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David Wells and the Person of Christ: A Kingdom Paradigm (2)

June 1, 2009

Finally, getting into chapter 1 of The Person of Christ: A Biblical and Historical Analysis of the Incarnation by David Wells, he argues that the New Testament provides the “already/not yet” Kingdom of God as a framework for understanding and interpreting the figure of Christ.  He puts much emphasis on the timetable of the kingdom.  He uses phrases like “partly realized and yet still to be consummated”, “being realized slowly,” and “first the invisible then the manifestation.”  The already/not yet time table – in which our languages are stretched to describe – radically re-orders the kingdom timetable of early Judaism and the Protestant liberalism of today.

Wells mainly looks at the Synoptics and Paul’s corpus for his understanding of the kingdom.  He recognizes the differing themes within the Synoptics on the kingdom/Messianic claims are subdued in Mark while emphasized in Matthew.  Also, Luke’s understanding of the kingdom is traced particularly in the realm of salvation.  Yet, as Wells rightly argues, “these distinctive elements  are not in competition with one another so much as being the components of a larger whole.”

The kingdom framework that Wells presents is certainly helpful, but what about the biblical theological/historical redemptive framework?  It seems to me that a significant amount of the NT finds its interpretive framework for the figure of Jesus in the history of the OT.  I wonder if this is assumed by Wells (?).

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