Summary for Kingdom Prologue by Meredeth Kline
unpublished commentary on Genesis: available at Westminster Theological Seminary Bookstore.

Kline's commentary on Genesis is the best biblico-theological commentary on Genesis available. Kline's exceptional insights and in-depth scholarship prove most enlightening and beneficial for an overall understanding of the pre-redemptive covenant of creation and the redemptive Noahic and Abrahamic covenants. In the tradition of his heros Geerhardus Vos and Cornelius Van Til, Kline continues in the tradition of tracing the covenantal epochs of history under the unique systemization of their relationship to the unifying concept of the kingdom of God. Kline's historical research and archeological acumen get the better of him from time to time, but for the most part his assertions are thoroughly exegetical. His emphasis on the covenantal nature of God's creative fiats is excellent, and his support of the Vosian doctrine of the eschatological hope of antelapsus man is compelling. Moreover Kline's emphasis throughout on the divine Glory-Spirit, standing as both archetype-alpha and Sabbath-omega, truly subsumes all things under and unto the glory of God Himself, is truly one of the most important Reformed developments of the century.

Kline's brilliance in expositing the covenantal nature of creation, the comprehensive eschatology of the Sabbath, the wonder of imago Dei, the establishing kingdom-city motif in Genesis make this book invaluable to every interested OT scholar or anyone interested in Biblical Theological prologomena. Kline demonstrates a unique sensitivity to the unity and organic nature of Special revelation. His knowledge of ancient eastern cult, culture, languages, and mythology is profound; and his grasp of biblical theology is unrivaled among his contemporaries. Kline's ecclesiology, though shrouded as would be expected by his text, is exquisite and perhaps the best reason to buy the manuscript.

In typical Klinean fashion, his flexibility with language and superior understanding of the primary languages make for an intensive and rewarding read. We strongly recommend this work to everyone, especially seminary students, pastors who have the courage to tackle Genesis, and all Vos fans. If you can read Vos you can get through this tome. It is a surprisingly easier read than other of Kline's works. Near the end Kline moves rather rapidly, giving overviews of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and barely touching on Joseph. We wish he had devoted as much time to those figures as he did to the earlier chapters.


I. The Kingdom in the Word That Then Was

A: The Covenant of Creation

1. Lord of the Covenant-Kingdom*

i. God, the Alpha-Author*

a. Creator of All

b. Sovereign Architect-Builder

c. Glory-Spirit Archtype

ii. God, the Omega-Consummator*

a. Sabbath and Consummation

b. Sabbath and Enthronement

c. Sabbath and Consecration

2. Holy Theocratic Kingdom

i. Royal Investment as Image-Son*

a. Spirit-Paradigm of the Image

b. The Glory of the Imago Dei

c. Image of God and Son of God

ii. Kingdom Endowment*

a. The Kingdom as Sanctuary

1) The Site of God's Throne-Presence

2) Theocracy

b. The Kingdom as Divine Protectorate

1) Consecration-Sacrifice-Death in Paradise

2) Death, Blessing, and Curse

3) Divine Shield

3. Law of Creation Theocracy

i. Law Of the Image-Son of God*

a. The Imitation of God

b. Service of Love

ii. Theocratic Kingdom Commission

a. Cultural Commission

1) Construction of the Kingdom City*

2) Community Polity

3) Culture and the Imitation of God

4) Culture's Sabbatical Form*

b. Cultic Ministry*

1) Adoration and Consecration

2) Guardianship of the Sanctuary

3) Primacy of Priesthood

4. Eschatological Sanctions

i. The Dual Sanctions*

a. The Promised Blessing

1) Eschatology of the Image

2) The Sacramental Tree

3) Consummation of Glory

b. The Threatened Curse

ii. Probation*

a. The Probation Tree

b. Covenant of Works

5. Covenant Judgment*

i. The Breaking of the Covenant

a. Advent of the Antilord

b. The Temptation and Fall

ii. Judgment Day

a. Parousia of the Glory-Spirit

1) The Spirit of the Day

2) The Exposure

b. The Curse on the Serpent

c. The Judgment on Man

1) The Common Curse

2) Expulsion from the Sanctuary

B. Redemptive Covenant in the Old World

1. Inauguration of the Redemptive Covenant

i. Renewal of the Covenant*

a. Gospel of Redemptive Judgment**

1) Messiah

2) Grace

3) Election

b. A Seal of the New Covenant*

ii. Redemptive Eschatology and Common Grace**

a. Common Grace and Common Curse

b. The Holy and the Common

2. Prophetic Cult in the City of Man

i. Interim World Structure

a. The City as Divine Ordinance

1) Promulgation of the Ordinance

2) Remedial Benefits of the City

3) Common Grace City and the Kingdoms of God and Satan

aa. Bestial but Legitimate

bb. Legitimacy not Sanctity

4) State Functions and Limitations

aa. Complemenatarity of Family and State

bb. Social Duty and Utopian Delusion

cc. Transgression of Cultic Boundary

b. Apostate Malformation of the City*

1) City of Man

2) Dynasty of Cain

3) Cult of Divine Kings

ii. The Redemptive Community

a. Identification as People of Yahweh*

b. Covenantal Polity*

1) Cultic Community

2) Familial Form

3) Nontheocratic Community

c. Mission of the Covenant People

1) Priestly Function*

aa. Sanctification of Culture

bb. Confessional Witness

2) Prophetic Function*

aa. Prophetic Figures

bb. Divine Lawsuits

3. Sign of Kingdom Consummation

i. Redemptive Judgment*

a. Antichrist Crisis

b. Judicial Ordeal

1) Dual Verdicts

2) Redeemed Remnant*

c. Day of the Lord*

1) Parousia

2) Gathering of the Elect

ii. Re-creation*

a. Literary Parallels

b. Cosmological Correspondence

iii. Kingdom Consummation*

a. The Ark as Cosmic House of God

b. The Ark Occupants as Glorified Mankind

c. Sabbath Consecration of the Kingdom

iv. Covenant Grant*

a. The Berith of Genesis 6:18

b. Noah, Grantee of the Covenant

1) Covenantal Crant for Faithful Service

2) Type of the Messianic Servant

3) Surety, Mediator, Savior

II. The Kingdom in the World That Now Is

1. Covenantal Resumption of Common Grace*

i. Covenant Confirmation

ii. The Order of Nature

iii. The Cultural Program

a. General Regulations

b. Special Regulations for God's People

1) Discontinuance of Clean/Unclean Distinction

2) Continuance of Restriction on Blood

2. Redemptive Covenant in the New World

i. Oracle of Kingdom Judgment

a. Noah's Oracle and Genesis 3:14-15*

b. Canaan Cursed

c. Shem Blessed

d. Japheth Blessed

ii. The Kingdoms of This World**

a. Focus and Fullness

b. City of Man as Psuedo-Focus

1) Diaspora of the Nations

2) Babel's Ascent to Heaven

3) Heaven's Descent on Babel

iii. The Community of the Blessing

a. Noah's Oracle and Genesis 10:1-11:26

b. The Sons of Japheth

c. The Sons of Ham

d. The Sons of Shem

1) Shem and the Sons of Eber

2) Peleg

3) The Hebrews

e. Covenant Community: From Shem to Abraham

f. A Mosaic Postscript

3. The Kingdom Promised in the Abrahamic Covenant

i. Covenant of Promise*

a. Divine Promise and Oath

1) Promise as Gospel Grace

2) Ratification Oath

3) Confirmatory Oaths

b. Divine Promise and Divine Sovereignty

1) Sovereign Election

2) Supernatural Execution

c. Sovereign Grace and Human Obligation

1) Stipulated Demands

2) Vows of Consecration

3) Circumcision Oath

4) Compatibility of Promise and Obligation

5) The Works Principle and the Typal Kingdom

ii. Promises of the Covenant

a. Résumé of Roots*

b. Blessed and Blessing*

c. Promised Kingdom on Two Levels*

1) The Promised King

2) The Promised Kingdom-People

3) The Promised Kingdom-Land

d. Typal and Antitypal Kingdom*

1) Covenantal and Dispensational Hermeneutics

2) Typological Unity and Succession

3) Dispensationalism at Odds with the Gospel

4) Halfway Dispensationalism

5) Designation of the Typal Kingdom

4. Pre-Kingdom Abrahamic Community

i. Pilgrim Politics and Polity*

a. Pre-Kingdom Politics

b. Family Polity

1) Family and Covenant Congregation

2) Family and Covenant Government

aa. Father Abraham

bb. Patriarchal Authority

ii. Pre-Parousia Presence

a. Pre-Kingdom Cultus

1) Angel Theophany

2) Prophetic Altars*

aa. Altar and Kingdom Focus

bb. Altar and Kingdom Fullness

b. Re-creating Spirit-Presence*


* designates the sections of particular interest

[1] Literal historicity is not to be confused by the strict chronology of accounts. Eg. We maintain the literal historicity of Christ's temptations while understanding the chronology of this account is arranged by the synoptic writers to give theological insight to the event. Kline argues against the possibility that God worked in the lower-register Creation in 6x24 hour periods. He makes a scriptural case against 6x24 fundamentalist creationists, but should not dismiss other redemptive historical interpretations which views the 6x24 creation as a possible condescension of God working according to the natural order and patterns of low-register history as typical of the Son of God entering into lower-register history.

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