Sunday, March 02, 2008

Book Notice: Putting Jesus in His Place

Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ
Robert M. Bowman Jr. and J. Ed Komoszewski
(Grand Rapids, MI: Kregal, 2007).

I've spent part of the afternoon re-reading through this volume by Bowman and Komoszeski on the deity of Jesus. D.A. Carson offers a fairly positive review of this book at RBL. Basically the book is organized around the acronym HANDS:

Jesus shares the honours due to God.
Jesus shares the attributes of God.
Jesus shares the names of God.
Jesus shares in the deeds of God.
Jesus shares the seat of God's throne.

The volume is written in easy to read English at a semi-popular level and would be ideal for an adult Sunday school group or even a college class. The sub-headings have catchy titles drawn from recent movies and modern hymns. At the same time this book is not a substitute for Murray J. Harris' work on Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus and those wanting to go deeper really should engage the work of Bauckham, Hurtado, and Hengel (whom Bowman and Koniszewski are clearly dependent upon to varying degrees). The thrust of the book is largely apologetic, but it is never overly simplistic or crass; their interaction with alternative interpretation like that of Dunn on Phil. 2.5-11 are even handed and they lay out the issues relating to disputed texts like the "firstborn" of Col. 1.15 and Jesus' ignorance of the date of the parousia in Mk. 13.30-32 as it relates to his omniscience. I still wonder if a chronological or corpus driven approach might be a better way to tackle this subject, but the thematic approach of HANDS is clearly an easy and catching way to articulate Jesus' divinity and naturally lends itself to a single lecture or sermon based around these five points. Very useful book for pastors, students, and lay-people.

1 comment:

Michael Barber said...


Have you read Paul Rhodes Eddy and Gregory A. Boyd, The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition
(Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007).

Although the title is TERRIBLE, the book is a masterpiece. Darrell Bock has talked about it on his blog. Check out the endorsements from Craig Evans, Richard Bauckham, Craig Keener, Craig Blomberg, and C. Stephen Evans over at Baker Academic's site.