Is incarnation an anomaly? Was incarnation part of the hope of Israel?
Graham Cole addresses these questions. He begins by exploring the purpose of creation in terms of God fashioning a palace-temple for dwelling with the creature made in the divine image. He follows God’s acts in Israel’s history to redeem a people of His own among whom He can dwell. He examines theophanic language: God is presented as a person who speaks, acts, and feels as though embodied. He considers Israel’s messianic hope and the testimony of the New Testament, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14), in the person of Jesus Christ. Cole also addresses the question raised by Anselm–“Why did God become man?”, and finds abundant New Testament answers to Anselm’s question. He concludes with a consideration of the theological and existential significance of the incarnation.
This book was listed as one of “The Preacher’s Guide to the Best in Bibles and Bible Reference for 2014” in the theology category by Preaching Magazine.
“In general terms the incarnation qualified Jesus to be what Adam failed to be and what Israel failed to be: the true image of God walking the earth and exercising dominion.” (Page 122)
“The idea of divine concomitance adds an important nuance in understanding the divine relation to creatures. The traditional categories are transcendence and immanence. Transcendence has been thematized earlier in the discussion. Immanence refers to God’s indwelling creation and working within it. Concomitance adds to these categories the notion of alongsideness or God with us. The notion of the divine alongsideness is important in both Old Testament and New.” (Page 33)
“Importantly divine transcendence allows no room for pantheism. The Creator-creature distinction is the most basic metaphysical one in Scripture. The divine immanence and concomitance leave no room for deism as though the Creator has lost interest in creation.” (Page 34)
“Adam’s role in Eden was to extend the contours of the garden to the whole world.’8” (Page 31)
“In other words, the garden sanctuary is best seen as a staging post for the task of Edenizing the entire world.” (Page 31)
Although considerable effort in biblical theology has been devoted to such messianic themes as the Davidic monarch, the priesthood, and the temple, relatively little has been devoted to the incarnation. This volume by Dr. Graham Cole takes steps to fill the need . . . it is immensely satisfying to find an able systematician wrestling with the biblical texts.
—D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Graham A. Cole is Anglican Professor of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School, Birmingham, Alabama. Previously he served as professor of biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and principal of Ridley College, Melbourne. He is the author of God the Peacemaker (NSBT), Engaging with the Holy Spirit, He Who Gives Life and numerous articles in periodicals and books.