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Cur Deus Homo Paperback – September 5, 2005
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And that man who at the same time God suffered for us under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried and rose from the dead on the third day.
All of this is affirmed by orthodox Christians. The question that has been asked -- and which this book seeks to answer -- is not, "Did this all happen?," but "Why did God become man?" St. Anselm's discussion is the classic discussion of western theories of the Atonement.
A little baffling is the paucity of scripture in this book, but St. Anselm is trying to answer the question by use of reason, in the form of a dialog.
This particular translation was completed in 1903 and this is a reprint of that translation which has been out of print for some time. It's a good re-print, easy to read (the book is surprisingly short for as influential as it has been) and well-bound. The publisher has done good for all Christians by providing this printing of this book. While not simple reading, this book is not difficult for educated Christians -- lay or clergy -- to read and ponder.
The format is quite unique in that this is the first theological book I have read that is a discussion between two men. In this, we have Boso, a compatriot of the author's, who serves as the one inquiring about the Incarnation from a layperson's view and the unregenerate's view. And then we have Anselm, who seems to provide the answers but even more so, sharpens iron with Boso and sharpens iron with the reader.
I was pleased and fortunately to read this book after finishing Athanasius' On the Incarnation of the Word (which was a double joy to read around Christmas) and I felt like Athanasius' work serves as great, worshipful setup to this book. Athanasius lobs the pitch up and Anselm swings for the fences. If I could give the highest recommendation, it would to read On The Incarnation followed by Cur Deus Homo.
After reading, praying, processing and meditating, I would summed up the entire book in this:
In man's sinful nature, man lacks the power, ability and free will to fully live for God. However, in His divine nature, God has the power, ability and the free will to die for man so that man might fully live for God.
It is in the form of a dialog like the Plato dialogues. However, there are two interesting differences in form. First, the author (Anselm) is one of the interlocutors. Second, the other interlocutor (interestingly named Boso) is more than a foil; he asks some tough questions. This creates a sense of fairness.
This inquiry is driven by the question of why God became a man and in what sense did that happen. It was this book that established orthodoxy on these issues.
Recommended for anybody striving to be a student beyond the Sunday School level.
God is only satisfied, hence Anselm’s theory of the Atonement, by One who is more than the sum of humanity (which could never suffice to restore God’s honor), and the One who is so “chosen” to restore the honor must by necessity command humanity’s allegiance: “The One who frees humanity from their predicament demands their obedience.” And secondly, “in order for an individual to offer an acceptable satisfaction he must be ‘all that God is not.’ ”
In Jesus Christ, the God-Man, the harmony is restored to the universe that was disrupted by Sin. Our faith and devotion in obedience to the One who sets us free is till being offered to God alone, as it is God who frees us.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's good to read writings of the early Church writers and religious philosophers such as st. Anselm.Published 12 months ago by Katherine Lamb
This is a book for those who love the classics in philosophy and theology; I do not think I could enjoy it as much if I was a newbie to philosophical theology. Read morePublished on November 20, 2013 by Mountain Mama
Aside from some formatting issues, this is an excellent version. Well worth getting and having in a theological library. Bravo!Published on January 1, 2013 by Richard Carnahan