Book Review, Books, Ministry

Book Review: God the Son Incarnate

May 27, 2017

Stephen Wellum’s God the Son Incarnate: The Doctrine of Christ is one of the newest editions to the Foundations of Evangelical Theology set. This lengthy work focuses on Christology specifically, seeking to answer the fundamental yet critical question: who is Jesus Christ? For those new to study of Christology, this book will give you insight into the progression of Christology development; for those who are well versed in the field, Wellum’s work will be a welcomed perspective in evangelical scholarship. As others have noted, Wellum’s strengths are lucid thoughts and coherent arguments which help him fully develop his Christological positions. As a way of summarizing, Wellum provides his own thesis:

“Ultimately, the thesis of this entire work is one theological conclusion with many parts. Based on the warrant and critique of the previous chapters, we must confess that the identity of the Jesus of the Bible is that he is God the Son incarnate.”

If we are seeking an accurate Christological picture, it is helpful to begin not with Christ himself, but in our assumptions and presuppositions about epistemology, which is exactly where Wellum begins his work in part one. Tracing the development of epistemology through the time, Wellum shows how Christology has evolved because epistemology has evolved. For those unaware of the topic, Wellum provides a survey of the quest for the historical Jesus, which has been incredibly important for critical scholarship today.

In part two of the work, Wellum shows the person and work of Jesus by Christ’s implicit and explicit words within the biblical storyline as a whole. In other words, this chapter really does biblical theology in the context of Christology. Wellum then moves on to the historical development of Christology, which is incredibly helpful to see where we have come from. Instead of seeing our churches and evangelism in a vacuum, Wellum gives an analysis of historical theology in light of Christology. Lastly, in part four, Wellum interacts with kinetic theology, giving a fair analysis and response to current Christology controversies.

With the numerous pictures of Jesus swirling around North America, Wellum’s work was refreshing and encouraging, as he drew us into the person and work of Christ vis-a-vis the Scriptures. Every person must wrestle with the person and work of Christ, and sadly, too many are doing so in extraction of Christ, rather than with the actual person of Jesus. For those looking for a fuller, more accurate picture of Christ, pick up Wellum’s work, and savor every word.

I received this copy from Crossway in partnership with their Blog Review program. I was not required to write a positive review.

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