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David Wells and the Person of Christ: Why is this Book Out of Print? (1)

May 30, 2009

41HsXolzRcL._SL500_AA240_My question is this:  Why is The Person of Christ: A Biblical and Historical Analysis of the Incarnation by David Wells out of print?  It was difficult to find it, but I did.  And now that I have been going through it, I am astonished that no one has attempted to put out a second edition!  Anyways…

In his introduction, Wells makes some preliminary observations about the landscape of contemporary Christology.  Pretty bleak.  He remarks that the most challenging opposition to Chalcedonian Christology is the “restlessness over the proposition that the human and divine are separate entities.  This is particularly unappealing to the modern mind, for it seems to presuppose a Divine which is antecedent to the human” (p. 8).  It presupposes a God who is not identical to the “content of human perception and who transcends the horizon of human conception.”  This is the basic problem for the “Quests” for the historical Jesus.  Since the texts were written in the context of faith, they are discredited, and therefore are to be discounted.  There must be some historical truth “behind” the text, rather than “within” the text.  In other words, the modern theologian wants a “reasonable” Jesus, rather than a “revealed” Jesus.  

Wells makes a further interesting observation that Simon Gathercole makes twenty years later.  He argues that since the Pauline corpus was written before the Synoptics, an argument could be made that their christologies were Pauline more than anything else – though he does not fully articulate this argument.  However, Simon Gathercole, in his book The Pre-existent Son (pg. 23-42) does develop this into a very convincing argument.

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