Allister McGrath. Understanding Jesus. Zondervan Publishing House, 1987. Who is Jesus, and why is he so important for Christians McGrath's response and his thesis is that Jesus Christ was and is man and God and was sent down to earth fromheaven to bring all people the opportunity for redemption from their sins. From McGrath giving the reason of the church's need to establish a doctrine, to him attempting to establish Jesus' authenticity through his work and ministry, McGrath explains the importance of Jesus being exactly the way he was to the Christian faith. McGrath oftentimes establishes and then stresses the significance of God coming through Jesus as aman to save us all.
McGrath's thesis may cause some feelings of ambiguity for its reader, but first Iwill attempt to explain it as concisely as I can. Jesus Christ was a man. This does not mean that he was sent down from heaven in the form of a man but without the desires and hardships associated with one. He was flesh and bone and dealt with all of the day today problems that everyone has according to McGrath's part in "The Incarnation: the Doctrine." Next, Jesus is God. Jesus was not just another promising rabbi that somehow had the power to heal and could teach with great authority. He is God incarnate.
McGrath used the visual of a dark room with people in it that knew that there was world outside but never could see it. Then, all of a sudden, a window of light was established in the room illuminating the entirety of it. This window provided a view ofthe outside world, and it enabled the people in the room to understand the world they knew was there on faith but never had a chance to see. Jesus was that window that showed the light of heaven or more importantly, God.
Jesus was sent down to earth fromheaven to give people the opportunity for redemption for our sins. God took on the form of man through his son, Jesus, to live life sinless ly and be the ultimate sacrifice fo our dealings with evil. Through believing in Christ's ability to forgive sins, we can seek forgiveness from God and be "adopted" by God. The author has great ability to convey evidence for his thesis.
He is so concise in answering many questions about why and how Jesus is necessary in saving us and in giving evidence of the resurrection that almost anybody could understand. On the resurrection issue, McGrath relates that in the New Testament, women are attributed withthe discovery of Jesus' empty tomb. Women at that time held no value concerning their credibility. McGrath states that it would be redundant for the followers of Jesus to make up such a story and attribute it to women who's accounts would be discredited anyhow. Another piece of evidence that the Resurrection did actually occur is that those who opposed Jesus had no formal argument about the empty tomb except that the disciples stole the body. As for the importance of why and how Jesus is necessary in saving us from our transgressions thereby getting us closer to God that McGrath uses is the need for reconciliation.
Through God Incarnate or Jesus, we do not have to become like God before we can be close to God. Jesus is the messenger from God sent to send grace and become closer to man, before man has to become God-like (meaning as sinless as possible). We can relate to a man, and that is what Jesus was. McGrath uses the famous parable of the prodigal son who returned to his father to apologize to be forgiven.
Before he can even open his mouth, his father hugs him and welcomes him back. This is what Jesus did. He gives us the opportunity to be closer to God before we even ask for forgiveness. (This takes away from the Old Testament ways of having to do deeds before attaining the grace of God. ) McGrath convinced me of the importance of this relationship between Jesus and the wayward children of God (men).
The evidence that McGrath gives never contradicts itself. Every point on the importance of Jesus is logical. It is obvious that like any relationship their is a necessity for reconciliation. Every relationship in this world requires such a turn of events to occur before the relationship can be returned to grow and flourish. Someone, McGrath makes clear, has to be the one to break down and return the relationship back to normal. If two obstinate people refuse to agree on something, nothing will ever be accomplished.
For this reason, they need an impartial mediator familiar to both parties. McGrath says that Jesus was and is that mediator. McGrath, throughout the book, argues the importance in believing and accepting the idea that Jesus was real, the events in the New Testament did take place, and that Jesus was God Incarnate sent to establish a better relationship between God and man bythe means of saving people from their sins. McGrath writes to all of those who argue against or for the importance of Jesus and gives many creditable arguments for his importance. He establishes, in my mind, the proof of Jesus' existence as a man and of his divinity. He relays the importance of believing in Jesus' being our link to God and tries to get the reader to understand why they should believe and accept Jesus as their personal savior..