Who was Jesus Christ? Accompanying all the new studies of the life of Jesus has been the question of Jesus’ identity. Was he anything more than a human creature? A key issue in this debate is the claim of Jesus’ preexistence as the divine, uncreated Son of God before his incarnation on earth. Douglas McCready provides a thorough survey of the doctrine covering New Testament teaching, Jewish and Hellenistic background, and historical development. He carefully weighs the evidence and engages the arguments for and against the Christian orthodox conviction of Christ’s preexistence.
Drawing on expert scholarship McCready makes this important subject of debate accessible to students and other non-experts who want to know the evidence and arguments for this central doctrine of Christian faith. He Came Down From Heave will be especially useful as a supplementary text for theology courses on Christology or in biblical studies courses on the New Testament witness to Jesus Christ.
With Logos Bible Software, He Came Down from Heaven: The Preexistence of Christ and the Christian Faith is easily searchable. Scripture passages appear on mouse-over, and all cross-references are linked to the other resources in your digital library, making this collection more powerful and easier to access than ever before for scholarly work or personal Bible study. With the advanced search features of Logos Bible Software, you can perform powerful searches by topic or Scripture reference, such as finding every mention of “Jesus” or “doctrine.”
“Second, this method resulted in the exaltation of human reason.” (Page 20)
“Ideal preexistence is trivial because if existence in the mind of God qualifies as preexistence, everything and everyone must be described as preexistent. Ideal preexistence does not necessarily reject trinitarian teaching, but those who accept the doctrine of the Trinity and teach the ideal preexistence of Christ generally separate Jesus Christ from the second person of the Trinity.” (Page 17)
“The way that the pre-existence of Christ is understood determines how one speaks about the theology of God and of human salvation.” (Page 11)
“All are eternally existent, but only the Son has changed his situation in such a way that the term preexistence is helpful.” (Pages 12–13)
“Postmodernism rejects the existence of absolutes, or at least the possibility of ever knowing them.” (Page 22)
Thank heavens we now have a full-length monograph on the issue of the preexistence of Christ, which is fully cognizant not only of the scholarly literature on the subject but is equally at home with the patristic interpretation of the key New Testament texts, especially the Pauline and Johannine ones. Douglas McCready is to be commended for his thoroughness in dealing with objections to this idea, and yet also his pastoral concern to show the practical and personal importance of affirming this concept as a part of an orthodox Christology. Highly recommended.
—Ben Witherington III, professor of New Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary
The new book by Douglas McCready, He Came Down from Heaven, is an innovative study, both exegetical and theological, of the classical doctrine of Christ's preexistence (more accurately, his pretemporal existence, I think). The author is widely read and writes with clarity, though some of his conclusions will challenge some modern thinking that regards preexistence as metaphor or myth. Rightly he sees both the intrinsic theological importance of the doctrine and its ethical implications. Here is a title worth its salt. I commend it.
—Ralph P. Martin, distinguished scholar in residence, Fuller Theological Seminary
A wide-ranging and well-written book.
—Books & Culture
Douglas McCready (M.Div., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; Ph.D., Temple University) teaches religion and philosophy. He is the author of Jesus Christ for the Modern World (Peter Lang).