Editorial: Reflecting On The Greatest Person Imaginable: God The Son Incarnate -- By: Stephen J. Wellum
SBJT 19:1 (Spring 2015) p. 5
Editorial: Reflecting On The Greatest Person Imaginable: God The Son Incarnate
Stephen J. Wellum is Professor of Christian Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and editor of Southern Baptist Journal of Theology. He received his Ph.D. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and he is the author of numerous essays and articles and the co-author of Kingdom through Covenant (Crossway, 2012) and God’s Kingdom through God’s Covenants: A Concise Biblical Theology (forthcoming Crossway, 2015).
The well-known church historian, Jaroslav Pelikan, famously begins his book Jesus through the Centuries with the following observation: “Regardless of what anyone may personally think or believe about him, Jesus of Nazareth has been the dominant figure in the history of western culture for almost twenty centuries.”1 Pelikan’s observation is no overstatement on a number of fronts. Even to this day a large portion of the human race continues to divide world history into BC and AD by reference to Jesus’ birth, signaling how important he is for world history. The importance of this particular Nazarene, however, goes far beyond natural historical observation.
Thinking biblically and theologically, it is unequivocally the case that there is no greater person to study than our Lord Jesus Christ. Such a study is what theologians label “Christology,” and it is no exaggeration to say that such a disciplined inquiry takes us to the very heart of the Gospel and to all of Scripture. The Bible is not a random collection of documents thrown together. Scripture is God’s self-revelation progressively revealed through the writings of human authors. And since Scripture is God’s Word, despite its
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diversity, there is an overall unity to it which unfolds God’s unfailing plan—a plan that Scripture asserts is ultimately centered and fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
In fact, Jesus himself teaches the God-givenness of Scripture and the divine unity of its storyline. As the men on the road to Emmaus wrestled with how to make sense of Jesus’ death, and as they heard strange reports of his resurrection (which made no sense to them), Jesus came alongside and began to expound the Scriptures. Jesus chided them for not believing all that the prophets had spoken in these famous words, demonstrating his conviction that he was the focal point of Scripture: “‘Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things con...
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