The Cardionomographic Work Of The Spirit In The Old Testament -- By: Steven R. Coxhead

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 79:1 (Spring 2017)
Article: The Cardionomographic Work Of The Spirit In The Old Testament
Author: Steven R. Coxhead


The Cardionomographic Work Of The Spirit
In The Old Testament

Steven R. Coxhead

Steven R. Coxhead is the Associate Minister of Chung Chen Chinese Christian Church and a Tutor in Ancient Hebrew at the Macquarie Ancient Languages School in New South Wales, Australia.

I assume that the term cardionomography is new to the world of theological scholarship. A search of the Internet conducted as recently as February 2017 brought up no hits for this term, so I feel safe enough to put myself forward as its author. This word was coined during the process of preparing lectures on Paul’s epistle to the Romans, and was first used in a public forum during my lectures on Romans at Christ College in Sydney, Australia, in early 2004.1 Cardionomography is a long word, but in my experience it has proven to be eminently useful in conveying in a succinct way the concept of the Holy Spirit’s work of writing the law on the hearts of God’s people, a concept that is significant not only in Pauline theology but also in OT theology. For those unfamiliar with the Greek vocabulary that makes up the components of this term, cardio denotes heart, nomo stands for law, and graphy indicates writing. The term cardionomography simply denotes, therefore, the writing of the law on the heart. One can even speak of pneumato-cardionomography in order to make clear that the work of writing God’s law on the heart is the work of the Holy Spirit.

The fact that the term cardionomography has been coined relatively recently potentially suggests that the work of the Holy Spirit writing the law on human hearts is a concept that has not received a large amount of attention in Christian theology. This is arguably the case overall in modern Christian scholarship, where the concept does not feature prominently in most discussions on biblical or systematic theology.2 This is a very serious oversight. I am prepared to say

that any system of theology that has not considered the biblical teaching on pneumato-cardionomography is at a great disadvantage in understanding the bigger picture of God’s work as presented in the Scriptures. This is not to say that the term cardionomography itself is important, but an understanding of the concept conveyed by the term is definitely necessary in order to understand with clarity what God is doing in salvation history. Not realizing the importance of the cardionomographic work of the Spirit in the OT, and not seeing how the NT builds upon this concept, hampers the important theological task of ascertaining the nature...

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