D.M. Baillie – Theology of Christology

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Last night at our congregation’s charge conference (i.e., business meeting), I discovered a book on one of the lamp stands between the sofas. Originally published in 1948, it is tackles many of the relevant issues we are facing today. D.M. Baillie’s essay on incarnation on atonement immediately grasped me, and as I flipped through the pages, several statements caught my eyes…

If Jesus was right in what He reported, if God is really such as Jesus said, then we are involved in saying something more about Jesus Himself and His relation to God, and we must pass beyond words like ‘discovery’ and even ‘revelation’ to words like ‘incarnation.’ ‘In order to give us authentic tidings of the character of God’, I quoted from a philosopher, ‘Jesus did not require actually to be God.’ Is that, then, all that Jesus did–to bring us authentic tidings, as from a distant realm, of a God who takes no initiative Himself to seek us out? If God is like that, then Jesus was wrong about Him, the tidings He brought were not authentic, and He was not even a true discoverer. But if He was right, then there is something more to be said, something Christological; and if we leave it out, we are leaving out not only something vital about Jesus, but something vital about God. That is to say, if we have not a sound Christology, we cannot have a sound theology either. (pp. 64-5)

Further, he writes,

That is the perennial task of theology: to think out the meaning of the Christian conviction that God was incarnate in Jesus, that is Jesus God and Man. (p83)

Like all good theologians, Baillie was Scottish, and like all good scholars, taught at St. Mary’s, University of St. Andrews. (ahhh… if only….)

I suspect that I’ll post more on this book for a while. (in the mean time… here)

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