Thursday, January 17, 2013


PART I               

The everlasting bliss of the saved, and the everlasting suffering of the lost.

All those, but only those, who trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior from sin and not in their own life or works, will go to heaven when they die.  Jesus said:  “I am the resurrection and the Life.  Anyone who believes in Me will live even if he dies.  Yes, anyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.”73 “Because I live you too will live.”74

The doctrine of the resurrection from the dead is taught in both the Old and New Testaments.  It is not some teaching which was developed by men during the inter-testamental period so that they might have some comfort in the hour of death.75

Jesus said that He was the only way to heaven and that all those who do not believe in Him are lost.76 The Athanasian Creed teaches that all those who do not believe in the Holy Trinity, the only true God, “without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.”

The unbelievers will rise to eternal death, that is, to everlasting shame, contempt, and torment in hell.77 Man goes to either Heaven or Hell at death.  There is no purgatory or limbo, according to the Bible.78

The Bible teaches that at the time of death the soul of the believer is at once received into the presence of Christ.79 At the Last Day the believer will live with Christ, according to body and soul, in eternal joy and glory.80

Since Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven and those who die without him are lost in eternal Hell, it is the Christian’s responsibility to support Christian missions and to the best of one’s ability to tell others about Jesus Christ.81

A clear understanding of the Biblical doctrine of the Word is absolutely essential to an effective approach to evangelism and missions.  We agree with Luther, that the Word does not merely trip man’s trigger of potential . . .for man has no scriptural potential (Eph. 2:1).  Instead, the Word effects even that which it commands-it not only calls for conversion and sanctification, THE WORD ITSELF CONVERTS AND SANCTIFIES.82

73 John 11:25,26.
74 John 14:19.
75 Job 19:25-27. Otten, op. cit. 34-36. 3a-m.
76 John 14:6. Acts 4:12.
77 Luke 16:23,24; Matt 10:28; Is. 66:24; Matt 7:13-
78 Luke 16:19-31. Hebrew 9:27. "Heaven and Hell," Siegbert  Becker. CNE, pp. 2293-2295. "There IS A HELL," CNE. 2296; Eternal Damnation," J.T. Mueller, CNE . 2297.
79 Phil. 1:23; Luke23:43; Rev. 14:13.
80 1 John3:2; Ps. 16:1. John 17:24; Rom. 8:18. The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod confessed in its 1973 "Statement of Scriptural and  Confessional Principles," CNE. pp. 1230-1231:
We believe, teach, and confess that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Lord, and that through faith in Him we receive forgiveness of sins, eternal life, and salvation. We confess that our works cannot reconcile God or merit forgiveness of sins and grace but that we obtain forgiveness and grace only by faith when we believe that we are received into favor for Christ's sake, who alone has been ordained the mediator and propitiation through whom the Father is reconciled" (AC, XX, 9). We believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven and that all who die without faith in Him are eternally damned.  We believe that those who believe in Christ will enjoy a blissful relationship with Him during the interim between their death and His second coming and that on the last day their bodies will be raised.
We therefore reject the following:
1. That we may operate on the assumption that there may be other ways of salvation than through faith in Jesus Christ;
2. That some persons who lack faith in Christ may be considered  "anonymous Christians";
3. That there is no eternal hell for unbelieves and ungodly men.
81 Some Remarks on the Question of the Salvation of the Heathen," by Theodore Engelder, CNE, pp. 1330. "Mission Versus Missions," William R. LeRoy, CNE, pp. 1331 1333. "Christ The Only Way." "CNE. p. 1336; Otten, op. cit. pp. 74-76.
82 Rev. Wallace Schulz, Associate Speaker. International  Lutheran Hour, "The Electronic Media," CNE, 2636-2637. Schulz writes:

THE KEY TO IT ALL: The Living Word
God has given us unlimited evangelistic power through His Living Word. Speaking through Isaiah the prophet of God says that His "Word," when it is proclaimed, shall not return until it has "accomplished" that which He desires. The efficacy at God's Word is explained by the revered Biblical scholar Delitzsch: "(The Word) is not a mere sound or letter. As it goes forth out of the mouth of God it acquires shave, and in this shape is hidden a divine life, because of its divine origin; and so it runs, with life from God, endowed with divine power, supplied with divine commissions, like a swift messenger through nature and the world of man, there to melt ice as it were, and to heal and to save.”
A clear understanding of the Biblical doctrine of the Word is absolutely essential to an effective approach to evangelism and missions. Embracing the now popular Protestant understanding of the Word of God automatically leads one to constantly see new methodologies in order to evangelize or carry out a mission program. Interestingly, when Paul in his loving admonition to Timothy gave the simple and yet all-embracing command and approach to missions, “Preach the Word.” This apostle was imparting an inspired message which the bulk of today’s media-religionists apparently do not comprehend.
Thus, we agree with Luther that the Word does not merely trip man’s trigger of potential... for natural man has no spiritual potential (Eph. 2:1). Instead, the word effects even that which it commands --- it not only calls for conversion and sanctification. THE WORD ITSELF CONVERTS AND SANCTIFIES.
The Word is efficacious. A serious study of Luther's introductory sermons on the Gospel  of John would be a surprise to many involved in today's "electronic church. "His approach to the Word, totally different from what is held by the majority of evangelicals today, yet, solidly Biblical, is indeed exciting: in fact,  it is so inspiring, it is so emerging, that if this understanding of the Word were recaptured today by  Protestants, there would be a new Reformation and a phenomenal mission and evangelism threat , even among Lutherans!
103. Keil/Delitzseh, Commentary on the Old Testament, vol. 7, p. 359. Luther also speaks of the Word as an active agent in his sermon on John 1:1-7; St Paul also speaks about the Word being ‘‘at work" within believers (2 Thess. 2:13).
104. Luther's exhaustive (and not easy to read) work THE BONDAGE OF THE WILL is a thorough treatment of man’s helpless spiritual condition as stated in the Scriptures. For those interested in a shorter and quite provocative treatment, they might turn to the April, 1966, issue of the Concordia Theological Monthly, p. 287. This article, “Luther Against Erasmus” was originally delivered by James I. Packer the well-known Anglican author and clergyman to the pastoral conference of the English Lutheran Church, October 30, 1964.
105. Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 1:21; Colossians 2:13; Romans 9:16; John 1:13.
106. John 6:63.
107 Luther's Works, American Edition, vol. 22, p. 12.
108. Jeremiah 1:9.10; Romans 10:17.
109. John 15:3.
110. John 6:27.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Part H 

Salvation, the effect of regeneration by the Spirit and the Word, not by works but by grace through faith.

We firmly maintain the doctrine of justification by grace, for Christ’s sake because it is the chief doctrine of the Christian religion;58 it distinguishes the Christian religion from false religions, all of which teach salvation by works;59 this doctrine gives enduring comfort to penitent sinners;60 and this doctrine gives all glory to God.61

Both the Old and New Testament teach that a man is justified by faith alone.  True believers in the Old Testament were not saved because of their words but only because they trusted in the promised Messiah. 
Moses wrote that Abraham “believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”62 Paul elaborates upon this statement in Romans 4 and Galatians 3 and explains that even the Old Testament men were saved through faith alone.  Today only true Christians, and not Muslims, Jews and other non-Christians, worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob the only God who exists and grants eternal salvation to those who believe in Him.  Many of the Psalms emphasize that salvation is completely in God’s hands.  David wrote that “Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.”63

Habakkuk wrote that “the just shall live by faith.”64

The Apostle Paul wrote:  “For we conclude that a person is justified (declared righteous)by faith-apart from the works of the Law.”65

Paul wrote to the Ephesians:  “Yes, by His grace you are saved through faith.  It was not your doing; it is God’s gift.  It is not a result of anything you have done; and so no one may boast.”66

Jesus made it clear:  “For God loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him might not perish, but have everlasting life.”67

Man does not come to saving faith in Jesus Christ by himself.  By nature he is spiritually blind, dead and an enemy of God; and therefore by his own reason and strength cannot believe in Jesus Christ, or come to Him.68

It is the work of the Holy Spirit, who is true God, the third person in the Holy Trinity,69 to bring man to saving faith in Christ by imparting to him the blessings of redemption.70 The Holy Spirit converts man.  Man does not convert himself.71 Without the grace, help and activity of the Holy Spirit man is not capable of making himself acceptable to God, of fearing God and believing in God with his whole heart, or by expelling inborn lusts from his heart.72

58 Acts 10:43, Acts4:12.
59 Gai. 5:4,5.
60 Acts 16:30, 31, 34; Matt. 9:2.
61 Rev. 1:5,6.
62 Genesis 15:6.
63 Psalm 32:2.
64 Hab. 2:4.
65 Romans 3:28; Romans 5:1.
66 Ephesians 2:8,9.
67 John 3:16. See  "History, Christianity and Justification.”  “Otten, op. cit. pp. 24-26. CNE, 2525-2530. "The Doctrine of Justification, by Kurt Marquart, CNE. pp. 1105-1111. "After Four Centuries on Justification," Paul Bartz, CNE, p. 1111; "Pope Paul and Justification by Faith," CNE. p. 1112; "Who Insists Upon Justification By Faith Alone?" CNE. p. 1113; "Justification—The Meaning of Justification: A Word Study," Herman Otten, CNE. p. 1115-1117; "The 450th Anniversary of the Apology," Raymond Surburg. CNE.  pp. 1118-1121.
68 1 Cor. 2:14; Romans 8:7; Eph. 2:11. 9: 1 Cor. 12:1
69 Matt. 28:19; 1 Cor. 3:16; Acts 5,3,4; PS- 139:7-10; Heb.9:14; PS. 33:6; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 4:14.
70 1 Cor. 6:11; 2 Tim 1:9; Rev. 22:17.
71 Jer. 31:18; John3:5,6; I Peter 2:9.
72 The Freedom of the Will, "The Augsburg Confession. Article XVIII.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Original Sin

Part G

The total depravity of man through the Fall.
Evil or sin originated from the free choice of free moral agents, and that since the Fall-a real, historical event described in Genesis 3-all men are by nature spiritually blind, dead, and therefore helpless.53 Eph. 2:1-2
We reject the idea that the human soul, after the Fall and before Conversion, has any spiritual life or powers whatever.
Sin was brought into the world by the devil, who was once a holy angel but fell away from God, and by man, who of his own free will yielded to the temptation of the devil.54 Sin is breaking the Law.55 Sin pays off with death.56
On account of original sin, man is by nature lost and condemned, ruined in body and soul.  All men have sinned, including every Christian and the greatest of “saints.”57

53 Ephesians 2:1-2.
54 I John3:8; Rom. 5:12; Gen. 3:1-7. "The Removal of the Devil from the Old Testament by Modern Lutheran Theologians," Raymond Surburg, CNE, 263; "The Biblical Doctrine of the Angels," by Raymond Surburg, CNE, p. 3010-3012. CN.  April 17,1989CN. This entire issue is devoted to Satanism.
55 1 John 3:4.
56 Romans 6:23.
57 1 John 1:8; Eph. 2:3; Romans 5:12; Romans 6:23. "The Seven Deadly Sins," "Sloth," "Pride," "Gluttony," "Lust," "Anger," "Greed," "Envy," by Kurt Marquart, CNE, pp. 1568 1570.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Part F

His resurrection from among the dead in the same body in which He was crucified and the second coming of this same Jesus in power and great glory.  Christ rose physically from the dead.  The resurrection was a “resuscitation” of the same body which was placed in the tomb.  The tomb was empty on that first Easter morning.  His disciples did not steal his body.  They proclaimed the truth of Christ’s resurrection even though they understood it might cost their own lives because they knew that they were telling the truth.  They saw the empty tomb.  Jesus appeared to them on various occasions.  There are no contradiction in the various accounts in the New Testament of Christ’s resurrection.  It is an event which took place in real history, not something which the disciples and early church fabricated.48
Jesus knew that He was the Messiah promised in the Old Testament and that He would rise again from the dead to save all men from their sins.49
Christ will return visibly and in glory.50 He will then judge the world in righteousness.51 He will come on the Last Day, which is appointed by God, but unknown to man.52

48Matthew 27:62-66; Matthew28; Mark 16; Luke25; John 20 and 21; Acts 10:39-42; I Corinthians 15. Otten, op. cit., pp. 34-36.
49 Luke 4; 16-20; Matthew 12:40; Matthew 16:21.
50 Acts 1:11; Rev. 1:7; Matt. 25:31.
51 Acts 10:42; 2 Cor. 5:10; Acts 17:3; John 12:48.
52 Acts 17:31; Mark 13:32; 2 Peter 3:10; Matt. 24:27; l Peter 4:7.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Part E 

His substitutionary, expiatory death in that He gave His life “a ransom for many.”
The Bible teaches that Christ is not only the victor over sin but that he fully appeased God’s wrath for sin and satisfied the demands of divine justice.  Christ “gave Himself a ransom for all.”45 John wrote that Christ “has paid for our sin, and not for ours only but for the whole world.”46 Isaiah wrote that “He was wounded for our transgressions.”47

45 I Tim. 2:6.
46 John 2:2.
47 Isaiah 53:4-6.
Modern liberals only teach that Christ somehow conquered the power of sin, death, and the power of the devil, but they reject the real doctrine of the vicarious satisfaction of Christ. The Bible, however, clearly teaches that Christ is not only the victor over sin but that he also fully appeased God's wrath for sin and satisfied the demands of divine justice. God is both a holy and a loving God. Since he is holy, he cannot tolerate sin in his sight. All men have sinned and no man can wipe away the guilt of his own sin (Psalm 14:3; Ecclesiastes 7:20; 1 John 1:8). God had decreed that because man had sinned he would perish in everlasting damnation (Romans 6:23). But then God in his great love sent his Son to suffer and die in the place of all men. Christ satisfied the demands of divine justice by his perfect obedience to the Law (Active Obedience) and by his death on the cross (Passive obedience).

Christ, who is expressly called "Priest" both in the Old Testament (Psaim110:4: "Thou art a Priest forever;" Zechariah 6:13; "a Priest upon His throne") and in the New ("a Priest forever," Hebrews 5:6) has in the state of humiliation reconciled the whole world to God. 2 Corinthians 5:19: "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself."

Christ reconciled the world to God by offering Himself as Propitiation to God for the sins of mankind. Paul declared that Christ "gave Himself a ransom for all" (1 Timothy 2:6). John wrote that Christ “has paid for our sins, and not for ours only but for the whole world" (1 John 2:2). William Beck correctly comments in a footnote on this verse in his translation of the New Testament: "His sacrifice wipes out our sins and changes God’s anger to love.” Isaiah prophesied concerning the coming Messiah: "Surely he hath borne our grief’s, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:4-6)." Otten, op. cit., p. 20.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Part D

His birth of the Virgin Mary
The Bible teaches the doctrine of Christ’s virgin birth.42 The prophet Isaiah 700 years before Christ was born of the Virgin Mary predicted:  “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign:  Look, the virgin will conceive and have a Son, and His name will be Immanuel!”23 Almah, the Hebrew word Isaiah by the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit used for “virgin” can only be translated “virgin.”  Nowhere in the Bible or in any Hebrew or Semitic literature does Almah mean anything different from virgin.43

There has been only one virgin birth in all history.  When Isaiah wrote that an Almah (virgin) would conceive and have a Son, Isaiah was not first referring to some woman living during his time but only to the Virgin Mary.44

42 "Matthew 1:18-23; Luke 1:26-38; Isaiah 7:14.
43 ''The Revised Standard Version of the National Council of Churches translates Isaiah 7:14: "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. "Here the translators of the Revised Standard Version permitted their modern liberal theology to dictate how a particular passage ought to read.

The word almah is the Hebrew word which the RSV here designates as "a young woman."

While the etymological meaning of almah is a sexually mature girl, sound exegesis does not base the meaning of a word on its etymology. Almah is the feminine of elem which occurs twice in the Old Testament. In 1 Samuel 17:56, Saul called David, when he came back from fighting Goliath, an elem. He was then about twenty years old and unmarried; later Michal became his first wife. After that, David is never called an elem. Nowhere is elem used of a married man.

Almah Nothing But Virgin
Almah occurs nine times in the Old Testament. In two places (Ps. 46:1; 1 Chronicles 15:20) we have the plural alamoth. There is no passage where Almah is not a virgin. Nowhere in the Bible or in any Hebrew or Semitic literature does almah mean anything different from virgin.  Jastrow's dictionary shows that almah has no implication of marriage even in later Hebrew. The International  Critical Commentary (ICC) cites Proverbs 30:19 as evidence that the word does not mean virgin; and then the ICC on Proverbs 30:19 cites Isaiah 7; 14 as the only proof that the word means a married woman. Some have argued that if Isaiah had meant a "virgin" he would have used bethulah. However, in Joel 1:8 bethulah is used of a woman who has had a husband. Almah alone seems to insure the thought that this is an unmarried woman.

Luther said:
lf they make the claim that the Hebrew text does not state a virgin whereas almah means a young maiden, . . . in the case of Christians, the answer is easy from St. Matthew (1:22,23)andLuke(1:27), both of whom apply the passage in Isaiah to Mary and translate the word almah "virgin," whom we believe rather than the whole world. For God the Holy Spirit speaks through St. Matthew and St. Luke, of whom we firmly believe that He understands the Hebrew language and words.
Luther also wrote: “If a Jew or a Hebraist could prove to me that almah could possibly mean a married woman in the Scripture, he shall get a hundred gold coins (Gulden) from me (God knows where I’ll find them)." George Stoeckhardt, one of Lutheranism's most scholarly exegetes, who quotes this statement of Luther, adds: "Since then Hebrew philogy has made great strides; but, if Luther lived today, he could still make that challenge without losing any money."

Almah was translated "virgin" by the Septuagint (200 B.C.), the Vulgate (400 A.D.), Luther (1534-46), the King James Version (1611), the British Revision (1881-85), and the American Standard Version (1901). Such great Christian scholars as Luther, Stoeckhardt, Ludwig Fuerbringer, Robert Dick Wilson, Walter A. Maier all insisted on "virgin." Now the RSV (1952) translates "a young woman" and even a Lutheran Advisory Committee on English Bible Versions says that "young woman" is a justifiable translation.

The Dead Sea Scroll
In the Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah a little strip has been worn away at Isaiah 7:14. But there on the brittle margin stands haalmah untouched. May that be a sign to us. And may this amazing discovery of the Isaiah manuscript, as it wipes off the blackboard of modern comment a whole host of speculations, be a proof to us that "the grass dries up and die flower withers, but the Word of our God will stand forever," Isaiah 40:8. In His Word God has defined haalmah as "the virgin." We may wither, but that will stand!

Otten, op. cit., pp. 23-29. The author relied on "What Does Almah Mean? by William F. Beck. Christian Handbook on Vital Issues, published by Christian News, pp. 537-548. See also the section on Messianic Prophecy in the CNE, pp. 2665-2677. CNE, 263.

44 Otten, op. cit., pp. 56-58.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Part C

The essential, absolute, eternal Deity and the real proper, but sinless, humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary.  The Scriptures ascribe to Christ Divine names30; Divine attributes31; Divine works32; Divine honor and glory.33

The divine and the human natures are united in Christ, both natures together forming one undivided and indivisible person.34

It was necessary for our Savior to be true God35 that His fulfilling of the Law might be sufficient for all men;36 that His life and redemption might be sufficient ransom for our redemption;37 and that He might be able to overcome death and the devil for us.38

The fact that Jesus prayed to the father, that he said only the Father knew when Judgment Day would come, or that He died does not prove that He was not God in the fullest sense of the term.  Christ’s State of Humiliation consisted in this, that according to His human nature, Christ did not always and fully use the divine attributes communicated to His human nature.39

Jesus was not made a god at His baptism or at His resurrection, nor was He subsequently deified by His followers, who believed Him to be God, while He Himself never made such a claim.  Jesus Christ existed with the Father from the very beginning, as the second person of the Holy Trinity, equal with the Father in every sense.  Even after he took on Himself human flesh he was, and still is, and ever will be, the true God.40

Any doctrine of “justification” or “salvation” which is not based on the doctrine that Jesus Christ is true God, the second person is the Holy Trinity, is not Christian and of no value.41

30 1 John 5:20, Matt. 17:5; Romans 9:5.
31 John 1:1,2, Heb. 13:8, Matt. 28:20, John 21:17, Matt. 28:20.
32 John 1:3, Heb. 1:3; Matt. 9:6; John 5:27.
33 John5:23; Heb 1:6.
34 John1:14; 1 Tim. 3:16; Col. 2:9; Is. 9:6; Matt. 28:20; Acts 3:15; John 1:7.
35 Gal. 4:4,5; Heb 2:14.
36 Ps. 49:7,8; Rom. 5:19.
37 2 Tim. 1:10; Heb 2:14; 1 Cor. 15:57.
38 2 Tim. 1:10; Heb. 2:14; 1 Cor. 15:57.
39 Phil. 2:5-8.
40 Otten, op. cit.. p. 16, 17.
41 David Scaer writes in Christology, a volume in the new Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics series published by the International Foundation for Lutheran Confessional Research, Inc., 6600 N. Clinton St., Fort Wayne, Indiana 46825: " lf the doctrine of justification by grace through faith is the center of Christian theology, then Christology is the foundation upon which rests justification and all the other articles of faith. Only that doctrine of justification is Christian which is based on the Christology revealed in the  New Testament and later confessed by the ancient church in its Creeds and councils" (1).

Some modern theologians profess to believe in justification by faith but they do not believe that Jesus Christ is God or that he was born of a virgin and rose physically from the dead.

Many church members maintain that it makes very little difference what one believes about Christ as long as one leads a good life and tries his best.

Scaer takes issue with various Twentieth Century theologians who are not mentioned in Pieper's dogmatics. Scaer says that "Though (Karl) Earth is seen by certain Evangelical scholars as reviving the ancient church's Christology, his emphasis on 'the transcendent' may, in fact, make a real Incarnation impossible for him" (4). "Jurgen Moltmann, like Barth, speaks of two natures in Christ, but by attributing the death of Christ to the divine nature casts doubt on his understanding of the Incarnation" (4). "According to Bultmann, Jesus did not come from God as the Only-begotten Son of God; instead, the church elevated Jesus to a position of divine honor through a process of theological evolution. This position has been stated before by the Unitarians who called Jesus 'God' only in an honorific sense" (4). Scaer observes that Wolfhart  Pannenberg, a Lutheran theologian, "speaks of Jesus becoming God in the Resurrection, but dilutes this belief by extending the integration of die divine and human in Jesus in such a way as to include all of humanity in this union.

Moltmann says men are absorbed into God, while Pannenberg reverses this scheme with the view dial God is absorbed into humanity. In both theories the Incarnation is so universalized that its uniqueness in the person of Jesus is lost."

Roman Catholic Theologians
"The abandonment of Chalcedonian Christology was caused by a restrictive historical approach to the Christology of the New Testament. This practice is not limited to Protestant theologians. Piet J. A. M. Schoonenbert, in his book The Christ, claims that the man Jesus gives a personality to the Word of God. The humanity of Jesus does not allow for the Incarnation of the divine Logos" (4,5.).

Scaer says that "The contemporary Christology 'from below' simply does not take the preexistent divine nature into account. To preserve the human nature Schoonenbert eliminates the divine nature altogether, a position which was not an option even for the heretics condemned by the ecumenical councils. This approach characterizes most modern approaches to Christology" (5).

Scaer shows that various prominent Roman Catholic theologians, who have not been excommunicated, deny the real deity of Christ. He writes: "Edward Schillebeeckx attempts to harmonize Roman Catholicism's commitment to the doctrine of the Trinity with his conviction that (Christology must be approached 'from below.' This allows him to speak of the Trinity from the perspective of the Christology. It is true that the question of how the Trinity is revealed to humanity must be answered from the perspective of Christology. The revelatory question cannot be confused, however, with the ontological one which lies at the heart of the Christology of Nicaea and Chalcedon. Jesus is the preexistent Son of God, the divine Logos, even though this knowledge comes to us only by means of His incarnation. Schillebeeckx is unable to move beyond speaking of Christ's divinity in functional terms as the one in whom God gives us salvation.
"Another well-known Roman Catholic theologian, Hans Kung, who has been disqualified by the pope as a teacher of doctrine at the University of Tubingen because of his theological position, attributes to Christ only a functional deity. He is willing to use the Christological language of the Nicene Creed, but interprets this only in the functional sense of God revealing Himself in Jesus. As radical as these Roman Catholic theologians are, they are bound to tradition in a way that Protestants are not and as a result they make some attempt to incorporate the terminology of the ancient councils in their functional Christology. Such a view may be called a 'Christology of revelation' because Christ reveals God without being God Himself. But like their Protestant counterparts, these Roman Catholic theologians are never able to move successfully from a Christology 'from below' to one 'from above.' Their approach may be more deceptive. Their use of traditional Christological language of the Creeds hides their true intentions. Any Christology which goes no further than a discussion of the historical Jesus places itself in opposition to the Christology of the Scriptures as well as that of the early church.

"Christology 'from below' was popularized by the late Anglican bishop and Cambridge don, John A. T. Robinson, in his books. Honest to God and The Human Face of God. He describes the divine and human qualities of Jesus with traditional language. But when he speaks of Jesus as 'the personal representative of God: He stands in God's place.

He is God to us and for us,' he is setting up a different Christology from that of Chalcedon. In the last years of his life Robinson gave up his attempts at dogmatics and devoted himself to New Testament studies, where his views were surprisingly conservative. As a theologian, Robinson was not a particularly original thinker and only synthesized the views of others. A lack of clarity and an inability to grapple with the materials may have been his real problem. To him, nevertheless, belongs the credit of bringing views into the open which the majority of scholars have held for nearly two centuries, so that the laity could understand.

"The issue of Christology 'from below' came to inflammatory expression in The Myth of God Incarnate. As occurs in any collection of essays from a group of authors, it lacks unity of thought, except in its consistent denial of orthodox Christology and its substitution of a Christology 'from below.' A debate began on British soil and soon raged throughout the English-speaking world. Frances Young, one of the contributors, 'discovered' that even the apostle Paul did not have an incarnational theology. John Hick, the editor, finds the Incarnation pernicious because it implies that there is no salvation outside of Christianity. He calls for recognition of God's work through other religions" (pp. 7,8).