Marcionite Christology

Striking insight:

N. T. Wright has argued that most of the Christology of the past two hundred years, Protestant and Catholic, has been largely Marcionite in form—that is to say, developed in almost complete abstraction from the Old Testament. Consider Schleiermacher’s presentation of Jesus as the human being with a constantly potent God-consciousness, or Kant’s account of the archetype of the person perfectly pleasing to God, or Bultmann’s paragon of the existential choice, or Tillich’s appearance of the new being under the conditions of estrangement, or Rahner’s insistence that Christology is fully realized anthropology. All of these approaches are intelligible apart from the dense texture of Old Testament revelation and expectation. When Jesus is presented in this manner, he devolves into a sage, an exemplar of moral virtue, or a teacher of timeless truths. But evangelization—the declaration of good news—has precious little to do with any of this. It has to do with the startling announcement that the story of Israel has come to its climax, or to state it a bit differently, that the promises made to Israel have been fulfilled. Not to understand Israel, therefore, is not to understand why Jesus represents such good news.

(Robert Barron, Evangelizing the Nones)

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Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.

Where I glean stuff.

2 thoughts on “Marcionite Christology

  1. I wonder to what extent the minimal attention given to the Theotokos — and therefore the radical character of the Incarnation — by Protestants contributes to this Marcionite tendency.

    • Or vice-versa. If we deal too seriously with the incarnation, we might just have to say that “Theotokos” or “Mother of God” are appropriate terms.

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