What Does It Mean for Anthropology to Be “Christological”? – An Excerpt from Christological Anthropology
We often hear humanity was and is perfected in Christ, but what do we mean by that? How did Christ’s divinity affect his, and our, humanity? To answer those questions, Marc Cortez looks to thinkers the likes of Martin Luther and Karl Barth and asks how they used Christology to inform their understanding of the human person.
In this excerpt today we watch Cortez set up the focus of the book. He says many agree that it is only through Christ that we understand who we are. Then Cortez calls for an “unpacking” of that statement, to discover specifically what and how that should be done.
Enjoy this excerpt from Christological Anthropology in Historical Perspective, which is available to order from Zondervan Academic now.
Christian understanding of what it is to be human unfolds through shared engagement and meditation…
Get the Newest Online Course on Jesus and the Gospels: Four Portraits, One Jesus
Today we are announcing a brand new online course about Jesus and the Gospels, taught by Mark Strauss.
If you’re like most Christians, you probably grew up learning about Jesus, but you’ve never devoted yourself to serious, sustained study of the life of Jesus as found in the four Gospels.
You might know the Sunday school version of Jesus, but there’s so much more to his life and story.
Perhaps you’ve wondered how to defend your faith—to others, to your family, or even to yourself:
Did Jesus really perform miracles? Was Jesus who he said he was—the Son of God? How can we know? Did Jesus really rise from the dead? What kind of evidence exists, and what’s at stake?
Or perhaps you’ve wondered what Jesus says about today’s most pressing issues. What would he say about the…
Mounce Archive 24 – God and Jesus
Bill Mounce is traveling this month and is taking a break from his weekly column on biblical Greek until April. Meanwhile, we’ve hand-picked some classic, popular posts from the “Mondays with Mounce” archive for your Greek-studying pleasure.
In one of his first posts, Mounce helps us take a deeper look at Paul’s introduction to the book of 1 Timothy. By looking at the grammar in the Greek, we can see how Paul referred to the Trinity. Mounce calls this a “christologically sensitive grammatical structure.”
You can read the entire post here.
“Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord” (1 Tim 1:2). Paul begins his letter to Timothy with a somewhat normal…
[Common Places] Can You Start in Azusa and Still Make It to Nicea? Engaging Christopher Holmes’s The Holy Spirit
Zondervan Academic’s New Studies in Dogmatics series launched this fall with its first volume, Christopher Holmes’s The Holy Spirit, appearing in print in November. We will introduce readers to this work and engage with some of the doctrinal issues addressed therein over a series of four posts here at Common Places. In this final post, Marc Cortez detects apparent dissent between Holmes and one of his conversation partners.
Should theology always “begin” with the Son, or is it ever proper to construct a theological system that takes pneumatology as a fundamental starting point? According to Christopher Holmes, for any theology that seeks to be shaped by the pattern of the eternal triune relations, the answer to the latter half of that question is a clear no. Since the Spirit proceeds from the Son and points…
[Common Places] Engaging with Kate Sonderegger: The One and the Many
The arrival of a new contribution to a multi-volume systematic theology marks a major moment in the discipline. All the more so when the author goes against the grain of much contemporary theology. Kate Sonderegger’s Systematic Theology, volume one: The Doctrine of God is such a book.
Whereas contemporary theology this side of Barth and Rahner has focused on being Christ-centered not only in a soteriological sense but as a methodological key, Sonderegger has decidedly argued that Christology must follow the doctrine of God. So the most determinative factor regarding this volume, at least as it relates to others in its genre in recent decades, involves its character as a study of the one true God rather than the triune nature of…
Mounce Archive 10 — Prepositions, Deity, and Christology
Everyone needs a break once in a while, and Bill Mounce is taking one from his weekly column on biblical Greek until September. Meanwhile, we’ve hand-picked some classic, popular posts from the “Mondays with Mounce” archive for your summer reading and Greek-studying pleasure.
Today’s “classic” comes from one of Mounce’s very first columns almost seven years ago, a fascinating post that’s as relevant today as it was back then.
In it he reminds us of the nuances of grammatical constructions by drawing our attention to 1 Timothy 1:2. He explores how the preposition “apo” governs “God” and “Christ Jesus,” and how this construction impacts Paul’s christology.
Consider the excerpt below, then read the rest of the post.
In this verse, there is one preposition (“from,” apo) that governs two objects (“God” and “Christ Jesus”). Grammatically, this means that Paul is in…
[Common Places] New Studies in Dogmatics: Christology
Christology is an area of particular dogmatic weakness for evangelical theology. So, when I signed up to write the Christology volume for New Studies in Dogmatics, what did I get myself into? After all, plausible reasons for this evangelical weakness are not hard to generate. For one factor, Christology does not readily provide incentives for dogmatic creativity, at least among those for whom orthodoxy is a priority. For another factor, Christology does not readily generate the kind of widespread, primary disagreement that elicits intra-evangelical dialogue or polemics. Alternatively, for a third factor, evangelical Christology has been externally preoccupied with defending the historicity of miraculous events and appealing to those events for apologetic and evangelistic purposes. Until recently, we have tended to focus on defending the truth, more than exploring the meaning, of such foundational events as the resurrection.
Extracurricular Activities 10.25.14—J.I. Packer’s Conversion, A Softer Calvinism, & The Parish’s Death
On Sunday, October 22, 1944—seventy years ago today—it is doubtful that anyone noticed a soft-spoken, lanky, and decidedly bookish first-year university student leaving his dormitory room at Corpus Christi College and heading across Oxford for an evening Christian Union service at a local Anglican church.
18-year-old Jim Packer had arrived at Oxford University less than three weeks prior, a single suitcase in hand, traveling east by train from Gloucester using a free ticket available to family members of Great Western Railway employees…
I’ve just finished another semester teaching christology. This is one of my favourite classes. (My other favourite is the Trinity.) Really it’s one of the joys of my life to be able to explore such things…
In “How God Became Jesus” Charles Hill Shows How Ehrman’s Central Thesis is the Book’s Central Problem
I have been making my way through Bart Ehrman’s new book How Jesus Became God (HJBG). As an historical theologian I was most interested in his two chapters on how he conceived the so-called “christological evolution” after the New Testament. He devotes two chapters (ch. 8 and 9) to the apparent “numerous views of Christ throughout the second and third Christian centuries.” (HJBG, 286)
Thankfully, Charles Hill responds in two chapters of the newly released response book, How God Became Jesus. In them he explains what happened early in the Jesus movement and how its leaders handled the paradox of Jesus’ deity and humanity.
In one of the more helpful sections, Hill drills down into one of Ehrman’s foundational arguments, represented by Ehrman's self-coined neologism: Ortho-paradoxy.
Hill draws our attention to two of Ehrman's reasons for his new word:
- “Some passages of Scripture appear to affirm completely different views.” (HJBG, 326)
- “Different groups of heretics stated different views in direct opposition to one another, and the orthodox thinkers knew that they had to reject each of these views.” (HJBG, 326-327)
Ehrman believes such paradoxes are “brutal,” (HJBG, 326) though Hill isn’t sure why (177). Throughout chapter 9 Hill ably explains why they are not and deconstructs Ehrman’s central thesis, showing how it is the book’s central problem.
“How God Became Jesus”: Engaging Bart Ehrman’s “Christology”
Several years ago Bart Ehrman gave a fascinating interview about his faith journey out of fundamentalism—which began at Moody Bible, of all places—and into agnosticism—which resulted in Misquoting Jesus and many more books aimed to address the foundation of the faith from which he fled.
His latest critique, How Jesus Became God, is designed to put to rest the central question of that foundation's Chief Cornerstone: "How did a crucified peasant come to be thought of as the Lord who created all things? How did Jesus become God?" (HJBG, 1)
Yet a new book ably deconstructs and critically engages his primary assertions blow-by-blow to show how his account of Christological development is historically inaccurate and his conclusions are far from sound.
Appropriately titled, How God Became Jesus is as accessible as it is scholarly in its critical engagement. Marshaling the collective accumen of five internationally established scholars, it is your guide to understanding how early Christians came to worship Jesus as divine as much as it is a first response to Ehrman.
In a feat of publishing prowess this book releases today alongside Ehrman's, providing a strong antidote to his version of the story of Jesus' divinity. Which is why I'm going to provide a bit of an introduction to this resource for the next two weeks, beginning with the why, the what, and the how of engaging Ehrman's so-called Christology—or lack thereof.
Oliver Crisp: How Is “Christology, Ancient and Modern” Unique within Historical Theological Discourse?
In January Zondervan partnered with Biola University and Fuller Theological Seminary again to offer the 2nd annual Los Angeles Theology Conference. This year the LATC fully engaged the state of Trinitarian theology and the "counter-revolution" to the 20th century revolution in current Trinitarian thought. Those papers will be available later this year.
In the meantime you can read and engage the fruits of last year's conference, Christology, Ancient and Modern, a positively unique book among historical theological discourse.
In the video below Oliver Crisp reflects upon why this book is distinctive and how it contributes to current theological discussion. It is unique because of "the way in which we are…
Does Paul Have an ‘Ordo Salutis’? How Does Union With Christ Relate? Constantine Campbell Explains
Last week we reintroduced Constantine R. Campbell's new Paul and Union with Christ with a video that outlined some of the key influences on Campbell's research into Paul's central theological concern of union with Christ.
If you've read this book or watched the video, or even if you've considered the topic of union with Christ for yourself, you probably have wondered what many other people wonder. I know I did when I read his book. Campbell explains that some people want to explore whether Paul has an ordo salutis and how union with Christ relates to that ordo salutis.
In other words, where in the "order of salvation" does union with Christ come into action?…