One of the concerns of Archbishop Rowan Williams has been for theological renewal in the Christian Churches. Indeed he has published some extremely original works of theology himself recently. This book reflects one theme for theological renewal- Christology. The authors included are from the Catholic tradition and they consider Christology to be crucial. The Oxford Movement was above all concerned with the renewal of Incarnartional theology. The study of the person of Christ and in particular the union in him of the Divine and human nature is of the greatest importance today as Christians face the challenges of secularism and relativism. The Gospels indicate that the historical Christ claimed to be both God and man and the earliest Christians regarded him as such. This has been watered down in much Protestant theology. Schliermacher for example stated that the Divinity of Christ lay in His consciousness of a unique relation to God. To the authors of this book, this is wholly inadequate and devoid of any sacramental power. There is also an important spiritual dimension to this book. Christians believe that God revealed Himself in Christ.
He took upon Himself the horrifyingly destructive forces which lie latent in all of us. Christ cannot be of any real concern to those whom God has not yet called into consciousness of the darkness that is within them. This profound book will cause much debate and may well have a lasting influence on the way people think.
Dr Jonathan Baker is Warden of Pusey House Oxford. A theologian of the first rank, he is a member of The Society of the Sacred Cross and has recently edited a collection of essays for SPCK on Women Bishops.