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The Person of Christ (Contours of Christian Theology) Paperback – December 6, 1998

4.4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This series has been around for over a decade now and has established itself as providing learned yet accessible treatments of key topics in systematic theology. The authors are not only fine theological thinkers, they are also passionate churchmen with a love for God's people and a desire to see the church grow in her knowledge of grace. Each volume blends exegesis, theological synthesis and judicious dialogue with the history of theology to provide an excellent treatment of the chosen topic. Highly recommended for thoughtful Christians who want to deepen their knowledge of Christian theology." (Carl R. Trueman, Paul Woolley Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary)

"Read everything in the IVP Contours of Theology series. Pure gold." (Kevin DeYoung, senior pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan)

About the Author

Donald Macleod (MA, University of Glasgow; DD, Westminster Theological Seminary), now retired, served as professor and chair of systematic theology at the Free Church of Scotland College in Edinburgh and also as the school's principal. He pastored Kilmallie Free Church for six years and also served at Patrick Highland Free Church, a bi-lingual congregation in Glasgow, Scotland. He is well known as a previous editor of The Monthly Record of the Free Church and as a columnist in the West Highland Free Press and The Observer newspaper.
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Product Details

  • Series: Contours of Christian Theology
  • Paperback: 303 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic; unknown edition (December 6, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780830815371
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830815371
  • ASIN: 0830815376
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This work is an extensive overview of christological issues and positions in the modern church while providing historical understandings, formulations and heresies. Donald Macleod then provides an evangelical response or critique to those positions that are not compatable with mainstream evangelical thought and argues for those positions that are associated with evangelicalism. Macleod takes opposing positions seriously and accurately portrays their concerns and central tenets. He is also willing to face the harshest critiques of his own positions. He answers those crituques when he can and acknoldeges the roles of presuppositions in every party's arguments. A very good introduction to the issues that in his own words is "but the mere beginning of a pilgrimage."
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Format: Paperback
When you hear lectures or read books on Christology, you often wonder "what is the relevance of Eutychianism and Monophysitism, and all the other isms?" Christology often seems a morass of dullness, and those who teach it seem incapable of showing how precious it is. Macleod glories in Christology. He seems to have written the book as the Puritans used to say, with "logic on fire with worship." There is both light and heat here, and it is a delight to read. Chapters start out discussing ancient or modern errors and end up with in-depth and poignant statements of the truth from Scripture. As an example of poignancy, consider page 180:

"One final point may be made in connection with the humanity of Christ: he came into, and shared, our environment. This too is made plain in John 1:14. He dwelt among us. This involved the most complete sharing of our experiences on the part of the Son of God, accentuated by the fact that he chose not simply to be born, but to be born in a low condition. Hence the 'low estate' of his mother (Luke 1:48). Hence the manger. Hence the flight to Egypt. Hence Nazareth. Hence the homelessness (Matt. 8:20). Hence the penury which has no money to pay the temple tax (Matt. 17:24ff) and no place to celebrate the Passover. Hence the reputed lack of learning and the scorn of the rulers (John 7:48f). . . . For the Son of God, the incarnation meant a whole new set of relationships: with his father and mother; with his brothers and sisters; with his disciples; with the Scribes, the Pharisees and the Sadduccees; with Roman soldiers and with lepers and prostitutes.
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Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent argument that Jesus is very much God and very much man. What does it mean to be one of three persons in the Godhead, yet be one in essence? There is one God. Donald Macleod defends that Jesus always existed from eternity past (the preexistence of Jesus), the virgin birth, to be begotten- not made, the miracles of Jesus as recorded in the Bible, the redeeming nature of Jesus death, the redeeming nature of the resurrection, the importance of God becoming man, Jesus always stayed God, What does it mean that Jesus emptied himself, the Sinlessness of Jesus and its importance in redemption.

Donald Macleod compares and debunks many false concepts of Jesus by other theologians. He uses theological terms and defines the words well. One need not be an academic to understand this book. I am trying to say the book is not a difficult read but neither would I recommend the book as introduction to these concepts, but as one who wants to get a fuller grasp. Anyone who presumes to train adults or teenagers should be able to understand this work and not find it to daunting to read. It is important to able to make arguments for the supernatural nature of God in the whole Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This book is an excellent argument against today's Postmodern Heresies. The author makes many arguments about past heresies in Church history about the nature of Jesus. An excellant argument about who Jesus is and what Jesus is not.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Donald Macleod offers a faithful presentation of orthodox Christology. It was hard for me to rate this at three stars because the subject matter is so important and central. Macleod is also very effective, scholarly, and faithful in biblical, orthodox Christology, but I had some pain points that made this book not very enjoyable for me.

1. It is very scholarly. Macleod is obviously brilliant. He's a retired Systematic Theology professor and principal, where he taught for over three decades. But he often uses infrequently used terms , and doesn't define them. He clearly has an apologetic emphasis, particularly against liberalism. This is very helpful and necessary. But his style here is a bit inaccessible, even to seminarians.

2. The material, though related, occasionally seems disjointed. Each chapter appears to stand-alone, almost as if these were orginally given as lectures. This makes it a litte hard on occasion to link a few of the chapters with a preceding or following chapter.

3. Peccability vs. Impeccability: Macleod assumes impeccability, but gives precious little space defending this view. I was truly looking forward to a robust defense, but was disappointed with only one page or so of implications for (rather than a reasonable explanation of) the impeccability view.

All in all, this is a very good book on Christ steeped in Scripture and historic Christian orthodoxy. Macleod engages scholars fairly and carefully, not holding back from exposing their logical inconsistencies. He aptly upholds Chalcedonian Christology in all its fullness, responding to criticisms from liberal scholars. It may be a tough read, especially for this seminarian, but I would certainly read it again. I recommend it to all.
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