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White Horse Inn: Conversational Theology

As we’ve seen this year throughout our study of the Gospel of John, Jesus did not claim to be merely a helpful teacher or some kind of spiritual guru. Instead, he actually made very specific claims that identified him as the Yahweh of the Hebrew Scriptures—the great “I Am.” On this program we’ll be taking a look at the numerous “I Am” statements that Jesus makes throughout the Fourth Gospel, and we’ll also show how each of these statements appears to be rooted in the language of God’s own self declaration recorded in the Old Testament.


In these ‘I am’ statements, we see the richness of something that we talked about in a previous program, where Jesus says “you search the scriptures,” in John 5:39, “because you think that in them you have eternal life and it is they that bear witness about me.” And so we find the richness of all these images of being light, and the shepherd, and these festivals and how all of them are pointing to Jesus, who will perfectly fulfill these things that have been foretold.

Caleb Bassett


“Redemptive-Historical Typology”

Old Testament events, offices, and institutions (hereafter OTEOI) are invested by God with spiritual significance as integral steps in his history-long project to reverse sin and its effects… these OTEOI point beyond themselves, symbolizing the comprehensive, eschatological salvation that is God’s purpose for history and that has been inaugurated by Christ in his first coming and that will be consummated by Christ in his second coming.

To understand how any OTEOI preaches Christ and finds its fulfillment in him, we first must grasp its symbolic depth in its own place in redemptive history. Then we need to consider how the OTEOI’s original symbolic depth (the aspect of redemption to which it pointed in shadow-form) finds final and complete fulfillment in Christ. Finally, we must identify and articulate how its message applies to ourselves and our listeners.

The apostles’ proclamation of Christ as the fulfillment of all God’s promises provides abundant direction for the grateful outworking of this good news in personal discipline, family life, church life, and public life in the marketplace-and, if necessary, in a prison, like Paul.

(Adapted from Dennis Johnson’s Him We Proclaim, pp.234-237)

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