Donald Macleod’s The Person of Christ1 (a volume in InterVarsity’s Contours of Christian Theology series) is an excellent introduction to the biblical and creedal Jesus. The author balances his treatment of the doctrine of Christ by first considering the primary source documents (the Bible) and then the church’s Christological creedal statements. For every doctrine considered he provides the reader with some historical background that led to the particular doctrinal discussion, sets forth the orthodox position defined by the Church, and interacts with modern theories as they touch that doctrine.
The outline of The Person of Christ (hereafter TPOC) is structured into two parts. Part one summarizes the development and refinement of the doctrine of Christ’s divine nature as it unfolded historically from the Gospels to the Nicene Creed. There are chapters on the virgin birth, the pre-existence of Christ, Christ as the Son of God, the Jesus of History, and the Christ of Faith (“Very God of Very God”). Part two, in similar fashion, summarizes the discussion of Christ’s human nature from the Council of Chalcedon up to the present day. Chapter treatments include the incarnation, the Chalcedonian formula of “perfect in Godhead, perfect in Manhood,” kenōsis, the sinlessness of Christ, and finally the uniqueness of Christ in modern theology.
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