Monday, May 13, 2013

The Relationship Between Work and Person in Christ

The Self-Donation of God, pg. 92:

"We will first discuss the person of Christ and then move his work. This way of proceeding is in accordance with the practice of traditional dogmatics and represents a convenient means of organizing the theological task. Nevertheless, much like the two natures, the person and work of Christ can be considered from two distinct perspectives: in the concrete (i.e., as they stand in their actual relationship to one another) or in the abstract (i.e., merely considered in themselves). Considered in the abstract, Christ's person and work may indeed be separated as two distinct things. Christ is a person with certain ontic properties, regardless of his actions. Considered in the concrete though, the person and work of Christ constitute a singular phenomenon. As we will see, created being is narratively constituted. My being derives its reality from my individual story as it subsists within the larger narratives of the old and new creations. In the same manner, Christ's timeless and transcendent divine person incorporates into itself (enhypostasis) the reality of his humanity. Because of the preceding history of Adam and Israel, the humanity of Christ from the moment of its conception stands in solidarity with human nature in general. This human nature has been previously determined by the narratives of creation and the Fall, and therefore Christ, as true man and true God must deal with these realities. Conversely, because Christ’s human is at his conception also free of sin and contains within it God’s infinite and creative divine life (genus majestaticum), it also possesses within its reality the pattern of a new redemptive narrative. This new narrative will be actualized in Jesus’ Incarnation, life, death, and resurrection. Hence, viewed in their totality, the two natures are constituted by the dynamic event of the coming of the Son of God into creation and assuming the total fallen narrative of human existence. In doing this, Jesus overcomes this mangled narrative by the counter-narrative of his death and resurrection. This narrative constitutes Christ’s redemptive work. Therefore, viewed in their concrete totality, one could say in a sense that the person is the work and the work is the person. Oswald Bayer characterizes Luther's understanding of the person and work of Christ in accordance with this: "Christ nature is his work- Christ work is his nature." Similarly, as Regin Prenter notes the Greek patristic theologians (notably Athanasius) in discussing the person of Christ never developed a separate treatise on his work."

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Book Talk Interview This Afternoon on KFUO Radio

In case you didn't know, I'll be on KFUO this afternnoon between 2:30 and 3:30 CST to discuss my book. Click on the link and there is a link to the live stream on the website. Also, if you miss it, there is an archive and you should be able (if you're interested) to listen to it later.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Book Ordering Information

One can order my book via Amazon, here:

For a discounted copy, check out the publisher's website:

For those of you fond of the kindles (note that I am not one who is within this camp!), my book is now apparently available in kindle form.

Section 17: Paul's Theology of Redemption

The Self-Donation of God, pg. 45:

"Like many Jewish apocalypticists of the first century, Paul believed that this situation can only be expected to come to a climax in a universal eschatological judgment (Rom. 2:16). If Paul had held to the typical Jewish apocalyptic perspective, wherein only those who held to the covenant by performing the works of Torah would be vindicated (with the possible exception of a few righteous Gentiles), he would necessarily have concluded that no one could be rescued from this coming judgment. If he had taken this stance, the Apostle would not have been the only Jew of this era to come to this conclusion. Such a conclusion was reached by the author of 4 Ezra. Nevertheless, unlike 4 Ezra, Paul believed that God had triumphed in Jesus. This redemption meant the overcoming of the curse of the law through the power of the divine promise of the gospel: “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it” (3:21). Indeed this redemption came by “Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” (3:24-5, emphasis added). In this, God maintained his faithfulness to both to the law revealed at Sinai (and nature) and to his promise to Abraham to bless all nations through his seed: “This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” (3:25-6, emphasis added). 
Even if Israel and the rest of humanity had been faithless to God through their unwillingness to give God his proper glory, God himself was by no means faithless to his unilateral promises of grace: “sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (5:20). Humanity’s faithlessness only served to show God’s even greater faithfulness and solidarity (3:1-8). As we observed in our treatment of the Old Testament, every failure on the part of Israel led to God increasing his faithfulness to his promise to Abraham. Therefore every mediator was an embodiment of God’s own deepening solidarity with his people in the face of their failure to fulfill the law. For this reason we will suggest that K√§semann’s interpretation of the “Righteousness of God” (1:17) as God’s own “salvation creating power” best fits with Paul’s argument in Romans and Galatians. It is the righteousness whereby God brings about eschatological redemption based on his prior promise to Abraham. Because of this faithfulness, God shares his own alien righteousness with sinners through Jesus Christ (1:16-7, also see Gal 3:6-9, v. 17; Phil 3:4-11)."