This is the third installment of the thread.  For those who didn’t read the first two installments, I repeat the introduction I gave to them:

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Several people have asked about the book I’m working on this term, How Jesus Became God, in particular in relation to what I mentioned in my earlier post, how I’ve learned a lot doing my research and changed my views on important issues related to the  book.  Explaining all that is a bit complicated, and I thought one good way to do it would be to show what I had *originally* planned to do with this book when I first proposed it to a publisher maybe seven or eight years ago, and then explain how the book now will be different, both in the way I’ll set it up and in what I think now about the topic.

So for these posts I will reproduce my original book proposal.  REALIZE, please, that this is what I was ORIGINALLY planning.  In lots of ways it still makes sense, but I’ve changed it now, and to make sense of the changes, you have to see what the original looked like.  So here’s part 3 of the original proposal:

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After these five chapters I will then move to my second way of approaching the matter of the emerging high Christology among the Christians of the first four centuries.  This second approach attempts to complicate the picture by dealing with five diverging paths that led to Christological orthodoxy.  Four of these paths represent dead-ends or ways that went astray, according to the orthodox Christians whose views eventually came to be dominant in Christianity in the fourth century; the fifth way represents the path of orthodoxy (which literally means, “the right way”)

1. The Way that Denies Divinity.    Whereas most Christians of the second and third centuries came to think that Jesus was himself divine, some held to the older and arguably original view that Jesus was a human — a special human, chosen by God, but a human nonetheless.  This denial of Jesus’ divinity can be found in such groups as the Jewish-Christian Ebionites, who maintained that Jesus was a human adopted to be God’s son, but who remained, nonetheless, thoroughly human.  For these Christians, since God is One, Jesus himself cannot, along with God the Father, be divine.  This view was routed by proto-orthodox Christians who insisted that salvation itself depends on the notion that in Christ, God had become a man.

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2020-04-03T18:49:51-04:00February 3rd, 2013|Book Discussions, Early Christian Doctrine|

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