Series in Christology—Part 2: The Preincarnate Son of God

[Author’s note: This second article in the series concludes the consideration of the preincarnate Person of the Son of God. Having previously treated the historical setting of the doctrine of Christ and His eternity and pre-existence, we present here His divine attributes, His titles, and the contribution of the doctrine of the Trinity to the subject.]

{Editor’s note: Footnotes in the original printed version were numbered from 8-13, but in this electronic version are numbered 1-6, respectively.}

The Divine Attributes of the Son of God

The divine attributes of the Son of God present a clear revelation that in Him “dwells the whole fullness of deity bodily” (R.S.V., Col 2:9). Every attribute of importance which can be attributed to the Father or the Holy Spirit can be attributed to Christ. The testimony of the Scriptures on this point has been so clear that since the Council of Nicea in 325 when the deity of Christ was stated as the doctrine of the church and of the Scriptures there has been no denial of the deity of Christ which did not also deny the infallibility of the Scriptures. In other words, it has been generally conceded that the literal interpretation of Scripture gives a firm basis for the deity of Christ.

It is the purpose of this discussion to present briefly the testimony of the Scriptures concerning the divine attributes of Christ. It will be assumed that the deity of Christ in His preincarnate state was the same as in His incarnate state. Hence, for the revelation of His divine attributes we may appeal to any Scripture in the Old or New Testament which may apply. The arguments of the kenotic theologians to the point that Christ surrendered some of His divine attributes in the incarnation will be discussed and refuted in its proper place. It is held here that His deity is constant from eternity to eternity, with the same divine attributes.

There is unusual significance to most of the divine attributes. Their individual character is such that if it be proved that Christ possessed certain divine attributes it necessarily follows that He possessed all devine attributes. Hence if Christ is omniscient He must be also omnipotent. If He is infinite, He must be also omnipresent. If He is eternal, He must be self-existent. The evidence is, however, complete and does not need to rest on this rational argument.

Eternity and pre-existence. As previously shown, Christ is declared by the Scriptures to be eternal (Mic 5:2; John 8:58; Col 1:16-17; Rev 1:11). All the passages on His pre-existence are sustaining evidence for His eternity. If Christ is eternal, it almost necessarily follows that He is God.

Self-existence. From the fact of the eternity of Christ, it follows that He is the uncaused cause, the self-existent one. Inasmuch as He is the Creator of all things, it is necessarily true that He Himself is uncreated (John 1:1-3; Col 1:16-17).

Omnipresence. That God is omnipresent is the clear teaching of Scripture (Deut 4:39; Ps 139:7-10; Prov 15:3; Isa 66:1; Jer 23:24; Acts 17:27). It is evident that Christ possessed the same attribute. His promises of abiding with His disciples forever (Matt 28:20), and His promise to indwell the believer (John 14:18, 20, 23) are impossible of any literal fullfillment unless Christ is also omnipresent. The experience of Nathaniel (John 1:48) would imply that Christ was spiritually omnipresent even during His life on earth. If the disputed passage of John 3:13, “which is in heaven,” be admitted as genuine, it would be explicit statement of this doctrine. Inasmuch as the deity of Christ can be sustained on other grounds, it would follow that Christ as God has the same omnipresence which is described so clearly in Psalm 139:7-10. Whether in heaven or hell or in the uttermost parts of the sea, Christ is there.

Oniniscience. Repeatedly in Scripture Christ is said to possess knowledge which by its nature declares that He is omniscient. Christ is said to “know all” (literal translation of John 2:24), and again, “He knew what was in man” (John 2:25). The disciples bear witness: “Now we know that you know all things” (John 16:30, R.S.V.). Peter declared, “Lord, you know everything” (John 21:17, R.S.V.). If Acts 1:24 be a reference to Christ, it is another testimony: “Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men…” The Scriptures also speak of Christ in His foreknowledge. In John 6:64, it is stated, “For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.” Other references substantiate the doctrine that Christ had complete foreknowledge (John 13:1, 11; 18:4 ; 19:28 ). Included in the concept of omniscience is the idea that in Christ is also the wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:30).

Omnipotence. The evidence for the omnipotence of Christ is as decisive as for other attributes. Sometimes it takes the form of physical power, but more often it refers to authority over creation. Christ had the power to forgive sins (Matt 9:6), all power in heaven and in earth (Matt 28:18), power over nature (Luke 8:25), power over His own life (John 10:18), power to give eternal life to others (John 17:2), power to heal physically as witnessed by His many miracles, and power to cast out demons (Mark 1:29-34, etc.), and power to transform the body (Phil 3:21). By virtue of His resurrection “he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him…” (Heb 7:25). He is “able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Tim 1:12). He is “able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 24). It will be observed that the incarnation and the death and resurrection of Christ permitted Christ to act in regard to sin and salvation. His omnipotence in any case is restricted to that which is holy, wise, and good.

Immutability. The attribute of immutability may seem to have been contradicted by the incarnation. It is the doctrine of the Scripture that, while the Person of the Incarnate Christ differs from the Person of the preincarnate Christ by the addition of the complete human nature, the divine nature of Christ remains unchanged and is essentially immutable. In the quotation of Psalm 102:25-17 in Hebrews 1:10-12, it is affirmed of Christ, “Thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.” The classic passage on immutability states the same doctrine—”Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Heb 13:8). By this doctrine it is established that the divine Son of God of eternity past, the divine Son of God incarnate, and the glorified Son of God in heaven is, as to His deity, one and the same Person with unchanging attributes.

The Fullness of the Godhead in Him. As a confirmation of specific attributes it is also revealed in Scripture that in Christ is all the fullness of the Godhead: “For in him dwells the whole fullness of deity bodily” (Col 2:9, R.S.V.). The passage is very emphatic in the original. The expression in him (ἐν αὐτῷ) stands first and is thereby emphasized. The word dwells (κατοικεῖ) means “permanently dwells.”1 The phrase the whole fullness of deity bodily is obviously intended to convey the thought that in Christ is all that is in deity. As Peake puts it, “It is vain to seek it [the Godhead] wholly or partially outside of him.”2 The statement constitutes a blanket endorsement of all that is taught, in particular concerning the divine attributes of Christ.

Sovereignty. Proceeding from His omnipotence, the Scriptures assign divine sovereignty to Christ. According to Matthew 28:18 (R.S.V.), Christ declared, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Again in 1 Peter 3:22, Christ in heaven is declared to be at the right hand of God, “with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him” (R.S.V.). Other passages bear out the same concept of absolute sovereignty (John 5:27; Acts 2:36; 1 Cor 12:3; Col 1:18; Phil 2:9). He is indeed King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev 19:16).

Other qualities of deity. Christ is constantly represented in Scripture as having qualities which could be possessed only by God. His divine glory is mentioned in John 17:5, described in Revelation 1:12-18. Christ refers to Himself as “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), qualities which inhere only in God. He is the “righteous branch…Jehovah our righteousness” (Jer 23:5-6). He is the holy Son of God of Luke 1:35. Above all, Christ is the manifestation of grace—divine love and righteousness combined (John 1:17). There is not an attribute of deity which is not directly or indirectly ascribed to Christ.

Charles Hodge has the following summary of the Scriptural evidence for the divine attributes of Christ:

All divine names and titles are applied to Him. He is called God, the mighty God, the great God, God over all; Jehovah, Lord; the Lord of lords and King of kings. All divine attributes are ascribed to Him. He is declared to be omnipresent, omniscient, almighty, and immutable, the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is set forth as the creator and upholder and ruler of the universe. All things were created by Him and for Him; and by Him all things consist. He is the object of worship to all intelligent creatures, even the highest; all the angels (i.e., all creatures between man and God) are commanded to prostrate themselves before Him. He is the object of all the religious sentiments: of reverence, love, faith, and devotion. To Him men and angels are responsible for their character and conduct. He required that man should honour Him as they honoured the Father, that they should exercise the same faith in Him that they do in God. He declares that He and the Father are one, that those who had seen Him had seen the Father also. He calls all men unto Himself, promises to forgive their sins, to send them the Holy Spirit, to give them rest and peace, to raise them up at the last day, adn {sic} to give them eternal life. God is not more, and cannot promise more, or do more than Christ is said to be, to promise, and to do. He has, therefore, been the Christian’s God from the beginning, in all ages and in all places.

The Titles of the Preincarnate Son of God

The titles given to Christ in both the Old and New Testaments constitute an important aspect of the total revelation of His Person. A distinction should be observed between those titles which apply to His preincarnate Person and those which refer to His incarnate Person. Such designations as Jesus Christ, Son of man, prophet, priest, king, etc. have primary reference to Christ in the incarnate state, even though they are found in the Old as well as the New Testaments. Their meaning and contribution falls properly under the discussion of Christ incarnate. To be considered here are the titles which belong properly to Christ in His preincarnate state, titles which are references to His deity and preincarnate Person.

Jehovah. A comparison of the Old Testament and New Testament passages proves beyond doubt that the Christ of the New Testament bears the title Jehovah in the Old Testament. This fact has long been recognized by conservative theologians. This is not denying that the Father and the Spirit also bear the title Jehovah, but affirms that it also belongs to Christ. The name is used both of the Persons of the Trinity severally and of the Trinity as a whole.

Many passages link Christ with the name Jehovah. In Zechariah 12:10, where Jehovah is speaking, the description is to be applied clearly to Christ: “They shall look unto me whom they have pierced” (R.V.). Revelation 1:7 describes Christ in the same language. Again in Jeremiah 23:5-6, Christ is declared to be “Jehovah our righteousness” (cf. 1 Cor 1:30). Similar comparisons are found in other passages (Ps 68:18, cf. Eph 4:8-10; Ps 102:12, 25-27, cf. Heb 1:10-12; Isa 6:5, cf. John 12:41). Christ is the Jehovah of the temple (Mal 3:1; Matt 12:6; 21:12, 13 ) and the Jehovah of the Sabbath (Matt 12:8).3

Elohim. It is easily demonstrated that Christ is identified also with the Elohim of the Old Testament. In Isaiah 40:3, Christ is spoken of as both Jehovah and Elohim (cf. Luke 3:4). In Isaiah 9:6-7, Christ is called “the mighty Elohim.” It is apparent that Elohim in the Old Testament has as its equivalent in the New Testament θεός. Hence all passages in the New Testament referring to Christ by this title link Him with the Elohim of the Old Testament (cf. Rom 15:6; Eph 1:3; 5:5, 20 ; 2 Pet 1:1).4

Logos. In the opening of the Gospel of John, Christ is introduced by the title Logos (Λόγος), translated Word. The Word is declared to have been in the beginning with God, and the Word was God. The title in itself seems to imply at least four ideas: (1) the concept of revelation—making known the truth which could not be learned otherwise. Christ was preeminently a revelation of God. (2) The concept of intelligence, or having the power of mind and will. This is shown in the context, in that He is the Creator and the true light which came into the world to manifest God. (3) The concept of order. There is the implication of being the designer and agent of purposeful works. (4) The idea of incarnation. The Word is the embodiment in a tangible and significant form of that which is the eternal God. As an ordinary word embodies and represents a thought, so Christ is the embodiment of what God is. It is not thought that Christ is more than God because He is the Word, but rather that He is the expression of what God is.

The doctrine of the Logos has had considerable treatment in historic theology and in particular connects with the rational and philosophic implications of the revelation in Christ. Much of this speculation has been useless as far as contributing to the doctrine of Christ. The central idea remains of an intelligent, ordered revelation of God in tangible expression.5 The theophanies in the Old Testament are partial representations of Christ but not in the same sense or as accurate a revelation as Christ the Logos.

Son of God. This title is used of both angels and men, but when a title of Christ it is used to express an eternal relationship to the Father. The meaning of the term has aroused considerable theological discussion which has not abated through the centuries. In the main, however, the doctrine of the church has been, since the Council of Nicea in 325, that the title refers to the eternal relationship of the Son to the Father.

A number of other views are presented at length in theological works. Of these, six false theories of the sonship of Christ can be mentioned. that He is “designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord” (R.S.V.). It is clear to all that the resurrection is an outstanding proof of the deity and of the divine sonship of Christ, but this is not to say that He was not the Son of God before this event. Such interpretation is definitely ruled out by the fact that He is called the Son of God repeatedly before His death and resurrection, and used the term Father in relation to the First Person.

Another passage which bears on the issue is Acts 13:32-33: “And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus: as also it is written in the second psalm, ‘Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee’“ (R.S.V.). Here the reference is to Psalm 2:7, in which the decree of God is revealed concerning the generation of the Son. At first glance, the application in Acts seems to be to the resurrection. The expression “raising Jesus” as here used does not refer to the resurrection at all, but to the simple fact that God gave His Son to the world in the incarnation. The word raise (ἀναστήσας) is used in the same sense as arise (cf. Matt 22:24; Acts 7:18; 20:30 ), i.e., to come on the scene of life. The common expression that “a prophet arose” is the same idea. The passage in Acts which immediately follows introduces the resurrection as a new idea to the context in Acts 13:34: “And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he spoke in this way, ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David’“ (R.S.V.). In other words, the thought of resurrection is not introduced until verse thirty-four . It is true, of course, that the resurrection brought the humanity of Christ into a new victory of resurrection in which the deity of His Person and His victory over sin, death, and the grave are demonstrated. It is not true that His divine sonship begins with the resurrection.

(4) False theory of sonship by means of exaltation to the right hand of God. Based on Hebrews 1:3, it is held that Christ was made a Son when He was exalted at the ascension. It can be objected to this view as to others that He is clearly a Son from eternity and is declared to be a Son before His exaltation. This exaltation is a declaration of His divine Sonship and of His victory over sin and death.

(5) False theory of sonship by means of title or office. This theory, based on Philippians 2:9, holds that Christ was a Son in the sense only of bearing this title and that He was not actually a generated Son. Against this it may be objected that such a concept of sonship destroys most of its meaning. Unless there is corresponding reality which justifies the term, sonship becomes merely a compliment. The Scriptures speak of Christ as a begotten and generated Son, and, while His generation is not the same in kind as human generation, being different and unique, it is nevertheless a constitutional aspect of the Second Person rather than an acquired title.

(6) False theory of sonship by means of covenant relation. This view which is based on the concept of the eternal covenant between members of the Godhead holds that the sonship of Christ is an assumed office, beginning with the covenant in eternity past and ending when the covenant relationship and work is completed. Again this view is inadequate to explain the Scriptural terminology. It would give to the term son merely the significance of a title or office which has not real connection with the ordinary human connotations of the word.

(7) The Biblical and true view of the sonship of Christ. The Scriptures represent Christ as eternally the Son of God by eternal generation. While it must be admitted that the nature of the sonship and the nature of the generation are unique, being eternal, it has been used in the Bible to represent the relationship between the First Person and the Second Person. In Psalm 2:7, Jehovah speaks, “I will tell of the decree: Jehovah said unto me, Thou art my son; This day have I begotten thee” (R.V.). According to this passage, Christ is declared to be the Son of God and begotten in the day of the eternal decree. This is, in effect, a statement that Christ is eternally the Son of God as the decree itself is eternal. He is not only declared a Son from eternity but begotten from eternity. Some have interpreted this passage prophetically on the ground that the context is prophetic. It is rather that the prophesied victory is on the ground of His sonship. The passage in Psalms 2:7 is quoted three times in the New Testament (Acts 13:33; Heb 1:5; 5:5 ). The Acts passage deals with the fact of Christ being raised up to be the incarnate Savior. In Hebrews 1:5, the appeal is made to the majesty of Christ as that above the angels because He is the Son of God. The appointment of Christ to the priesthood by the Father is said to be added to His songhip in Hebrews 5:5. All three of the citations in the New Testament draw on Psalm 2:7 for proof of the unique status of Christ and confirm rather than deny His eternal sonship. Further evidence for eternal sonship is found in the fact that Christ is represented as already the Son of God when given to the world (John 3:16, 17; Gal 4:4).

The Scriptural view of the sonship of Christ, as recognized in many of the great creeds of the church, is that Christ was always the Son of God by eternal generation, and that He took upon Himself humanity through generation of the Holy Spirit. The human birth was not in order to become a Son of God, but because He is the Son of God. Principal Scriptures bearing on the doctrine in addition to those discussed are numerous (Matt 16:13-16; 26:63-64 ; Luke 2:11, 26, 38; John 1:49; 3:16, 18, 35, 36 ; 11:27 ; Acts 9:20; Heb 1:2, 8; 1 John 2:23; 5:9-12 ). As God, Christ addresses the First Person as His Father, while as man, Christ addresses Him as His God (John 20:17).

The first begotten (πρωτότοκος). Seven times in the New Testament this term is used of Christ (Matt 1:25; Luke 2:7; Rom 8:29; Col 1:15, 18; Heb 1:6; Rev 1:5). It occurs twice in reference to others (Heb 11:28; 12:23 ). As a descriptive name of Christ, it appears with three distinct meanings. (1) As the “first-born among many brethren,” and as “the first-born of all creation” (Rom 8:29; Col 1:15), it is used clearly in reference to the eternal existence of the divine Son of God and helps to confirm the doctrine of eternal generation. (2) As the first-born of Mary (Matt 1:25; Luke 2:7; Heb 1:6), the title is given to Christ as Mary’s firstborn son. It is used clearly in reference to His incarnate Person. (3) A third usage is found in the description of Christ as “first-born from the dead” (Col 1:18, R.S.V.), and “the first-born of the dead” (Rev 1:5, R.S.V.). Here the meaning is that Christ is the first to be raised from the dead in resurrection. There had been a number of restorations as in the case of Lazarus, but no one before had received resurrection life and an immortal, resurrection body. Christ is the first of this order.

The only begotten (μονογενής). This title is used for Christ five times in the New Testament (John 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18 ; 1 John 4:9), all in the writings of John. The Revised Version translates the expression by “only Son,” which seems to be an over-simplification of the real meaning. The Authorized Version as used here is more literal. The thought is clearly that Christ is the begotten of God in the sense that no other is. This is illustrated in the use of the same word in regard to Isaac (Heb 11:17), who was not literally the only begotten of Abraham, but he was the only begotten of Abraham in the sense that he was the promised seed. It is used in the ordinary sense also in Scripture (Luke 7:12; 8:42 , the only other references in the New Testament). The term is again a confirmation of the idea of eternal generation, though Christ was also the only begotten in reference to His humanity. The thought of John 3:16 seems to be that the Son which was the only begotten from eternity past was given by the Father.

The Angel of Jehovah. One of the significant and important titles is that given Him in the Old Testament when He appeared as the Angel of Jehovah. As one of the principal theophanies, it is important for many reasons, confirming the pre-existence of Christ, and revealing the ministry of God to men in the Old Testament period. It is the teaching of Scripture that the Angel of Jehovah is specifically the Second Person of the Trinity. At least three lines of evidence substantiate this claim.

(1) Christ as the Angel of Jehovah is identified as Jehovah in numerous Old Testament passages. When the Angel of Jehovah spoke to Hagar (Gen 16:7-13), He is identified as Jehovah (vs. 13 ). The account of the sacrifice of Isaac (Gen 22:11-18) affords the same identification and is confirmed by other passages (Gen 31:11-13; 48:15, 16 , cf. 45:5 ; Exod 3:1ff, cf. Acts 7:30-35; Exod 13:21; 14:19 ; Judg 6:11-23; 13:9-20 ).

(2) The Angel of Jehovah is also revealed to be a distinct person from Jehovah, i.e., a Person of the Trinity. In Genesis 24:7, for instance, Jehovah is described as sending “his angel.” The servant of Abraham testifies to the reality of this in Genesis 24:40. Moses speaks of Jehovah sending an angel to lead Israel (Num 20:16). An instance which is very clear is that found in Zechariah 1:12-13, where the Angel of Jehovah addressed Jehovah: “Then the angel of Jehovah answered and said, O Jehovah of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years? And Jehovah answered the angel that talked with me with good words, even comfortable words” (R.V.). Many other similar passages occur (Exod 23:20; 32:34 ; 1 Chron 21:15-18; Isa 63:9; Dan 3:25-28). Still other passages affirm the deity of the Angel of Jehovah without trinitarian personal distinctions (Judg 2:1-5; 2 Kgs 19:35).

(3) The Angel of Jehovah is the Second Person of the Trinity. Having determined the deity of the Angel of Jehovah and that He is a Person of the Trinity, it remains to demonstrate that He is the Second Person. This is, in fact, the only solution of an otherwise confused picture. How can a Person be God and at the same time address God? The answer lies in the personal distinctions of the Trinity. There are at least four lines of evidence which identify the Angel of Jehovah as the Second Person.

(a) The Second Person is the visible God of the New Testament. Neither the Father nor the Spirit is characteristically revealed in bodily and visible form. While the Father’s voice is heard from heaven, and the Holy Spirit is seen descending in the form of a dove, Christ, the Second Person, is the full manifestation of God in visible form. It is logical that the same Person of the Trinity should appear in bodily form in both Testaments.

(b) Confirming this induction is the fact that the Angel of Jehovah of the Old Testament no longer appears after the incarnation. References to angels in the New Testament seem to refer to either angelic or human messengers. It is a natural inference that the Angel of Jehovah is now the incarnate Christ.

(c) The similarity of function between the Angel of Jehovah and Christ can be observed in the fact that both are sent by the Father. In the Old Testament, the Angel of Jehovah is sent by Jehovah to reveal truth, to lead Israel, and to defend and judge them. In the New Testament, Christ is sent by God the Father to reveal God in the flesh, to reveal truth, and to become the Savior. It is characteristic for the Father to send and the Son to be the sent one. These facts again point to the identification of the Angel of Jehovah with Christ.

(d) By the process of elimination, it can be demonstrated that the Angel of Jehovah could not be either the First Person or the Third Person. According to John 1:18, “No one has seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known” (R.S.V.). This passage seems to imply that only Christ could be visible to man and that the First Person and the Third Person did not reveal themselves in visible fashion. As the Angel of Jehovah is the sent one, He could not be the Father for the Father is the sender. As the Angel of Jehovah characteristically appears in bodily, usually human form, He could not be the Holy Spirit who does not appear bodily, except in the rare instance of appearing in the form of a dove at the baptism of Christ. It may, therefore, be concluded that the Angel of Jehovah is the Second Person of the Trinity.

The other theophanies of the Old Testament tend to confirm this judgment, revealing in particular the work of Christ in that period. Discussion on this aspect of Christology will be included in the treatment of His work in the Old Testament period.

The Son of God in the Trinity

In previous discussion, the deity and eternity of the Son of God has been considered, with the contribution of the many titles which refer to His preincarnate state. It remains to examine briefly the relation of the Son of God to the Trinity. It is not the purpose of this discussion to attempt to establish the doctrine of the Trinity as such or to support the trinitarian doctrine as stated in the great creeds of the church. The bearing of the material already treated will be related to the doctrine of the Trinity, with certain important conclusions being drawn.

In establishing the deity and eternity of Christ, an important step was taken in relation to trinitarian doctrine. The added proofs of there being divine attributes in Christ and the many titles speaking of His deity combine to confirm the doctrine. Historically as well as logically, the doctrine of the Trinity turns on the question of the deity and personality of the Son of God. Christ has been seen to be, in His divine nature, all that God is. He has been related to the Father as His eternally begotten Son. His divine attributes confirm the fact that the essence of God is in Christ. His distinction in Person is confirmed by the subject and object relationship between the Father and the Son established not only in the incarnate state but also in the preincarnate as the Angel of Jehovah. The accepted order of the Trinity in which Christ is the Second Person has been found to be in keeping with the fact that the Father sends the Son, and the Son in turns sends the Spirit (John 16:7).

The evidence already considered in every way, then, confirms the ordinary doctrine of the Trinity. In fact, the existence of this evidence historically forced the church to study and state the doctrine of the Trinity. It is also true, however, that the doctrine of the Trinity once established in turn enforces and contributes to the doctrine of Christ. It is safe to say that no attack on the doctrine of the Trinity can be made without attacking the Person of Christ. It is also true that no attack on the Person of Christ can be made without attacking the doctrine of the Trinity. They stand and fall together. It is for this reason that current liberalism is usually at heart unitarian or modalistic in its attitude toward the Trinity. The Person of Christ remains the great doctrine upon which Christianity as a whole rests.

The preincarnate Person of Christ stands as a foundational truth of theology and the Scriptures. Its complementary doctrine, the Person of the incarnate Christ, will add further light and amplify the present findings. Before considering this important and complex theme, it is necessary first to consider the revelation of the preincarnate work of Christ which in itself is a complete revelation of the Person of Christ.

Dallas, Texas

(To be continued in the July-September Number, 1947)

This article was taken from the Theological Journal Library and posted with permission of Galaxie Software.

1 The Expositors Greek Testament, III, 523.

2 Loc. cit.

3 Cf. L. S. Chafer, Bibliotheca Sacra, October-December, 1940, pp. 391-92.

4 Ibid., p. 392.

5 Cf. Archibald Alexander, International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, “Logos,” III, 1911-17.