Monday, August 24, 2009

Revision of Book: God in Flesh

In 2001 I wrote a short book titled God in Flesh: Was Jesus' Flesh Heavenly or Earthly? The book began as a response to three pages of notes taken by students during my days as a Bible college teacher. These students had visited a church where a Bible study was taught claiming that Jesus had "heavenly" flesh and denying any biological connection between the virgin Mary and Jesus. The students took notes during the Bible study and brought them to me for a response.

Now in its fifth printing, I have revised and expanded the book with the addition of my response to the "heavenly" flesh teaching found in a book titled Bible Writers' Theology by Teklemariam Gezahagne. This has approximately doubled the content of the book, which is available at

The manifestation of God in human existence is a great miracle. As such, it is a mystery beyond human understanding or explanation. It is the nature of miracles to transcend our comprehension. They cannot be reproduced in a science laboratory. They defy logic. But we are curious creatures.

Throughout church history, the miracle of the Incarnation has been the subject of heated debates. If Jesus is really a human being, how can He be God? As they have wrestled with this question, some have minimized or denied the deity of Christ. Others have minimized or denied his humanity. Many terms have survived these debates to describe the variety of views that have developed: Ebionism, Arianism, Docetism, Apollinarianism, Monophysitism, Monotheletism, Adoptionism, Cerinthianism, and others. Ideas like these keep cropping up under new names.

The book God in Flesh is in response to the notion that Jesus' flesh was "heavenly" rather than "earthly." Historically, this idea is similar to Monophysitism, the teaching that Jesus had only one nature. It is even more radical, however, for it denies any biological relationship between the virgin Mary and Jesus.

The testimony of Scripture is that Jesus is fully God and fully man. In the Incarnation, God stands in solidarity with humanity. Like all miracles, this is one we must accept by faith.