1. bookVolume 19 (2021): Issue 2 (June 2021)
    Fundamental Aspects of Christological Anthropology: Theological and Philosophical Perspectives in Contemporary Debates. Editor: Christopher G. Woznicki
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20 Sep 2012
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access type Open Access

Did Jesus Need the Spirit? An Appeal for Pneumatic Christology to Inform Christological Anthropology

Published Online: 24 Jun 2021
Page range: 43 - 61
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
20 Sep 2012
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

A central claim of the Christian faith is that Jesus is not only fully human (and fully God), but that he reveals true humanity to us. This requires that all of our anthropologies, in some way, ground themselves in Christology, providing a ‘Christological anthropology’. Consequently, any Christological anthropology requires some formulation of Christology proper. In light of this, the main contention of the present paper is that one cannot adequately formulate a Christological anthropology without including a pneumatic Christology. The justification for this necessity can be articulated through the concept of fundamental need. The incarnate Logos, Jesus of Nazareth, fundamentally needed the Spirit in the same way that all human persons fundamentally need the Spirit. ‘Fundamental need’, as a technical concept, can help to clarify both the continuity and discontinuity between Jesus’ likeness to all humanity. This does not collapse the ‘who’ of the incarnation into the many ‘who’s’ of humanity since the incarnate Logos always possessed this Spirit as his own Spirit of Sonship, as opposed to how non-divinely hypostasized human persons must receive the Spirit of Sonship by adoption. The distinctiveness and similarity between Jesus and all of humanity can be most clearly seen by paying special attention to the difference between incarnation and indwelling. Thus, by examining incarnation and in-dwelling, as well as introducing fundamental need into theological discourse, the significance of the Spirit for informing both Christology and anthropology will be made clear.

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