How does one deal with doubt? Are faith and doubt irreconcilable? Does one's understanding of God affect the answers to these questions? Christian Kettler investigates these questions from a christological perspective, drawing implications from the Scottish theologian T. F. Torrance and his doctrine of "the vicarious humanity of Christ." If we take the humanity of Christ seriously, should we not speak of the faith of Jesus as a vicarious faith, believing for us and in our place when it is difficult if not impossible to believe? How Christians know God ("Jesus Knows God for Us and in Our Place"), who God is ("Who is the God Whom Jesus Knows?"), and how to believe in God in a world of suffering and evil ("Providence, Evil, Suffering, and the God Who Believes") receive new insight in light of this christological exploration. Wendell Berry's poignant novel of a humble country barber, 'Jayber Crow,' adds an incarnational context to a discussion with important pastoral and existential dimensions. In the vicarious faith of Christ we are not left, as James Torrance cautions us, to be thrown back upon ourselves, but called to participate by the Spirit in the faith of Jesus.
Endorsements & Reviews-
"This relentlessly honest encounter with evil, which refuses to take comfort in the traditional theological bromides, finds no answers anywhere except in Jesus Christ. Written in an engagingly personal style, Kettler's heartfelt book shows how the doctrine of the vicarious humanity of Christ can function as an effective theodicy. --Dale Allison author of Jesus of Nazareth
"Kettler has a keen eye for the quest for faith in contemporary literature and a profound grasp of the mediating power of the vicarious humanity of Christ as the One who assumed doubting humanity in order to create faithful humanity in his own person. This is a book that fills the emotional void left untouched by most evangelical theology and provides a muscular Christology to cover the bare bones of post-liberal theology." Ray S. Anderson author of The Soul of God: A Theological Memoir
"Christians and non-Christians alike will find many of their theological convictions challenged, overturned, and even corrected when the light of the vicarious humanity of Christ is focused upon those convictions. A must read!" Charles Hughes Associate Professor of Religious Studies Chapman University
"Especially well-suited for college and seminary professors, as well as for church pastors, who wish to benefit from a trinitarian-incarnational and pastorally-oriented theology, written by one who has deeply felt what he has creatively conceived." Todd H. Speidell, author of Confessions of a Lapsed Skeptic
Christian D. Kettler
CHRISTIAN D. KETTLER is Professor of Theology and Philosophy, Director of the Master of Arts in Christian Ministry program at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, and an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). He is the author of 'The Vicarious Humanity of Christ and the Reality of Salvation', and co-editor (with Todd H. Speidell) of æIncarnational Ministry: The Presence of Christ in Church, Society, and Family: Essays in Honor of Ray S. Anderson'.