Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"The Deity of Christ" Book Review

The Deity of Christ is the third title in the Theology in Community series published by Crossway. This series is known for putting together a sort of who’s who list of biblical scholars who write concerning a particular topic (suffering and evil and the glory of God). This time a group of excellent scholars tackle the deity of Christ and the results, as expected, are fantastic.

The five chapters alone are devoted to exploring the deity of Christ in the Bible. While I wish the chapter on the Old Testament witness was just a tad longer, overall I felt that the Biblical material was covered exceedingly well.  One chapter is devoted to the development of the doctrine of the deity of Christ as well which I was happy to see. Again, I wish that chapter would have been a tad longer but Dr. Gerald Bray packs so much into it, I didn’t feel too shortchanged.
The strengths of this book are clearly the thoroughness in which it explores its topic. In fact, while the deity of Christ is such a vast topic, I would dare say they nearly exhaust the Biblical evidence for the deity of Christ. While they perhaps do not go into detail that say Fee in his massive Pauline Christology does, they nevertheless cover the topic so well that I am convinced little more is to be said.

Further, the amount of topics this book covers is simply astonishing. From Christ as presented in culture, to Christ and the cults to Christ and missions, the authors make sure they keep the scholarly balanced well with the practical. It is rare to find such balance in most books today, yet The Deity of Christ gave me so much good preaching material in the last two chapters alone that I have enough on my plate to preach for quite a while.

The only downside, which is rather common for this series, is that there is a good deal of overlap. I felt this particular with “Toward A Systematic Theology of the Deity of Christ” chapter, which felt like a rehashing of all of the Biblical material. While this isn’t to say that the editing is not good, it often felt as if I had to traverse the same trail again and again. I recognize it was necessary to a certain extent (and it certainly helped me grapple more effectively) so it is hard to complain too much.
This small complaint aside, I think every pastor needs to get his hands on this book. Not only does it offer a tremendous apologetic for the deity of Christ, but it also stirs the heart. I found myself worshipping often at the feet of our sovereign Lord Jesus. Do not miss this tremendous book!


  1. Sounds like a good book. Did they cover or use the following verses? or mention the Granville Sharp rule?

    Romans 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

    Ephesians 5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

    2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

    Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

  2. The covered everything but Ephesians 5:5. I am a little baffled at why they didn't include a separate chapter on Paul (they lumped him in with the Apostolic Witness--which is right but I think Paul deserves his own chapter and Acts deserves its own chapter). But that would explain why they didn't cover more in depth perhaps.

    They might also realize that the book "Pauline Christology" by Gordon Fee is so exhaustive that there really only needed to be a summary. I am not quite sure.

  3. It *would* be hard to cover every verse, especially ones that are not so obvious in English, after all the WHOLE Bible is a Jesus book! I still remember when my eyes were opened to Eph 5:5. It was Adam Clarke's commentary and he went into great detail on the verse and the Granville Sharp rule, introduced by one Granville Sharp :-)