Horne on Transfiguration

Mark Horne’s commentary on the gospel of Mark (The Victory According to Mark, Canon Press, 2003) is one of the few theological books that excited me as I read it (after you read too much theology, it takes something special to do that!). Although I’m sure Pastor Horne would feel uncomfortable with the notion, I put his book right up there with James Jordan, Peter Leithart, N.T. Wright, and Thomas Oden. Even though I think the latter two distinguished scholars go off the rails at points, at least they write theology that doesn’t put you to sleep. Horne (probably because he appreciates Wright as well) has a sense of aesthetic balance. No doubt this comes of attentiveness to the literary structure, typologies, and symbols of the Bible–God’s artistry. A sample:

“The Transfiguration was not a revelation of deity, but rather a revelation of true humanity. God created human beings to reflect His glory. Thus, Moses’ face shone after he beheld the glory of God (Exod. 33:18; 34:8, 29-35). Thus, Stephen’s face will become like that of an angel when the heavens open above the Sanhedrin and Stephen sees Jesus at the right hand of God (Acts 7). We were made to glow; sin has dimmed us,” (135).

Horne’s book puts to rest any notion that Mark’s gospel is simple and uninteresting. For those who attend to the rest of the Bible (as in the “Old” Testament that doesn’t apply to us any more), Mark’s gospel (or Peter’s) springs into a 3-D typological panorama. Typological interpretation helps us see Jesus in the context of the whole Bible, rather than as an effeminate pietist knocking ever so gently on the door to our hearts.

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