Christology Interview with CTR (5) – Current and Looming Issues

I had the privilege of doing an interview with the Criswell Theological Review on the topic of “Issues in Christology,” and they have graciously allowed me to post that here. I will divide it up into (1) Introductory questions, (2) Systematic Theology questions, (3) Historical Studies questions, (4) Ethics questions, and (5) a final question related to Current and Looming Issues [this post]. This interview appeared in the Fall 2015 (13.1) edition of the CTR, where the entire issue was dedicated to Christology. I encourage you to check it out.

(10) As we close, what do you think are some of the most significant issues regarding Christology that evangelicals will have to address in upcoming decades?

I think it is clear that we are going to have to deal with the issue of Jesus’ sinlessness vs. his errorlessness. Again, it’s becoming popular for some people to affirm that Jesus was sinless while at the same time affirming that he committed error in a number of areas while upon the earth. I believe that is extremely problematic.

I think we will also have to continue to deal with push back on the doctrine of penal substitution. That the Son of God bore in his body the full wrath and judgment of God in our place has always been difficult for fallen sinful humans to embrace. It is tragic that it is now a doctrine that so-called evangelicals struggle to affirm. How anyone can read Isaiah 53 and not affirm penal satisfaction/substitution is beyond me. God crushed his Son instead of crushing us.

Finally, with the gender confusion that reigns at the present moment, it will be important for us to maintain the strong moral and ethical teachings of Jesus. As repenting sinners transformed by the grace of God, we are truly new in Christ and give evidence of that transformed life. We do have to always guard against legalism on the one hand, but in our day and age rampant antinomianism clearly is the greater enemy. And, in spite of what some naysayers argue, Jesus in Matthew 19 clearly spoke to the issue of gender and to God’s good design for marriage between a man and a woman. We need to make clear that our Lord was not silent on this issue, but spoke to it in a way that is transparent and unambiguous. You can disagree with him, but it is dishonest to misrepresent him.