The God Who Became Human
Preaching's Preacher's Guide to the Best Bible Reference
Seeking an answer to Anselm's timeless question, "Why did God become man?" Graham Cole follows Old Testament themes of preparation, theophany and messianic hope through to the New Testament witness to the divinely foretold event. This New Studies in Biblical Theology volume concludes with a consideration of the theological and existential implications of the incarnation of God.
Addressing key issues in biblical theology, the works comprising New Studies in Biblical Theology are creative attempts to help Christians better understand their Bibles. The NSBT series is edited by D. A. Carson, aiming to simultaneously instruct and to edify, to interact with current scholarship and to point the way ahead.
"Although considerable effort in biblical theology has been devoted to such messianic themes as the Davidic monarch, the priesthood and the temple, relatively little has been devoted to the incarnation. This book by Dr Graham Cole takes steps to fill the need. Undoubtedly more can be said, but it is immensely satisfying to find an able systematician wrestling with the biblical texts . . . not least on a topic as central to the Christian faith as this one."
"Although I had been aware of Cole as a theologian and writer, this was actually the first book of his I read. But, it was such an enjoyable experience, before I knew it, I had also worked my way through God The Peacemaker: How Atonement Brings Shalom (excellent). . . . Like most all the volumes in this series I have read, this book was richly biblical, theological insightful, and pastorally relevant."
Why this book?
The Plan of the book
1. God prepares the way from the beginning
God and God's image
The portrayal of God in the beginning
Some early Christian commentary
God prepares the way to what end?
God prepares the way by promise
Excursus: Would the incarnation have taken place irrespective of the Fall?
2. God prepares the way in his dealings with Abraham and Abraham's Old Testament children
The patriarchal story and the 'embodied' God
Abraham and the three visitors
Jacob and the wrestler
The Mosaic story and the 'embodied' God
The Judges story and the 'embodied' God
The former prophets and the 'embodied' God
The latter prophets and the 'embodied' God
3. God prepares the way in Israel's hope
The hope for a divine Messiah
Israel's hope and the incarnation: key texts revisited
Typology and incarnation
4. The great mystery
Excursus: the pre-incarnate Christ, theophany and the Old Testament debate
5. Cur Deus homo
New Testament answers
The timing of the incarnation: insight from Thomas Aquinas
Excursus: Did the divine Son assume fallen or unfallen human nature?
6. The significance of the incarnation
Appendix: The theological interpretation of Scripture
Index of authors
Index of Scripture references
Index of ancient sources