Doctrine of the Person of Christ: Recommended Reading
When Jesus brought the disciples to Caesarea Philippi, he asked them, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” This question was important, not only for the first disciples, but for all mankind. The early church sought to understand how those biblical texts that taught the Jesus is God were to be reconciled with those texts that taught that Jesus is fully human. Theologians have been wrestling with this and related issues for millennia. There are a number of helpful books available on the subject. Among those I have found useful are the following:
R.C. Sproul – The Unexpected Jesus. This little book by Dr. R.C. Sproul is one of the most insightful introductory level books on the person and work of Jesus available. It corresponds with his teaching series The Cross of Christ. very highly recommended.
Donald Macleod – The Person of Christ. Macleod’s book is not light reading by any stretch of the imagination, but it is probably the best introduction to the deeper theological discussions concerning the person of Christ. If you’ve run across terms such as hypostatic union, eternal generation, filioque, etc., and have wanted to understand what these terms mean and why they are important, this book is a great place to start. It may require more than one reading, but it will be worth your time.
G.C. Berkouwer – The Person of Christ. Professor Berkouwer was Dr. Sproul’s doctoral supervisor, and Dr. Sproul lists this book among the fifteen most influential books he has read. This volume would make a good follow-up to Macleod for those wishing to dig much deeper into the subject.
Robert Reymond – Jesus: Divine Messiah. Reymond’s volume is an outstanding study of the biblical material related to the divinity of Christ. Reymond has a particularly interesting discussion of the important passage in Philippians 2:6-11.
John Owen – The Glory of Christ. Frankly, contemporary Christians would do well to read anything by John Owen, one of the most (if not the most) brilliant of the Puritans. This volume, like most of Owen’s works, is a treasure trove.
Benjamin B. Warfield - The Person and Work of Christ. Warfield was probably the greatest conservative Reformed theologian of the twentieth century. His volume on the person and work of Christ is a must read. very highly recommended.
T.F. Torrance – Incarnation. For those doing advanced level studies, it would probably be helpful to consult Torrance’s work. Torrance was a significant twentieth-century Reformed theologian. Like Berkouwer, Torrance was influenced by Barth, so students should be mindful of this as they read, and they should use discernment. One area in particular where Barth’s influence may be seen in this volume is Torrance’s adoption of the idea that Christ assumed a fallen human nature. For a good response to this error, see the discussion in Macleod’s volume listed above.