Thursday, July 25, 2013

"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Work of Christ 1

Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Prolegomena 1 
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Prolegomena 2 
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Prolegomena 3
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Prolegomena 4  
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Prolegomena 5

Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 1
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 2 
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 3
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Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 5
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Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 9
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 10

"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 1
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 2
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 3 
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 4
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"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 7
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 8
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 10
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 11
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 12
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 13
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 14
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 15
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 16
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 17
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 18
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 19
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 20

"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 1
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 2
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 3
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 4
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"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 6
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"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 9
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"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 11
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"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 14
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 15
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 16

"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Anthropology 1
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Anthropology 2
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Anthropology 3
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Anthropology 4
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Anthropology 5 
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Anthropology 6

"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Hamartiology 1
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Hamartiology 2
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Hamartiology 3
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Hamartiology 4
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Hamartiology 5
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"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Hamartiology 8
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Hamartiology 9

"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Christology 1
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Christology 2
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Christology 3
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Christology 4
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Christology 5
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Christology 6
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Christology 7
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Christology 8
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Christology 9
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Christology 10

"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Work of Christ 1


In his opening chapter on the doctrine of the Work of Christ, Dr. Millard Erickson discusses the helpful three-fold offices of Christ: prophet, priest, and king. He begins by noting that though such language has been common throughout the history of the church, John Calvin in his Institutes is the one credited with really developing this theme. Christ works in and through these three offices.

If your like me, the office of Christ as priest and king are simple enough. One cannot read the book of Hebrews without understanding what is meant by Christ as the Great, Final, and Eternal High Priest. Likewise, Matthew's Gospel as well as Revelation seem to especially highlight Jesus' kingly role. But how do we understand what is meant by Jesus as prophet? Does it merely mean he preaches, teaches, etc.?

Erickson provides a helpful way to look at these offices which summarize what is meant by them. Instead of simply saying prophet, priest, and king, Erickson adds Jesus' work of revealing, ruling, and reconciling. Therefore, we understand Jesus doing the work of the prophet by revealing, his work as king by ruling, and his work as priest as reconciling. This, I find, to be a helpful approach to this topic.

Regarding his work as a revealer/prophet, Erickson notes that Jesus and those around Him identified Him as one (see Matthew 13:57; 21:11, 46; Luke 24:19; John 6:14; 7:40, 52). In addition, Jesus as revealer/prophet is itself a fulfillment of prophecy (see most notably Deuteronomy 18:15 which is quoted in Acts 3:22). And certainly Jesus' prophetic ministry was like that of the other prophets in that he was sent from God (782). Yet what set Him apart, obviously was His pre-existence and divine nature. However, his ministry and teaching is similar to the prophets of old. This includes warnings of judgment, proclamation of good news and salvation (783), etc.

Yet His work as revealer goes beyond merely speaking. He is, after all, the divine Logos. Therefore his incarnation is itself as act of revelation. In addition, He is the risen Lord and continues His ministry of revelation through His church.

Regarding His ruling/kingly work, Erickson makes it clear that as Jesus' work of revealing is past, present, and future, so is his work as Ruler. Most think of his ruling as future. When He returns He will finally reign, yet that his not true. Not only do we see present language in the Kingdom of God/Heaven language of the New Testament, there is evidence that Christ is ruling today. Erickson notes that right now the natural universe obeys him. Since Christ is the one through whom all things came into being (John 1:3) and through whom all things continue (Col. 1:17), he is in control of the natural universe (786).  Furthermore, Christ is the head of the church. When he was on earth, his kingdom was present in his disciples' hearts. And wherever believers today are following the lordship of Christ, the Savior is exercising his ruling or kingly function (786-787).

Finally, regarding the reconciling/priestly work of Jesus Erickson notes that this office dominates this section of his systematic theology thus he only adds a basic introduction. Consider, however, the following helpful paragraph:

What is the focus of this intercession? On the one hand, it is justificatory. Jesus presents his righteousness to the Father for our justification. He also pleads the cause of hi righteousness for believer who, while previously justified, continue to sin. And finally, it appears, particularly from the instances during his earthly ministry, that Christ beseeches the Father that believers might be sanctified and kept from the power of the evil tempter. (787)

I find this discussion from Erickson really helpful and clear. Jesus is prophet, priest, and king. "Hallelujah" the hymn writer wrote, "What a Savior."


For more:
John Knox on the Threefold Office of Christ
John Knox on the Importance of the Ascension
Alumni Academy Christology Lectures From Dr. Bruce Ware
"The Jesus We Missed" by Patrick Henry Reardon
"Blood Work" by Anthony Carter: A Review
"The Cross of Christ" by John Stott: A Review
"In My Place, Condemned He Stood"
"It is Well"
"Precious Blood": A Review 
"Death by Love" by Mark Driscoll 
Its Not Just a Theory: Stott on Penal Substitution
John Stott on the The Human Enigma
Theology Thursday | Does McLaren Reject Penal Substitution: A Review of the Evidence
Brian McLaren and Emergent Soteriology:  From Cultural Accommodation to the Social Gospel
God as Butcher: McLaren on Penal Substitution  
The Postmodern Social Gospel:  Brian McLaren Proves My Point  
Brian McLaren and Emergent Soteriology:  From Cultural Accommodation to the Social Gospel
Does McLaren Reject Penal Substitution:  A Look at the Evidence
Allison: A History of the Doctrine of the Atonement
"Salvation Brings Imitation": Piper on Christus Exemplar
Where Theology and Life Intersect: A Theological Case for Christus Exemplar and Why It is Necessary - Part 1 - Introduction
Where Theology and Life Intersect: A Theological Case for Christus Exemplar and Why It is Necessary - Part 2 - Christus Exemplar and the doctrine of sin and depravity
Where Theology and Life Intersect: A Theological Case for Christus Exemplar and Why It is Necessary - Part 3 - The History of Christus Exemplar
Where Theology and Life Intersect: A Theological Case for Christus Exemplar and Why It is Necessary - Part 4 - Christus Exemplar and Humility
Sanctification Demands It: The Necessity of the Atonement
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