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Book Review: The Deity of Christ Edited by Christopher W. Morgan and Robert A. Peterson

The Deity of Christ is apart of the Theology in Community series. The other books in this series are---
Suffering and the Goodness of God, The Glory of God.
The goal of this series is to take "key theological themes and apply them to contemporary concerns."
The Deity of Christ is not written by one individual but by several.
Christopher W. Morgan and Robert A. Peterson are the editor's.
Contributing Author's:
Christopher W. Morgan
Robert A. Peterson
Alan W. Gomes
J. Nelson Jennings
Stephen J. Nichols
Raymond C. Ortlund Jr.
Stephen J. Wellum
Andreas J. Kostenberger
Gerald Bray
From the introduction: "The deity of Christ is vital to Christian faith and practice. If Jesus is not God incarnate, then Christianity is not true; if he is, then it is true. "

Link for the book @ Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Deity-Christ-Theology-Community/dp/1581349793/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1311775981&sr=1-1
Hardcover $16.49
Kindle $9.99

Link for the book @ Christian Book:
http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?item_no=349795&product_redirect=1&Ntt=349795&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP
Hardcover $16.49

Published by Crossway June 2011
Christian Non-Fiction/Deity of Jesus Christ/Gospels/Cults
320 pages

It is difficult to review a non-fiction book that has several contributing author's. So I will address two points.
1. What were the strengths and weaknesses of the book
2. Did the book address the goal from the introduction, "key theological themes and apply them to contemporary concerns."

1. One of the strengths in the book is that the reader has a variety of authors to choose from. Meaning differing teaching and writing styles. Where as one author maybe a little dry in his writing, rather like a lecture filled college classroom, the next chapter will have an author that has more energy and personableness. 
Another strength is the reader has the ability to glean from a background of people that have studied and taught from a seminary.
Another strength is that these authors have varying denominational backgrounds. A few from European Universities.
The main strength is that I felt each of the author's (even though from differing denominations and universities and personalities) worked together as a whole to address The Deity of Christ.
The only weakness I found was that the book was written for Christians that have above average Bible knowledge. I know more Christians that do not read and study the Bible than those that do, because of that there would be a smaller amount of people that would be interested in reading this book. Some might would be put off by its weighty theology material. As for me I loved this book and there were three chapters that I read twice.

2. Yes, I felt the book did address "key theology themes" and applied them to our current culture. 
In chapter 1 entitled The Deity of Christ Today written by Stephen J. Nichols. He wrote on how through the generations Jesus was looked at or perceived in a certain way. For example during the Victorian Era, Jesus "espoused Victorian virtues of tenderness and gentleness. He was a meek and mild savior, who always had time for children." Another example, the Jesus that is perceived by many in America today is persuaded by film, television, and fictional books such as The Da Vinci Code. The author states that Jesus even shows up on "backpacks and T-shirts."
In chapter 9 entitled The Deity of Christ and the Cults. The author took the various beliefs from early Church history and compared them to modern cults. For example: The Arian teaching. The Arian teaching believed that "Jesus was not fully human, instead he was more like an angel-like spirit creature animating a body."  The Arian teaching is compared to the Jehovah's Witnesses that believe "The King Christ Jesus now rules as a disembodied angel over the 144,000, a special class of Jehovah's Witness, who also experienced resurrection in a disembodied form."

My favorite chapter (I read twice) that addresses the title of the book, The Deity of Christ, is
Chapter 4 The Deity of Christ in John's Gospel written by Andreas J. Kostenberger. In this wonderful chapter I was given a deep lesson from the Gospel of John.
"John's Gospel is rooted in the soil of 1st Century Jewish monotheism. It was composed by an eye witness of the events surrounding Jesus' earthly ministry and has as its major purpose the demonstration that Jesus is the Christ and Son of God in order to instill in its readers resulting in eternal life." John 20:30-31
I loved this chapter on John, John's Gospel is probably my favorite book of the Bible.
Kostenberger addressed that John was "bold in proclaiming Jesus' divinity. Jesus is presented as both the pre-existent Word at creation and as the incarnate word. Both Yahweh and the Word are theos, 'God.'"
"John presents Jesus as distinct from Yahweh (not one seen) and yet at the same time as God-the incarnate God who revealed God to humans in human form." 
See John chapter 1 verses 1,14-15,17-18,30.

Thank you to Crossway for my free review copy!

Blissful Reading!
Annette

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