Saturday, January 29, 2011

J.I. Packer Jesus the Lord: Part II


In this post I will concentrate on Packer's in-depth discussion of the New Testament claims on the significance of Jesus as pre-existent Lord of creation and its importance in the lives of those seek identification and profess allegience to Christ as so depicted. This includes what Packer identifies as four primary propositions which in their cumulative significance provide a compelling set of reasons to take the core NT claims with the utmost seriousness in the shaping of contemporary belief in the life of the church and in formal Christological studies.

With this foundation lain Packer adds five crucial claims and seeks to respond to three compelling problems in the perception of God that he identifies with classical Trinitiarian Christology. For these enduring problems, which on their face seem contradictory, he offers plausible expanations while honoring the mystery of the entire Christian revelation, which by its very nature is infinitely beyond exhaustive understanding in which we see but in part.

What folows is both a summary and commentary on Packer's claims, including his assessment on their importance for the integrity of a vital Christian faith for our time and place. It is only by grasping something of their significance to the integrity a thoroughly orthodox Trinitarian theology and religious culture that one can appreciate the motives underlying Packer's critique. For this work Packer offers largely a constructive theology that includes a contrast to a view of Christianity that he argues moves beyond the orbit of a classical Christianity that includes embrace of a pre-Incarnate Christ as reflected in John and in some of the New Testament letters (e.g. Ephesans, Colossians.

Primary Propositions

The first is the claim that Jesus is God's promised Christ

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