The Narrow Choice

  • A. Richard Kingston

Abstract

The contention of this chapter is that, despite the multiplicity of modern Christologies, the only genuine choice for those whose understanding and service of God is supremely influenced by the life and teaching of Jesus is between traditional orthodoxy and unitarianism. To many if not most readers this may appear an outrageous oversimplification of the issue, but I believe there are cogent reasons for restricting the real options to these two, in effect, narrowing the debate to the credibility or otherwise of incarnation in what has variously been termed its literal, metaphysical, essential or ontological meaning, namely, that God, or more accurately a mode of God, the divine ‘Word’ or ‘Logos’, actually became flesh, became man; the startling implication of this belief being, as Ian Wilson put it, that ‘a man who to all appearances was merely an obscure Jewish teacher of two thousand years ago, has in fact been co-creator and coruler of our multimillion galaxy universe throughout its entire existence’.1

Keywords

Ghost Defend 

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Ian Wilson, Jesus the Evidence (Pan Books 1985) p. 11.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Brian Hebblethwaite, The Incarnation: Collected Essays in Christology (Cambridge University Press 1987) pp. 1f.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 4.
    G. W. H. Lampe, God as Spirit (Oxford University Press 1977) p. 23.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    John Hick, ‘Is There a Doctrine of the Incarnation?’ in Michael Goulder (ed.), Incarnation and Myth: The Debate Continued (SCM Press 1979) p. 48.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    John Hick (ed.), The Myth of God Incarnate (SCM Press 1977) p. ix.Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    Quoted in New Essays in Philosophical Theology, ed. by Antony Flew and Alasdair MacIntyre (SCM Press 1963) p. 268n.Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    James Mackey, Jesus the Mann and the Myth (SCM Press 1979) p. 233.Google Scholar
  8. 13.
    Quoted by Daniel E. Bassuk, Incarnation in Hinduism and Christianity (Macmillan 1987) p. 195.Google Scholar
  9. 15.
    John A. T. Robinson, Honest to God (SCM Press 1963) p. 74.Google Scholar
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    Norman Pittenger, Christology Reconsidered (SCM Press 1970) p. 2, quoting from his earlier book Christ and Christian Faith (1941) p. 45.Google Scholar
  11. 17.
    John Knox, The Death of Christ (1958) (Fontana Books 1967) p. 105.Google Scholar
  12. 18.
    John A. T. Robinson, The Human Face of God (SCM Press 1973) pp. 184f.Google Scholar
  13. 19.
    Lampe, op. cit., p. 17; Robinson, The Human Face of God; Anthony Hanson, The Image of the Invisible God (SCM Press 1982);Google Scholar
  14. David Welbourn, God-Dimensional Man (Epworth Press 1972);Google Scholar
  15. Edward Schillebeeckx, Jesus (Fount Paperbacks 1983) p. 626.Google Scholar
  16. 22.
    A. R. Peacocke, Creation and the World of Science (Clarendon Press 1979) Chapter 5, especially pp. 240f.Google Scholar
  17. 23.
    A. T. Hanson and R. P. C. Hanson, Reasonable Belief A Survey of the Christian Faith (Oxford University Press (1980) 1983) p. 106.Google Scholar
  18. 27.
    Colin Brown, Miracles and the Critical Mind (Paternoster Press 1984) P. 298.Google Scholar
  19. 29.
    Maurice Wiles, The Making of Christian Doctrine (Cambridge University Press 1967) p. 173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 31.
    John Macquarrie, Jesus Christ in Modern Thought (SCM Press and Trinity Press International 1990) p. 374.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© A. Richard Kingston 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Richard Kingston
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and PoliticsUniversity of UlsterUK

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