Spirit-Christological Anthropology: Imago Dei, Edwardsean Christology, and the Model of Faith

In this essay I draw upon recent work by contemporary analytic theologians on the topics of Christological anthropology and the imago Dei. Making use of a “capacity-for-union” account of the imago Dei, a biblical theology of God’s presence, and Ancient Near Eastern parallels, I put forth a modified Christological doctrine of the imago Dei, one which places an emphasis on the capacity for being indwelt by the Spirit. I then argue that this model of the imago Dei, the “Spirit Christological Capacity Account of the imago Dei,” best comports the logic underlying Chalcedonian Spirit-Christology as exemplified by historical figures like John Owen and especially Jonathan Edwards. Eliminating the sort of Spirit-Christology set forth by some functional kenoticists, I then turn toward developing a model akin to Thomas Morris’s Two-Minds Christology. I conclude by demonstrating that the model of the imago Dei set forth here—and the Christological model underlying it—has at least two virtues which will be especially relevant for Pentecostal/Charismatic theology and practice. First, it provides a way to articulate the Pentecostal/Charismatic emphasis on Christ as a model for living all of life. Second, by including the concept of spiritual warfare it enriches our understanding of the “functional model” of the image of God in ways that are absent from typical discussions of this model.

3 thoughts on “Spirit-Christological Anthropology: Imago Dei, Edwardsean Christology, and the Model of Faith”

  1. Too much
    This is an intriguing labyrinth of concepts, but their connection seems tenuous, and it’s difficult to imagine how he could connect all these concepts well in the time apportioned.

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