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Posted September 12, 2013

Book: Understanding Jesus: Christology from Emmaus to Today
Author: Christopher McMahon
Anselm Academic, Christian Brothers Publication. Winona, Minn. 2013. Pp. 250

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

Does Jesus solve the problem of sin?

Christians believe he does, and that belief grounds Christian theological reflection. Understanding Jesus: Christology from Emmaus to Today focuses on this conviction as it surveys the landscape of contemporary Christology, providing an overview of the range of current issues in an accessible manner.

An Excerpt from the Book:

The Gospel of Luke

Luke's historical and social context, unlike Matthew's, was not defined by strife, but by circumstances that required the Gospel to adopt an apologetic tone. Luke's audience appears to have been comprised mainly of Gentiles. Tis audience seems to be concerned with two questions. First, what does a Jewish messiah have to do with the salvation of Gentiles? In other words, how can a religious figure from a tradition so apparently suspicious of foreigners be the way of salvation for these outsiders? Second, the destruction of Jerusalem coupled as it was with the rejection of the Christian message by most Jews seemed to suggest that God has abandoned the covenant. However, how can this God be trusted if the covenant can be abandoned? Isn't God faithful to the promises made to Israel?

Luke's answers to these questions run something like this: Jesus is the friend of the outsider, the neglected, and the weak. The marginalized become the focus of Jesus' proclamation to an extent not found in the other Gospels, and this focus proves to be the key for understanding the Gentile mission. Second, Luke emphasizes the continuity of the covenant Jesus announces with the covenant between God and the people of Israel. This continuity with the Old Testament is essential for Luke's overall argument: God is faithful to his promises.

Table of Contents:

1. Contemporary Christology and the Historical Jesus

2. A tentative historical portrait of Jesus

3. The Resurrection

4. New Testament Christologies

5. The development of classical Christology

6. The work of Christ

7. Christology and social transformation

8. Jesus and other religions