, Divinity and humanity ,. The Doctrine Of The Incarnation Is One Of The Central And Defining Dogmas Of The Christian Faith In This Text, Oliver Crisp Builds Upon His Previous Work, Divinity And Humanity The Incarnation Reconsidered Cambridge, In God Incarnate, He Explores The Incarnation Further And Covers Issues He Did Not Deal With In His Previous Book This Work Attempts To Further The Project Of Setting Out A Coherent Account Of The Incarnation By Considering Key Facets Of This Doctrine, As Parts Of A Larger, Integrated, Doctrinal WholeThroughout, He Is Concerned To Develop A Position In Line With Historic Christianity That Is Catholic And Ecumenical In Tone, In Line With The Contours Of The Reformed Theological Tradition Within Which His Own Work Falls And, Like Its Predecessor, This Book Will Draw Upon Philosophical And Theological Resources To Make Sense Of The Problems The Doctrine Faces true rating 4.5 I ve grown to appreciate analytic theology, especially in the hands of someone like Oliver D Crisp Or, perhaps, I like God Incarnate just because it is a volume of Christological topics and I very much like Christology Either way, Crisp sharpens his analytic clarity and charity to explore, refute, and defend various Christological positions Crisp s Christological standard, so to speak, is classical orthodoxy as defined in the great symbol of Chalcedon 451 AD In addition, Crisp is very Reformed though, at times, a little Deviant , and he knows that Few chapters stood out than others The Fittingness of the Virgin Birth, Christ and the Embryo, and Materialist Christology A couple reasons why I liked these in particular 1 Despite being pegged as logical positivists, some analytic theologians, like Crisp, would use fittingness language to push one position as better than another For example, in the case of The Fittingness of the Virgin Birth, Crisp affirms that the virgin birth is not a theological necessity i.e., Christ did not have to be born this way , but that it was fitting of the Christ to born of a virgin cf Anselm of Canterbury 2 Any kind of theology can be esoteric, and that s what I first thought of Christ and Embryo, but I quickly found this chapter to be one of the most fascinating Christological contributions to bio ethics 3 Sometimes, analytic theology exposes certain positions as half baked thoughts which can become problems Materialist Christology takes various human constitutions to task how one thinks about souls in humans affects how one thinks about Christ s person, and vice versa Finally, 4 Crisp is conscientious about not saying things like this is the only way of seeing things Indeed, all he offers is just one way of a Reformed bend to defend traditional Christological positions There is room in analytic theology, it seems, for various kinds arguments for various kinds of positions cf www.sooholee.com book reviews Although I don t like the cover image, it s a decent book Crisp explores the incarnation using an analytic framework and generally sticks to a straight up orthodox interpretation He even includes an interesting chapter touching on bioethics Gets tedious at some points, hence the 3 rating. This book is great a series of exercises in analytical Christology Crisp s aim seems to be to demonstrate how such an approach might look I especially admire how he draws from analytical theology which many including many theologians might find overly abstruse and theoretical to the point of irrelevance observations conclusions of very valuable practical import The best example of this was his treatment of the conception of the God Man and the implications for our understanding of the personhood of the human embryo. Excellent I ve gotten to the point that if someone asks me for a basic book on Christology, I point them to Oliver Crisp Any of his works I learned Christology from this book than in my week long Christology course in seminary Crisp s stated goal is to use to the tools of analytic theology to focus on key areas in Christology Show problems and point to solution He succeeds magnificently.The Election of Jesus ChristStandard received Reformed view the sole cause of election is the good pleasure and will of God Crisp 36 Turretin and others want to deny the claim that Christ s foreseen merit is the ground of predestination.Moderate Reformed view Christ is the ground of election in just one important sense God decrees election, and he decrees that Christ be one of the ends Here is where the MRP view points out a tension in the standard treatment if all of the ad extra works of the Trinity are one, Logos must also be a cause of election, and not just a means.This section could have done I think he pointed out a key insight of the Moderate Reformed group, but he didn t deal with Bruce McCormack s reading of Karl Barth he acknowledged it, though.Christ and the EmbryoThis is where the money is Chalcedonian Christology demands a pro life position If you aren t willing to use your theology to fight a war to the death against Moloch, then go sit down This honor isn t for you And it gives sometimes strange yet welcome implications For example, human personhood and human nature aren t the same thing Christ is fully human, but not a human person We need to be clear on this, otherwise we fall prey to Apollinarianism All humans are created with something like a built in God shaped port that the Word can upload himself at the moment of conception Where this divine upload takes place, the Word prevents the human nature from becoming a human person 107 In other words, if God the Son doesn t upload download himself into human nature s hard drive, then personhood begins at conception.While the demons at Planned Parenthood probably don t care about Apollinarianism, that line can work well against those who claim a high church conciliar Christology, yet are scared to fight this war I have in mind the Rachel Held Evans and Calvin College faculty.Materialist ChristologyThe upshot not all alternatives to substance dualism are physicalist Global materialism the idea that all existing things are essentially material things there are no immaterial entities Christian materialists do not necessarily hold this view, as they would acknowledge at least two existing immaterial entities God and angels.Global substance dualism all existing things are composed of matter or spirit mind , or both matter and spirit This position can include Christian materialists about the human person.The problem in question can a Christian materialist about the human person hold to Chalcedonian Christology It initially appears not, as Christ s has a rational soul If Christ s divine mind soul were to substitute, then Apollinarianism would follow Reductive materialists a human s mental life can be reduced to some corporeal function.Non reductive materialism the human s mental life cannot be reduced to some corporeal function.Property Dualism a substance that has some properties that are mental and some that are physical.Substance a thing of a certain sort that can exist independently of other things of the same sort, has certain causal relations with other substances, and is the bearer of properties 145 A property is an abstract object that either is a universal or functions like one.Crisp probably should have said why property dualism is false while he was at it. Crisp s incorporation of analytic philosophy into theology makes for some of the best material I ve read on the subject God Incarnate follows the same pattern as Divinity and Humanity where Crisp introduces a number of christological deviations from classical christology and then offers analysis of strengths and weaknesses This is a helpful manner to extract general principles that shed light on the subject God Incarnate builds upon material introduced in Divinity and Humanity I recommend both books, but the latter should be read first.