Sacred center

“The Old Testament order in Israel was similar in many respects to the order of Ancient Near Eastern civilizations or Greece. In Israel as in Athens, the city and temple were seen at the center of the world. Everything moved centripetally toward the temple. Exile was the final and most severe curse of the Old Testament.

“At the heart of the gospel, however, is the announcement that this order of sacred center and profane distance has been destroyed. Instead of a single place for an [earthly] temple, the New Testament announces a heavenly temple, equally accessible from any point on earth. The commission of the Greater Joshua is not to enter the land in order to stay there; rather it is ‘Go, make disciples of all nations.’ The gospel further promotes the deep comedy of adventure because it declares that there is no chaos outside the city. Christ is Lord of all, and all things are, in principle, subdued to Him.” (Peter Leithart, Deep Comedy, p. 121)

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