Christ in Focus
Radical Christocentricism in Christian Theology
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Christ in Focus demonstrates why the figure of Christ is so central for Christian faith and thought. It starts by asking what constitutes the focus or centre of Christian theology?In opposition to the way in which the trinity is being reasserted as the lynchpin of Christianity, this book argues that Christianity loses its soul when it is not Christocentric. Part One examines the way in which Christian theology works methodologically. Christology may not be the starting point of a systematic Christian theology, but this book argues that it must be the focus. The dangers in seeking to maintain a Christocentric focus are drawn out as a catalogue of distortions of Christocentricism.Part Two turns attention to the kind of Christology needed to sustain such a radical Christocentricism. In a series of critical dialogues, with the work of Schleiermacher, Rauschenbusch and Brock respectively, the author develops a corporate Christology adequate for today. It is argued that talk of 'dependence upon Christ' has, to date, turned Christians inward, or found them appealing to a past, isolated male saviour figure. In critiquing such an approach, an understanding of the contemporary Christ is developed; Christ as an empowering presence, for the many communal settings in which people live their lives today.
"As an experienced teacher, Marsh takes pains to state his case cleary, using appropriate examples and regular summaries. There is much here that offers useful bridge-building between formal, academic theology and what Jeff Astley has called ordinary theology. The difficulty of drawing a theologian as complex as Schleiermacher into such a project cannot be underestimated, and it is good that Marsh has taken the challenge on board." George Pattison, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity in the University of Oxford, Canon of Christ Church, Church Times, 5 May 2006.
"Here is a perceptive and up-to-date study which shows that Christology need be neither dull nor antiquated. This volume is a study of methology, and functions as a taster for a companion volume, Christ in Practice, where the practical consequences of radical reflection on Christ will be spelled out. (...)an excellent introduction to Christology today." George Newlands, University of Glsgow, Epworth Review, July 2006.