“Being Going To Be Born To Mary”: An Overview And Appraisal Of Robert W. Jenson’s View Of The Incarnation As An Ot Phenomenon -- By: Emmitt Cornelius
Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 58:2 (Jun 2015)
Article: “Being Going To Be Born To Mary”: An Overview And Appraisal Of Robert W. Jenson’s View Of The Incarnation As An Ot Phenomenon
Author: Emmitt Cornelius
JETS 58:2 (June 2015) p. 353
“Being Going To Be Born To Mary”: An Overview And Appraisal Of Robert W. Jenson’s View Of The Incarnation As An Ot Phenomenon
* Emmitt Cornelius Jr. is church planting pastor of New Destiny Christian Fellowship, 2885 Gravitt Road, Duluth, GA 30096.
Contemporary trinitarian theologians consider it to be a bias of traditional theology to overlook the contribution of the OT in expounding the doctrine of the incarnation.1 Balmer H. Kelly, for example, argues that in treating this central Christian doctrine, “it would be a healthy development for theology if closer attention were paid to the Old Testament.”2 Kelly’s rationale is that although the incarnation is “set forth in the New Testament as completely new . . . it is filled with the sounds of the past.”3 As such, he goes on to explain that the OT “witnesses powerfully to the reality of the Incarnation.”4
Other exponents of contemporary trinitarianism, in responding to this oversight, go so far as to attempt to read the OT “incarnationally.”5 Lutheran theologian Robert W. Jenson, as an example of this trend, observes, “It has been yet another unfortunate legacy of the Logos-theology that in construing Christ’s preexistence we jump over the Old Testament.”6 In developing an incarnational theology from the perspective of the OT, Jenson advocates the view that the Son’s life actually extends “from his Old Testament preexistence.”7 In other words, Jenson views the OT
JETS 58:2 (June 2015) p. 354
as playing a pivotal and decisive role in outlining the nature of the Son’s preexistence, even more so, surprisingly, than the NT.8
By advocating the preexistence of Jesus Christ in the OT, Jenson rejects the traditional interpretation of the Son’s “preexistence” that posits an “unincarnate state of the Son,” and substitutes in its place the concept of the Son’s “being going to be born to Mary.”9 In developing the doctrine of the incarnation from this perspective, Jenson suggests the notion of a preexistent incarnational pattern in God’s life with Israel, his people, over that of a preex...
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