Christ and Horrors // Marilyn McCord Adams.


Christ and Horrors, a sequel to her previous Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God, is an audacious and much needed endeavor for the coherence of Christology in our horror-stricken world. Horrors are, in short, what prevent positive meaning making in human beings. Horrors are, then, broader than sin or evil. Therefore, for Adams, horrors are the true problem and inhibitor towards God’s ultimate ends for creation: assimilative (make creation as much as God-like as possible) and unitive (union between God and creation).

Dissatisfied with many modern conceptualizations of Christology, Adams proposes a medieval metaphysics retrieval with slight tweaks. As a result, Adams has a metaphysically high and materially low Christology. On the one hand, Jesus is God incarnate. On the other hand, Jesus is really human beset with horrors. Adams stages that Chalcedonian Christology has the most coherence and fruitfulness with dealing with our horror-stricken problems. Adams’ Christ is, thus, a three stage horror-defeater. Stage-I: God, the incommensurate good, horror-participates with the horror-participant in Jesus. Stage-II: God restores the horror-participant’s positive meaning making capabilities. Stage-III: God will rid of all horror-inducing forces completely. The first stage is completed in the incarnation. The second is worked in the indwelling of Jesus in the hearts of all believers. The third is the eschatological hope we endure for.

Christ and Horrors is a definite read for any students of theology or serious Christians willing to wrestle with horrors with Christ, our horror-defeater. There are some moves that she makes that I find unnecessary and, at times, wrong. Nevertheless, she and her work is monumental.


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