The omnipresence of Jesus Christ: A neglected aspect of evangelical christology
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SubjectJesus Christ--Person and offices.
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This dissertation addresses the incarnation of Jesus Christ, and particularly the attribute of omnipresence in relation to the God-Man. Chapter 1 introduces the subject matter by defining incarnation, sets forth my presuppositions, expresses the thesis idea, namely that Jesus is omnipresent even in the incarnate state, and offers an outline of the dissertation. Chapter 2 discusses the modern era for a context in which to examine selected evangelical contributions to Christology. Specifically it singles out both kenotic and subkenotic proposals. Chapter 3 contains a survey of the early church. Patristic Christological development is chronicled from the second through the eighth century. Especially significant is the Chalcedonian definition, and the enhypostatic Christology that explains how Jesus Christ is one person in two natures. Chapter 4 takes a careful look at the Christological contribution of John Calvin. The famous extra Calvinisticum is examined in particular, as is Calvin's use of communicatio idiomatum . Chapter 5 presents biblical and theological arguments for the doctrine of omnipresence, and then specifically deals with the omnipresence of Jesus Christ. Chapter 6 takes look at Philippians 2:5-8. Here the discussion focuses on traditional exegesis that supports the kenotic and sub-kenotic Christology. An alternate exposition which discounts kenotic Christology is presented. Chapter 7 is a brief concluding chapter. The content of the dissertation is briefly reiterated. Three important results of the study are set forth, namely that the thesis bests accords with the full deity of Christ, that the thesis does not encounter the problem of the ascended Christ exhibiting omnipresence, and the thesis becomes key in rightly conceiving the incarnation and thus correctly relating all the relative attributes to Christ. This work attempts to show that the common evangelical insistence that Jesus in the incarnate state has all divine attributes but does not exercise them cannot be sustained with the doctrine of omnipresence. Adversely one should advocate the possession and use of omnipresence for the incarnate Lord Jesus Christ in a non-kenotic model of Christology.