Feast of the Holy Apostle Thaddaeus
The God Who Believes: Faith, Doubt, and the Vicarious Humanity of Christ by Christian D. Kettler
ST GREGORY of Nazianzus’ dictum ‘the unassumed is the unhealed’, insisting that the Son of God assumed our humanity in every single aspect except for sin, has been a plumb-line for sound theological thinking for sixteen centuries. Yet it has usually remained just that – a theological axiom, seldom explored in relation to the messy realities of real human existence, concrete human lives with their joys, horrors, tragedies, hopes, doubts, disappointments, fears, and dreams. Drawing upon a sort of Ressourcement movement within recent Reformed theology – including theologians such as John McLeod Campbell, Karl Barth, the Torrances Thomas, James, and Alan, and Ray Anderson – Dr. Chris Kettler is passionately concerned that the rich implications of Christ’s full humanity be brought to bear on those realities. The vicarious humanity of Christ means not only that Christ has died for us, but that he has also lived for us – loved, sorrowed, feared, doubted, had hopes shattered, felt the desolation of desertion by friends and by God – so that when we experience these things, we need not suffer in isolation, but join ourselves to Christ’s perfectly accomplished self-offering. Kettler constantly brings classic, substantial theological thinking into a sometimes delightful, sometimes dizzying encounter with both popular culture and a host of contemporary writers and philosophers, beginning with Wendell Berry, Walker Percy, and Flannery O’Connor. He really believes the ancient creeds of the Church, draws nourishment from its rich patristic heritage, and is convinced that it’s relevant to the culture in which he lives and vibrantly interacts – including Woody Allen, film noir, Bob Dylan, and a beloved greasy-spoon diner on East Kellogg in Wichita, Kansas. His implicit challenge: Christ the Assumer of all human reality and Redeemer of the whole cosmos – or not?
205 pp. paper $26.00
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