of years in the Bible, only to say, “okay, now I am going to change, but for the next several thousand years, I am not going to reveal anything else.” The point of having revelation “cease” is precisely because he has already revealed all that we need to know! And, as Bull has shown, all that we need to know (the Bible) is framed in terms of patterns (typology).

There are, according to Bull, three, seven-step patterns: creation, dominion and festivals. These three are divided into seven steps which are all formed in a chiastic structure. The organization of the material helps one to “see” the patterns in the Bible and to begin to read the Bible accordingly. I recommend, then, this book. Of course, in the bibliography, Bull cites Jordan’s Through New Eyes, which, when I first read it (when it originally came out), it changed everything for me. Theology was not something only intellectual, but also intellectually visual – a seeing in the mind’s eye. This allowed for the conceptualizing of a “covenantal world” within “the world”. The covenantal world (“the world above”) must be understood not so that we can escape the world below (creation), but so that we can have dominion over creation through the proper understanding of the purpose of creation (Gn 1). If these concepts are ever split apart so as to have no relationship together in the Redemption, then some form of Gnosticism or Escapism will result. Bull ever keeps our feet grounded while he soars the clouds of the spiritual. You will do well to get this book and read it. Cultivate its fruits in your own studies. There is much to glean from it.


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