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November 23 , 2010

Emmanuel (part 2)


This is the second part of a two part series on "Christology" - or the study of Christ. The subject is presented in two parts, a study of Jesus as a man, and a study of Jesus as God, which is this study, for no other reason than an attempt to make this study a little easier to grasp...

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Highly Exalted

"The truth of the faith," said St Thomas Aquinas, "is diffused throughout Holy Scripture in various ways, and sometimes obscurely. Hence to bring out the truth of the faith from Holy Scripture requires long study and training. But not everyone who needs to know the truth of the faith can devote themselves to study. So a clear summary is needed of…

"The coming of Jesus into the world is the most stupendous event in human history ... whatever is truly admirable in the achievements of the succeeding centuries, in art and literature, in music and architecture, in the quest for knowledge, and in the pursuit of justice and brotherliness in human-relations, derives from that same event ... I cannot but see it as towering sublimely above all others.

This book is an explanation of that "stupendous event." My prayer when I began to write it was that the Father would help me to present to you his Son, not as a life-less doctrine, but as a living Saviour. I hope you will find in these pages a Person, not a polemic; a Reality, not a creed.

Another way to describe this book, would be to say that it is a commentary on the four great affirmations about Christ that John makes at the beginning of his gospel, where he declares Christ's

Eternity: "in the beginning was the Word"
Equality: "and the Word was with God"
Deity: "and the Word was God"
Humanity: "and the Word became flesh."

In those four sayings there is almost a complete Christology!

But the problem I have had to struggle with on almost every page is to stay simple, and to stay related to life. It is so easy to yield to the temptation to become learned, but quite unlively. Whether I have managed to defeat that temptation, I would not dare to say. You must decide for yourself. Still, my desire has been to stir your imagination and your emotions rather than merely to instruct your mind. Could there be anything more incongruous than a coldly intellectual discussion, void of fire, empty of dreams, about the Man of Nazareth, who strides with such energy and drama across the pages of the Bible?

Yet there is profound mystery, both in the gospel and in our personal experience of Christ, and any attempt to clarify this mystery must tread along difficult paths. I can only hope that I have handled scripture with proper reverence, while avoiding the kind of tortuous and abstruse writing I have found in many books on this subject.

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