- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Crossway (June 14, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1581349793
- ISBN-13: 978-1581349795
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,249,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Deity of Christ Hardcover – June 14, 2011
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“This is a well-crafted, faithfully biblical, meticulously worked out study of the deity of Christ that brings us from the Old Testament through the New Testament, and into the modern world. This is a superb study.”
—David F. Wells, Distinguished Senior Research Professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
“Eight outstanding scholars make a compelling case biblically, theologically and historically for the deity of Jesus. If he is God incarnate then Christianity is true. If he is not, then the Christian faith is false. Powerful arguments are marshaled and convincing evidence is set forth in the volume that demonstrates that Jesus is indeed the God-man. Read this book for your mind as well as your soul. Both will be blessed.”
—Daniel L. Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Morgan and Peterson are to be commended for putting together another outstanding volume for Crossway's Theology in Community series. The editors have assembled a first-rate group of authors to produce this highly commendable volume. The subject of the deity of Christ is carefully explored and clearly expounded from the perspectives of biblical, historical, and systematic theology. Important and timely applications for apologetics and missiology are also appropriately included. The deity of Christ is an essential doctrine of the Christian faith and The Deity of Christ should be essential reading for faithful followers of Jesus Christ.”
—David S. Dockery, President, Trinity International University
“Nothing should be more important and more interesting to a Christian than Jesus. And nothing is more important or more interesting about Jesus than the fact that he is God. His deity is at the heart of the gospel’s wonder for the believer, and it is the blunt force of the traumatic offense of the gospel to those who disbelieve. I cannot imagine a more important truth to unpack. Morgan and Peterson have organized an indispensable resource for this fundamental doctrine. The Deity of Christ achieves the rare balance between scholarly credibility and accessible practicality. Reading its pages generated waves of worship from each chapter. This volume will inform your mind and feed your soul with the undeniable, undiminished deity of Jesus.”
—Rick Holland, Senior Pastor, Mission Road Bible Church, Prairie Village, Kansas
“In the introduction to this volume, the editors invite you on a journey to discover the biblical, historical, theological, practical, and missional aspects of the deity of Jesus. The book more than delivers on that promise, framing key issues and underlining pertinent points in confronting current movements undermining this crucial doctrine. More than merely a collection of academic essays, this book pulsates with the life of Jesus—evident in the passion of the writers and the life change he has produced in each of them. Affirming the deity of Jesus is not, ultimately, about winning arguments with detractors or proving points to the academy. It is about encountering Jesus! Reading these essays will challenge you intellectually and enrich you spiritually, deepening both your understanding of Jesus and submission to him as Lord. When you fully comprehend the magnificence of our Lord Jesus Christ, no other response will do.”
—Jeff Iorg, President, Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary
“As you read this volume your spirit will breathe a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to the editors and writers. They write of the deity of Christ—this north star of Christian doctrines—with fresh perspective and historical foundation, theological depth and personal challenge. The strength of biblical evidence for the deity of Jesus expressed in these pages is wonderfully overwhelming!”
—Tom Holladay, Teaching Pastor, Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, California; Purpose Driven Connection; P.E.A.C.E. Plan
About the Author
Christopher W. Morgan (PhD, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary) is a professor of theology and the dean of the School of Christian Ministries at California Baptist University. He is the author or editor of sixteen books, including several volumes in the Theology in Community series.
Robert A. Peterson (PhD, Drew University) is professor of systematic theology at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He is the author and editor of numerous books and articles, including The Glory of God and The Deity of Christ.
Gerald Bray (DLitt, University of Paris-Sorbonne) is research professor at Beeson Divinity School and director of research for the Latimer Trust. He is a prolific writer and has authored or edited numerous books, including The Doctrine of God, Biblical Interpretation, God Is Love, and God Has Spoken.
Andreas J. Köstenberger (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is the senior research professor of New Testament and biblical theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. He is a prolific author, distinguished evangelical scholar, and editor of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. He is the founder of Biblical Foundations, a ministry devoted to restoring the biblical foundations of the home and the church. Köstenberger and his wife have four children.
Stephen J. Nichols (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) serves as the president of Reformation Bible College and chief academic officer of Ligonier Ministries. He is an editor of the Theologians on the Christian Life series and also hosts the weekly podcast 5 Minutes in Church History.
Raymond C. Ortlund Jr. is the pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee. He is the author of several books, including the Preaching the Word commentary on Isaiah, as well as a contributor to the ESV Study Bible. He and his wife, Jani, have four children.
Stephen J. Wellum (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is professor of Christian theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and editor of the Southern Baptist Journal of Theology. Stephen lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with his wife, Karen, and their five children.
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Top Customer Reviews
Morgan and Peterson's edited work on the deity of Christ has a number of strengths. The primary strength, in my opinion, is the book's careful blend of scholarship and accessibility. Although the individual authors approach the given doctrine within their particular discipline with intellectual and theological precision, one does not get the impression they are writing, chiefly, for the scholar; they appear to be exercising scholarly rigor for the benefit of the church. Thus, arguments are based in and flow from Scripture; chapters are thorough yet not cumbersome; and footnotes are utilized only sparingly and intentionally. Consequently the book is something that will both challenge and equip the Christian lay-person. Also, J. Nelson Jennings chapter was especially helpful for considering how the reality of Christ's Lordship should affect our global efforts. Jennings takes us beyond the obvious implications of Christ's deity (Christ is God so Christians must evangelize the world) to consider how the doctrine of Christ helps us formulate our understanding of other religions. One excerpt is representative: "One helpful image for identifying and examining various . . . responses to God . . . is a three-legged stool. The three legs represent sin, Satan and searching. . . . one must not view Islam simply as Muslims searching for (and perhaps adhering to) the truth. Islam, like all religious traditions, evidences morally sinful, deceptively satanic, and genuinely searching (and true) aspects. Keeping all three types of traits in view is needed to view religions fairly and accurately" (271).
Perhaps the main weakness in the book comes in one particular chapter. Robert Peterson's chapter, "Toward a Systematic Theology of the Deity of Christ," was more of a summary and repeat of the previous chapters than it was a synthesis of the biblical teaching. I did not find that his chapter contributed anything new to the previous discussion. Peterson's chapter was mainly a recitation of key biblical texts--texts that had been thoroughly dealt with in previous chapters--and his overall handling of the doctrine in his chapter appeared to merely follow the traditional pattern of other systematic treatments.
Despite a few minor weaknesses, Morgan and Peterson's work is an excellent treatment of the deity of Christ. It is both scholarly and accessible; deep yet easy to navigate; thorough but not overwhelming. It is a solid resource that will edify the scholar, pastor, and layman and I highly recommend it.
The Deity of Christ (Theology in Community Series) ed. by Christopher Morgan and Robert Peterson is a clear call amidst the often confusing voices claiming to present the Jesus of the Bible and history. Amidst the quagmire of the `everyone Jesus' and in a world where Jesus has been reduced to my homey and `BFF', this book brings us back to the center of Christology. This book draws us to one of the most foundational attributes of the Jesus Christ the Son of the living God - his deity.
In the opening chapter, The Deity of Christ Today, Stephen J. Nichols bounces off the work of Stephen Prothero and argues that we have gone from a creedal Jesus, to a human Jesus that is close and ended up with a Jesus that has liberated itself from Christianity and the Bible (p. 27). Stephen points out that there have been many attempts within our American culture to present Jesus. Movies like The Passion of Christ, consumerism and our nifty slogans and even politics where Jesus is somehow on everyone's side, show us that our cultural attempts to display Jesus have left us with "personal Jesuses who look far more like their makers than like the Jesus of sacred Scripture and the historical creeds (p.31)."
So how do we save ourselves and our culture from the Jesus of our own making? Nichols suggests that we need to get back to the tradition of the creeds and the tradition of Scripture. We need the creeds because they have helped to solidify the teaching of Scripture pertaining to, of many things, the deity of Christ. While creedal tradition can help we must ultimately rest our understanding of Christ on Scripture. When we rest on Scripture we cannot help but conclude that Jesus is God.
In The Deity of Christ there is much that is to be commended. In his chapter, The Deity of Christ in the Synoptic Gospels, Stephen J. Wellum rightly points out that it is Scripture that gives us the material from which we formulate our articulation of Jesus and not the fashionable opinions of the day. Wellum states,
Scripture provides not only the raw data for understanding who the historical Jesus is but it also provides the God-given interpretive framework, structure, and categories by which we grasp his identity and thus construct an objectively grounded and warranted Christology. In this way, Scripture serves as our epistemological norm for understanding who Jesus is apart from all historical-critical reconstructions of the text (p. 64).
Wellum's no nonsense words set the foundation for the rest of the book. It is Scripture and not man's culturally changing opinions that shape and inform our understanding and presentation of Jesus.
Of particular notice is Stephen J. Wellum's chapter entitled The Deity of Christ on the Apostolic Witness. Among many things, Wellum does an excellent job explaining the christological aspects of Philippians 2:5-11. His explanation of the kenosis is spot on and even well informed readers will find it helpful.
Concerning Christology within church history, Gerald Bray presents an even handed description and explanation of the churches formation and articulation of the doctrine of the deity of Christ. Bray's discussion is a dose of good medicine for those who want to cast doubt on whether the early church fathers `invented' the deity of Christ. Bray rightly points out that their debates were not hinged on questioning the deity of Christ but rather they assumed and affirmed the deity of Christ. "The issues debated during the decades of classical creedal formation were more about how belief in his deity should be expressed and harmonized with monotheism then whether he was divine at all (p. 169)." Concerning the correlation between the churches formation and development of the doctrine of the deity of Christ Wellum's words are worth quoting at length:
If human beings had invented the deity of Jesus, we would expect them to emphasize his miraculous deeds as the main evidence for this, and the more improbable the miracles were, the better. There would have been little reason for them to have added the more mundane details found in the Gospels if they had not been part of Jesus' claims about himself. The conclusion must be that Jesus taught these things about himself, and it was for that reason that his disciples worshiped him as God. For all their reflection on the person and natures of Jesus Christ, none of the fathers of the church ever believed that, in confessing the deity of Christ, he was adding anything to the teaching of Jesus himself. Their aim was to explain the evidence that had been set before them in the historical events of the life, death and resurrection of the man whose claims they believed and whose teaching the followed. What that explanation was is the substance of the development of the doctrine of Christ in the history of the church (p. 175-76).
The concluding chapter by J. Nelson Jennings tackles the ever timely issue of the preeminence of Christ among the religions of the world. Jennings challenges the church and the missionary abroad to proclaim Christ as God in the flesh and as the only God worthy of worship. Christ is not whoever each religion worships for this demolishes the necessity and imminent need of missions, not to mention the many aspects of the doctrine of Christ and salvation. "Rather, the relationship between Christ's deity and Christian missions consists primarily in Jesus Christ the ascended God-man orchestrating, empowering, and intruding into people's lives through his followers' cross-/intercultural witness (p. 267)." In regards to religious pluralism, Jennings addresses its foremost contemporary proponent John Hicks. Hicks contends that there are many ways in which people can find a point of contact through which they can be saved and know God - not just Jesus. Hicks further believes that each religions communication of truth demonstrate the many ways in which divine truth can be believed and found (p. 278). Jennings rightly counters Hicks by reminding us that man does not have to search in his own for his own truth formation of God and salvation. The Bible clearly teaches us that God has come in the flesh for all through the incarnation of Jesus Christ (John 1 & I John 1). The counter claim to religious plurality is the incarnational reality that Jesus is God!
Overall, The Deity of Christ is an engaging, insightful and reader friendly guide through the multifaceted doctrine of the deity of Christ. This is not an esoteric work but rather a book that is aimed at the laymen, pastor, Sunday school teacher and student of the Bible. This book serves as both a refresher course on the deity of Christ as well as a timeless reference guide to explaining many of the great Christological passages and phrases of Scripture. As the third contribution to the Theology in Community series from Crossway, The Deity of Christ is a welcome addition to the much needed area of contemporary expressions of the doctrine of Christ. This book will serve the church well for years to come.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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