Studies In Christology -- By: Frank Hugh Foster

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 053:211 (Jul 1896)
Article: Studies In Christology
Author: Frank Hugh Foster


Studies In Christology1

Prof. Frank Hugh Foster

The conception which Jesus at first presents of the kingdom of God, says Schultz, is an eschatological one. It is a kingdom in which the idea of ethical perfection is to be realized at some distant future time. It naturally follows that the first conception of the deity of Christ is also eschatological, that is, that it is bestowed upon him who proclaims the approach of the kingdom of God by a divine and miraculous act. But this is not the distinctive quality of the deity of Christ, which consists rather in its ethical element. The kingdom of God is itself an ethical magnitude, a society brought into existence and maintained by the prevalence among its members of the principle of love. Such love springs up in consequence of the revelation of the love of God to men through Jesus Christ, and he, as the perfect revelation of God to men, is properly honored by them as God; and this is the proper foundation of their belief in the deity of Christ. “Even when upon earth, he is of the divine species. He reveals the true will of God by opening up his own personality. He does not proclaim the kingdom of God and the conditions of entering into it as one of the scribes, nor with theoretical instruction, but as ‘one having authority,’ and he sets his own authority, ‘But I say unto you,’ over against those of old time and their law. He is conscious that he is led by the Spirit of God not simply in single discourses and single acts clone in the discharge of his

calling, but in his entire calling as such. He is conscious of identity with the kingdom of God. He has the power to forgive sins. He is greater than Solomon, or Jonah, or the sanctuary of the ancient covenant. The angels are his servants because they serve the purpose of God… . Therefore the worth of the life proceeding from him has the same relation to that of common men in the world as the eternal and divine to the temporal and carnal. In this consciousness of his calling Jesus, with whatever humility he expressed himself about himself as an historical personality, was completely certain of the divine dignity of his person in its divinely prescribed task. He knows that he will be revealed as the goal of the divine government of the world, as the judge and lord of the world, as the Son of God and the heir of the world.” Such is the line of argument by which Schultz would establish the deity of Christ and by which he necessarily defines at the same time what he understands by that deity. He soon goes on to say: “But neither in this fulfillment of his vocation nor in the witness which Jesus gives to the deity of the Christ is there any occasion given for conceiving the p...

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