This book raises in a new way a formerly central but recently neglected question in systematic theology: what is the divine motive for the incarnation? Throughout Christian history theologians have agreed that God's decision to become incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ was made necessary by humanity's fall from grace. If Adam and Eve had not sinned, the incarnation would not have happened. This position is known as "infralapsarian." In the 19th and 20th centuries, however, some major theological figures championed a "supralapsarian" Christology, arguing that God had always intended the incarnation, independent of "the Fall." Edwin van Driel offers the first scholarly monograph to map and analyze the full range of supralapsarian arguments. He gives a thick description of each argument and its theological consequences, and evaluates the theological gains and losses inherent in each approach. Van Driel shows that each of the three ways in which God is thought to relate to all that is not God DL in creation, in redemption, and in eschatological consummation DL can serve as the basis for a supralapsarian argument.
He illustrates this thesis with detailed case studies of the Christologies of Schleiermacher, Dorner, and Barth. He concludes that the most fruitful supralapsarian strategy is rooted in the notion of eschatological consummation, taking interpersonal interaction with God to be the goal of the incarnation. He goes on to develop his own argument along these lines, concluding in an eschatological vision in which God is visually, audibly, and tangibly present in the midst of God's people.
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(243mm x 164mm x 12mm)
Oxford University Press Inc
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Author Biography - Edwin Chr. van Driel
Edwin Chr. van Driel received degrees in theology and philosophy from Utrecht University (the Netherlands) and a Ph.D. in theology from Yale University. He resides in Naugatuck, Connecticut.