(Posted by Paige)
Here is a research question that might interest some readers.
I am trying to trace the history of a certain approach to the application of OT texts to the church, in which promises or commands spoken to historical Israel are understood to have a secondary and continued relevance for the “New Israel.” There may be something of an allegorical quality to such applications, as the concrete details of the OT setting are translated into the spiritual realities of the New (e.g., “land” and “temple” become the people of God themselves) – but as a hermeneutical approach it differs from pure allegory in that it doesn’t completely disregard the original historical context of a passage. It just doesn’t locate the significance of the text in that historical context, but finds the main pastoral value of the passage in its application to the church, whether spiritual or practical.
A simple example:
Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there. (2 Chr. 7:15f.)
Application: Because the church is God’s new temple, we can be reassured by these verses that he has consecrated us, and that he will hear our prayers and dwell among us.
I would be interested to know if what I am describing rings any bells for anyone, and if you can identify for me any voices from past eras in Christian history who tended to write and preach in this way when working with OT texts. I am curious to know the roots of this approach, since it seems to differ in emphasis from a primarily redemptive-historical hermeneutic.
Comments on the pastoral value of this approach to preaching would also be interesting.
(Please note that what I am describing is a much “lighter” approach to OT application than theonomy, so let’s not make this another theonomy thread.)