Saturday, July 30, 2005

Marinius de Jonge and Christology

Whilst I'm on the topic of short pithy quotes I remember from historical Jesus books, here is a paraphrase from Marinius de Jonge's book God's Final Envoy.

"When the early Christians mentioned God they had to mention Jesus as well, and whenever they mentioned Jesus they felt constrained to mention God in the same breath."

Again, I'm estranged from my library (and experiencing the associated separation anxiety) so I don't have the precise quote or page number! But it raises a good point that Jesus is mentioned in the NT primarily in terms of being the subject of divine agency - God handed over Jesus, God raised Jesus, God exalted Jesus. At the same time, the early Christian authors seem to have had a unanimous conviction that Jesus is the one in whom God is made known, he is the one who reveals and executes the divine purposes! That means Christians should avoid Christo-monism (as if the Father has abdicated heaven upon the exaltation of the Son) and also eschew an adoptionist christology that sees Jesus as anything other than participating in the divine identity. I think Wright's book RSG makes essentially the same point: the resurrection means that Jesus is the one in whom Israel's covenant God YHWH has made himself known.

My favourite christology books include:

Richard Bauckham, God Crucified.
Larry Hurtado, The Lord Jesus Christ.

It seems that the best christology is written by Scotsmen!

Question: what is your favourite christology book and why? Or should I also ask, what is your favourite christological passage in the NT? Mine would have to be Col. 1.15-20 (although Phil. 2.5-11 is hard to run past).


Michael F. Bird said...

I wager a coke that Ben Myers will answer my question with reference to either Torrance or, more likely, Barth!

Sean du Toit said...

Bauckham's God Crucified is a precious gem. It has radically affected my understanding and I think The Return of the King chapter in JVG is also superb. Witherington's The Christology of Jesus is also very helpful.

metalepsis said...

Larry Hurtado a scotsman?

James Crossley said...

No, he's not a Scotsman.

Favourite book on Christology, Michael? Maurice Casey's From Jewish Prophet to Gentile God of course!!!

J. B. Hood said...

Not finished with it, but pretty sure its Cruciformity: Paul's Narrative Spirituality of the Cross, Michael J Gorman (Eerdmans 2001). I've not encountered anything like it, where christology is fleshed out (literally, displayed in the flesh, as in Paul's life).