Christ The Victor, Christ The Center

The Person of Christ, by David F. Wells (Crossway Books, 1984; 205 pp., $7.95 pb). Reviewed by Robert E. Webber.

Theological issues rarely make front-page news. However, when the book The Myth of God Incarnate was published in July of 1977, the secular press immediately turned it into a front-page controversy.

John Hick, the book’s editor, argued that the notion of God becoming incarnate as man must finally be acknowledged as a myth. The Reformers, he argued, dropped the supernatural concept of the sacraments. The eighteenth- and nineteenth-century theologians dropped the idea of a supernatural Bible. So now, in the twentieth century, the time had finally come to be honest about the last myth—the Incarnation.

Hick’s heresy illustrates the dilemma of modern theology. Unable to verify in any historical or logical way the supernatural assertions of the New Testament, many moderns have resorted to a mythological interpretation of the life and times of Jesus. Not so David F. Wells, who tackles the tough questions pertaining to a supernatural Christology in The Person of Christ: A Biblical and Historical Analysis of the Incarnation.

From the very beginning of Christianity, the bottom line has always been supernaturalism. Thus Wells, professor of theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, offers in his book an apology for the supernatural Jesus, and consequently enters into dialogue with all those who reject orthodox theology.

Appropriately, he begins the study of Christology not with an arsenal of texts, but with the Christ event itself and with a description of the cosmic nature of Messiah’s work. Christ is, as Paul reports in Colossians, not only the creator—the ...

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