Incarnation Anyway: Arguments for Supralapsarian Christology

Hardcover | September 1, 2008

byEdwin Chr. Van Driel

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This book raises in a new way a formerly central but recently neglected question in systematic theology: what is the Divine motive for the incarnation? Throughout Christian history theologians have agreed that God's decision to become incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ was made necessaryby humanity's fall from grace. If Adam and Eve had not sinned, the incarnation would not have happened. This position is known as 'infralapsarian.' In the 19th and 20th centuries, however, some major theological figures championed a 'supralapsarian' Christology, arguing that God had always intendedthe incarnation, independent of 'the Fall.' Edwin van Driel offers the first scholarly monograph to map and analyze the full range of supralapsarian arguments. He gives a thick description of each argument and its theological consequences, and evaluates the theological gains and losses inherent ineach approach. Van Driel shows that each of the three ways in which God is thought to relate to all that is not God - in creation, in redemption, and in eschatological consummation - can serve as the basis for a supra-lapsarian argument. He illustrates this thesis with detailed case studies of theChristologies of Schleiermacher, Dorner, and Barth. He concludes that the most fruitful supralapsarian strategy is rooted in the notion of eschatological consummation, taking interpersonal interaction with God to be the goal of the incarnation. He goes on to develop his own argument along theselines, concluding in an eschatological vision in which God is visually, audibly, and tangibly present in the midst of God's people.

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This book raises in a new way a formerly central but recently neglected question in systematic theology: what is the Divine motive for the incarnation? Throughout Christian history theologians have agreed that God's decision to become incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ was made necessaryby humanity's fall from grace. If Adam and E...

Edwin Chr. van Driel received degrees in theology and philosophy from Utrecht University (the Netherlands) and a PhD in theology from Yale University. He resides in Naugatuck, CT.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.98 inPublished:September 1, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195369165

ISBN - 13:9780195369168

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Divine Motives for the Incarnation2. Schleiermacher's Supralapsarianism3. Dorner's Supralapsarianism4. Barth's Supralapsarian Narrative5. Barth's Supralapsarian Ontology6. Supralapsarian Christology: Conceptual Structures7. Supralapsarian Christology: A Proposal8. Epilog: Consummation, Creation, and RedemptionBibliographical Appendix: the Genealogy of SupralapsarianismBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"In this analytically rigorous and deeply insightful work, Dr. van Driel zeroes in on central issues and takes them apart with exceptional ease and clarity. In and of itself, that is an extraordinary achievement, considering the complexity of thought of the figures he is engaging. This book makes an important original, creative, and compelling contribution to supralapsarian Christology." --Miroslav Volf, Henry B. Wright Professor of Systematic Theology, Yale Divinity School "Van Driel's work is a rare example of theological construction that is rigorous and yet creative, that is definite and detailed as to is own conclusions, and that puts a surprising issue firmly on the table for contemporary theology, making an eloquent case for its importance. The book doesn't just open a new discussion, it positively advances it." --Paul DeHart, Vanderbilt University "With a maestro's attention to the full orchestral breadth of the symphony that is systematic theology, van Driel's analysis reveals how God, in supralapsarian theories of the Incarnation, saturates ordinary life with Christological significance, revealing the resplendence of the everyday as we have it, and demonstrating 'the centrality of Christ to eschatological consummation, ' which teaches us something about the destiny for which humanity is created. Historically informed yet never pedantic, theologically profound yet never obscure, this is a book from which students will profit and at which masters will marvel." --Charles Mathewes, University of Virginia