The Word Enfleshed // Oliver Crisp.


With an eye towards the orthodox (‘Church Fathers,’ roughly 3rd c. to 7th c. AD) and Reformed traditions and the other towards current philosophical quandaries about them, Oliver Crisp perceives both through the lens of analytical theology–and The Word Enfleshed is the product of his vision.

The crux of the book, in my opinion, is the climax of chapter 7: “The Union Account of Atonement.” Chs. 1-6 set the foundation and chs. 8-9 sweeps the house that is ch. 7–built on the foundation. Much of the earlier chapters (especially 1-3) are adaptions and updates from his previous book (Divinity and Humanity; cf. my summary a couple reviews earlier). To illuminate the connective thread of the book, I quote his words at length:

Christ is the eternally begotten Son Incarnate, the Word enfleshed, an essentially incorporeal being that has assumed a human nature that includes a corporeal body. He is also the prototypical human being in whose image we are all created. He is the one entity in whom humanity and divinity are united personally as parts of one composite whole that comprises Christ. Because he unites a human and a divine nature in one person, human beings are in principle capable of being united to God in Christ by means of the secret working of the Holy Spirit, who joins believers to Christ. Those so united are members of Christ in a real, metaphysical sense; they are “parts” of Redeemed Humanity (165-6).

Crisp coins and nuances terms (e.g., “Word enfleshed,” “composite whole,” “parts,” “Redeemed Humanity”; each was explicated in their respective chapters) that impresses a deeper meaning than one might initially perceive here. This is, truly, a ‘progressive’ work–‘progressive’ as in each chapter progresses the argument further and fuller. To appreciate the climax, hear the crescendo.


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