Mcgrath Essay, Research Paper
Allister McGrath. Understanding Jesus. Zondervan Publishing House, 1987. Who is Jesus, and why is he so important for Christians? McGrath’s response andhis thesis is that Jesus Christ was and is man and God and was sent down to earth fromheaven to bring all people the opportunity for redemption from their sins. From McGrathgiving the reason of the church’s need to establish a doctrine, to him attempting toestablish Jesus’ authenticity through his work and ministry, McGrath explains theimportance of Jesus being exactly the way he was to the Christian faith. McGrath oftentimes establishes and then stresses the significance of God coming through Jesus as aman to save us all. McGrath’s thesis may cause some feelings of ambiguity for its reader, but first Iwill attempt to explain it as concisely as I can. Jesus Christ was a man. This does notmean that he was sent down from heaven in the form of a man but without the desiresand hardships associated with one. He was flesh and bone and dealt with all of the day today problems that everyone has according to McGrath’s part in “The Incarnation: theDoctrine.” Next, Jesus is God. Jesus was not just another promising rabbi that somehowhad the power to heal and could teach with great authority. He is God incarnate. McGrath used the visual of a dark room with people in it that knew that there was aworld outside but never could see it. Then, all of a sudden, a window of light wasestablished in the room illuminating the entirity of it. This window provided a view ofthe outside world, and it enabled the people in the room to understand the world theyknew was there on faith but never had a chance to see. Jesus was that window thatshowed the light of heaven or more importantly, God. Jesus was sent down to earth fromheaven to give people the opportunity for redemption for our sins. God took on the formof man through his son, Jesus, to live life sinlessly and be the ultimate sacrifice for ourdealings with evil. Through believing in Christ’s ability to forgive sins, we can seekforgiveness from God and be “adopted” by God. The author has great ability to convey evidence for his thesis. He is so concise inanswering many questions about why and how Jesus is necessary in saving us and ingiving evidence of the resurrection that almost anybody could understand. On theresurrection issue, McGrath relates that in the New Testament, women are attributed withthe discovery of Jesus’ empty tomb. Women at that time held no value concerning theircredibility. McGrath states that it would be redundant for the followers of Jesus to make
up such a story and attribute it to women who’s accounts would be discredited anyhow. Another piece of evidence that the Resurrection did actually occur is that those whoopposed Jesus had no formal argument about the empty tomb except that the disciplesstole the body. As for the importance of why and how Jesus is necessary in saving us from ourtransgressions thereby getting us closer to God that McGrath uses is the need forreconciliation. Through God Incarnate or Jesus, we do not have to become like Godbefore we can be close to God. Jesus is the messenger from God sent to send grace andbecome closer to man, before man has to become God-like (meaning as sinless aspossible). We can relate to a man, and that is what Jesus was. McGrath uses the famousparable of the prodigal son who returned to his father to apologize to be forgiven. Beforehe can even open his mouth, his father hugs him and welcomes him back. This is whatJesus did. He gives us the opportunity to be closer to God before we even ask forforgiveness. (This takes away from the Old Testament ways of having to do deeds beforeattaining the grace of God.) McGrath convinced me of the importance of thisrelationship between Jesus and the wayward children of God (men). The evidence thatMcGrath gives never contradicts itself. Every point on the importance of Jesus is logical. It is obvious that like any relationship their is a necessity for reconciliation. Everyrelationship in this world requires such a turn of events to occur before the relationshipcan be returned to grow and flourish. Someone, McGrath makes clear, has to be the oneto break down and return the relationship back to normal. If two obstinate people refuseto agree on something, nothing will ever be accomplished. For this reason, they need animpartial mediator familiar to both parties. McGrath says that Jesus was and is thatmediator. McGrath, throughout the book, argues the importance in believing and acceptingthe idea that Jesus was real, the events in the New Testament did take place, and thatJesus was God Incarnate sent to establish a better relationship between God and man bythe means of saving people from their sins. McGrath writes to all of those who argueagainst or for the importance of Jesus and gives many creditable arguments for hisimportance. He establishes, in my mind, the proof of Jesus’ existence as a man and of hisdivinity. He relays the importance of believing in Jesus’ being our link to God and triesto get the reader to understand why they should believe and accept Jesus as their personalsavior.