He Came Down from Heaven
Who Was Jesus Christ?
Accompanying all the new studies of the life of Jesus has been the question of Jesus' identity. Was he anything more than a human creature? A key issue in this debate is the claim of Jesus' preexistence as the divine, uncreated, Son of God before his incarnation on earth. Douglas McCready provides a thorough survey of the doctrine covering New Testament teaching, Jewish and Hellenistic background and historical development. He carefully weighs the evidence and engages the arguments for and against the Christian orthodox conviction of Christ's preexistence.
Drawing on expert scholarship McCready makes this important subject of debate accessible to students and other non-experts who want to know the evidence and arguments for this central doctrine of Christian faith. This book will be especially useful as a supplementary text for theology courses on Christology or in biblical studies courses on the New Testament witness to Jesus Christ.
"The new book by Douglas McCready, He Came Down from Heaven, is an innovative study, both exegetical and theological, of the classical doctrine of Christ's preexistence (more accurately, his pretemporal existence, I think). The author is widely read and writes with clarity, though some of his conclusions will challenge some modern thinking that regards preexistence as metaphor or myth. Rightly he sees both the intrinsic theological importance of the doctrine and its ethical implications. Here is a title worth its salt. I commend it."
"Thank heavens we now have a full-length monograph on the issue of the preexistence of Christ, which is fully cognizant not only of the scholarly literature on the subject but is equally at home with the patristic interpretation of the key NT texts, especially the Pauline and Johannine ones. Douglas McCready is to be commended for his thoroughness in dealing with objections to this idea, and yet also his pastoral concern to show the practical and personal importance of affirming this concept as a part of an orthodox Christology. Highly recommended."
A wide-ranging and well-written book.
1. The Setting
2. The New Testament Witness
3. Paul's Writings
4. Other New Testament Witnesses
5. The Writings of John
6. Jewish and Hellenistic Background
7. Postapostolic Development of the Doctrine
8. Theological Issues
9. The Preexistence of Christ and Modern Theology
10. Concluding Thoughts