Thursday, May 25, 2017

DeConick and the relationship between Christology and Soteriology

April DeConick in a provocative book chapter makes a compelling argument for how Christological developments could fuel soteriological development. Without fully accepting her assumptions or conclusions, I think her point is very well made, who Jesus is understood to be is bound to have an effect on how this Jesus is understood to save us. DeConick sketches the following paradigms.

Christology --> Soterology
Righteous One/Human, became divine at resurrection --> Behavioural/Imitative
Pre-existent Spirit/Angel, created divine, became human --> Atonement/Sacrificial
Precosmogonic/Hypostatic, uncreated divine took on flesh --> Transmutative/Ingestive/Theosis


See further (she kindly makes it available for all on her website), April DeConick, "How We Talk About Christology Matters," in Capes, DeConick, Bond, (eds)  Israel's God and Rebecca's Children. (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2007), 1-23.

In this chapter DeConick does not deal in depth with Mark's gospel which she sees, reasonably enough, as having an atonement soteriology. Aside from Mark 10:45, the lack of ethical teaching in GMark would seem to agree with this. However, that then requires a pre-existent Christology for Mark, within her paradigm, as Christology must precede soteriology. Unfortunately she doesn't comment on this as Matt and Luke (and the virgin birth) are primarily in mind for her pre-existent paradigm.

There is a lot of food for thought there, unfortunately it doesn't look as if she has developed these ideas any further in print, but I guess that leaves room for me to have a go!

Let me know what you think! :-)

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