Examines Albrecht Ritschl's presentation of the person and life-work of Christ as Prophet, Priest and King. As father of modern academic theology, Ritschl attempted to present his understanding of the Christian faith through a critical history of the development of doctrine, reexamination of the biblical evidence of belief and exposition of the positive development of doctrine which sought to avoid the critical errors of the past. This agenda proved so demanding that few scholars since Ritschl have been able to work competently in all areas of the discipline. In this work McCulloh identifies characteristic emphases in Ritschl's thought: a definition of religion as a positive historical phenomenon; a critique of the place of metaphysics in theology; an assertion of the importance of the Bible for understanding the Christian faith; a view of the earthly ministry of Jesus as the only meaningful foundation for the knowledge of God; and a claim for the active participation of human beings with God in justification and reconciliation.
McCulloh traces the history of the Munus Triplex title into Jewish messianic ascriptions and finds it to be more deeply involved in the historical transmission of the Christian faith than was acknowledged by Ritschl.