Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Study of the Humanity and Diety of Christ Jesus: The Man Christ Jesus by Bruce A. Ware

The question asked by the author, Bruce Ware, is how can we understand that Christ lived as a human man while still the son of his father and thus a diety. Ware does a good job of addressing this issue on several fronts: Increasing in Wisdom, Growing in Faith, Resisting Temptation, and Living as a Man. The essential argument in all cases is that Christ was fully human and filled with the holy spirit. It wasn't easy, any more than it is for any human to resist temptation and growing in faith and wisdom was not made that much easier by his divinity. He still had to grow as any human does. Ware argues that Christ had to be fully human for his accomplishments and his sacrifice to be understood.

The chapters devoted to each of the questions are readable, informative, and make a good argument. At times, I thought he pressed the analogy farther than the evidence supported it. This was particularly true in the chapter on “Living as a Man.” I accept that in the historical context and in the context of the Old Testament prophesies, Christ had to be a man. To give twelve reasons for this seemed to be overkill.

For me, probably the best analogy in the book was likening Christ to a king who has gone out among his people not telling them of his kingship. He retains his kingship, but he also functions as a man and this is the way his subjects see him. I think this is an excellent description of Christ Jesus the man.

This is an excellent book for a discussion group. While Ware's arguments are cogent there is room for disagreement. He also presents discussion questions at the end of each chapter. They seem to me to be good start to discuss not only this book but the relevant sections in the Bible.

I reviewed this book for Crossway.