God the Son Incarnate: The Doctrine of Christ (Foundations of Evangelical Theology) Hardcover – November 30, 2016
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"Wellum’s treatment of this glorious subject is comprehensive in scope and is marked by precision, clarity, biblical fidelity, and a close acquaintance with the centuries of discussion surrounding it. It is the most helpful book on Christology I’ve read, and it is a pleasure to commend it to you!"
―Fred G. Zaspel, Executive Editor, Books at a Glance; Pastor, Reformed Baptist Church, Franconia, Pennsylvania
“Exploring our Lord’s person and work from a variety of angles, Wellum engages a wide range of issues and conversation partners. Consolidating the gains of evangelical Christological reflection, this volume makes gains of its own, particularly by wrestling clearly and carefully with contemporary trends in biblical studies as well as philosophical, systematic, and historical theology.”
―Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California
"This is a clear, comprehensive, and compelling study. It shows Christology to be like a fabric made up of many threads all tightly woven together, a doctrine with presuppositions, connections, and consequences for the age in which we live. This doctrine is here seen in its wholeness, and that is what makes this study so theologically wholesome. It is fresh and excellent."
―David F. Wells, Senior Distinguished Research Professor of Theology, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
"In lucid prose, Wellum lays out the contours of a responsible Christology by tracing the arguments of the New Testament through the determinative early centuries of the Christian church, using such discussion as the jumping-off point for broader theological reflection. This is now the handbook to give to theology students and other Christians who want to understand how confessional orthodoxy regarding the doctrine of Christ developed. Highly recommended."
―D. A. Carson, Cofounder and Theologian-at-Large, The Gospel Coalition
"How does the church construct its doctrine of Jesus Christ? Biblicism collects the many verses about Christ and develops a doctrine about his person and work without an overarching framework. Liberalism seeks to paint a nontraditional portrait of Jesus in order to engage with some contemporary issue or to promote a specific political agenda. Experientialism picks and chooses concepts about Jesus that conform to and confirm its idyllic vision of him. Wellum rejects these approaches and offers the church a Christology that is at once biblical, historically grounded, philosophically astute, theologically robust, covenantal, canonical, confessional, and devotional. Often as I read God the Son Incarnate, I had to pause to worship the God-man presented in its pages. This book is absolutely brilliant!"
―Gregg R. Allison, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, Sojourners and Strangers; Roman Catholic Theology and Practice; and Historical Theology
"God the Son Incarnate is a masterful work written by one of evangelicalism’s finest theologians. In this substantial, perceptive, and faithful volume, the doctrine of Christ is ably situated in the biblical story, grounded in biblical theology, related to the historical and contemporary context, and synthesized via systematic theology. The result is that pastors, students, and church leaders alike will mature in their understanding and appreciation of Jesus’s life, deity, humanity, unity, and identity."
―Christopher W. Morgan, Dean of the School of Christian Ministries and Professor of Theology, California Baptist University
"Good theology depends on good methodology, and here Wellum is second to none. After establishing a philosophical backdrop, Wellum employs exegesis, biblical theology, and historical theology to draw out systematic conclusions that apply Scripture to life. And all our doctrine, he observes, prepares us for Christology or is inferred from it. The theology and life of the church makes sense only when centered on Christ, who is God the Son incarnate, the fulfillment of divine desire and the hope of humanity. Working through these pages, the word that kept occurring to me was 'masterful.' If you only have time for one Christology, start here. I commend it without reservation."
―Jonathan Leeman, Elder, Cheverly Baptist Church, Bladensburg, Maryland; Editorial Director, 9Marks
About the Author
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 and his wife, Karen, have five adult children.
John S. Feinberg (PhD, University of Chicago) is department chair and professor of biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is the author of Ethics for a Brave New World (with Paul D. Feinberg) and is general editor of Crossway’s Foundations of Evangelical Theology series.
- Item Weight : 1.72 pounds
- Hardcover : 496 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1581346476
- ISBN-13 : 978-1581346473
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.19 x 9 inches
- Publisher : Crossway (November 30, 2016)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #206,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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I didn't like his treatment of the two Kenotic views. He failed to answer the questions raised by Kenotic authors and scholars and on occasion was disparaging as he would quote some of them. ”Evans, in his usual way, said this...” This reminds me a little of Ken Ham. I think Wellum is better than this. He should’ve said ”Evans said this.” He also failed to address any of the possibilities that took place in Mary’s womb... Two haploid cells coming together to create one fertilized unique genome, made up of two natures, forever linked, never to be separated. Why would the Son of Man of Daniel 7 not know the future? And why would God the Father anoint Jesus, the God-man, with the Holy Spirit and power, if he was still omnipotent and omniscient and omnipresent? Pastor Paul Smith in Seattle once said “Liberals believe that Jesus was hardly more than a good man blessed by God, so Conservatives, in order to protect Jesus from Liberals, continue to present a Jesus who is hardly human at all.” I think Wellum believes that Jesus is fully human, But he can’t believe the Jesus could be God if he didn’t have access to his divine powers.
He also made several arguments from the viewpoint of the Trinity as if he understands the Trinity.
Like so many traditional scholars today, he confuses function with nature. A newly fertilized ovum has full human nature, as she will throughout her entire life. A man dying of ALS just seconds before he dies, on a respirator, no thought, no function, is still in full possession of human nature. Jesus came to earth and became a man while possessing his full divine nature, but sans any divine function. The mystery of the Incarnation is greater than we can conceive.
I enjoyed reading this book. I do recommend it to others with these caveats.
I want to give it 5 stars - here is why I cannot.
Pg. 435 mid page - “...the Son suffered as man while the Father and Spirit suffered as God;”
This is absolutely false and violates the impassibility to the Trinity. Read Dolezal’s - All That is in God - for why.
On pg. 461-462 Wellum discuss the two views: libertarian freedom and compatibilism. I absolutely agree in Wellum’s view here with the exception to his view on libertarian freedom not being a logical contradiction. LF is certainly a logical contradiction and not textual supported in Scripture.
I’ve bought 4 of these as Christmas gifts but I point out these two errors in honesty.
The strengths are many such as its being well structured, well written, and well argued.
The structure is well done in that it starts with questions of epistemology. Here Wellum mainly seeks to answer the question „How do we know how to answer Jesus' question 'Who do you say that I am?'“ He deals specifically with epistemological changes since the Enlightenment and continues through the current postmodern period. His main point – the Bible is no longer acknowledged as a trustworthy (inerrant) Word from God. Wellum then gives a light defense of the Bible (it's not a full on apologetic treatment) and also gives a very helpful explanation of how to move from the bible to biblical theology to systematic theology. This is necessary of course for a full-blown Christology is not simply a repetition of bible verses. This requires him to also lay out his hermeneutic to show that his exegesis is in line with his systematic constructive offerings on who Jesus is.
Wellum moves on to show who Jesus is by way of Jesus' implicit and explicit words and works (biblical basis of Christology) within the Bible's larger storyline.
Part three is the development of Christology (historical theology). I also found this section to be quite helpful and a bit more detailed than other books focused on giving an overview on the subject matter.
Part four is Wellum's interaction with kenotic Christology. (He engaged the Historical Jesus quests in an earlier section). Here is my biggest critique of the book. Although he outlines what different kenotic Christologies teach and offers a correction from a traditional point of view, Wellum does not give any prolonged treatment of kenotic Christologies critiques of the traditional view. He simply sums up their charge against traditional Christology (Chalcedone) in a few words such as „logically incoherent“ and proceeds to show why the charge is unfounded. If you want to hear the charges and weaknesses against the traditional view in complete sentences and explained in-depth, you will have to go to the footnotes, see what books Wellum quotes, and read the corresponding books.
Lastly, another strength of Wellum's book which lends greatly to his arguments for a traditional view of Christologie is his integration of Trinitarian thought and doctrine. His use of pro-Nicene Trinitarian Theology really makes a strong case for accepting Traditional views on Christology. Trinitarian categories also help make sense of several difficult passages of Scripture and debated teachings such as the communicatio and extra.
All in all a well-structured, well-written, and well-argued book in favor of a traditional Christology.