THE GOD-MAN by Robert Spearman

THE GOD-MAN

A Guide to Understanding the Godhead
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A garbled look at Christology.

Spearman, a convert to Christianity, explores the Holy Trinity and the paradox of Jesus’s being both fully human and fully divine. He affirms the basics of Christian Scripture, peppering the book with passages from the Bible. In the first half, he grapples with Jesus’s humanity, asserting that He did not “become” human, but is fundamentally both human and divine. Jesus demonstrated a radical obedience to God, notes the author, even though that obedience led to his crucifixion, an experience through which Jesus came to know human suffering. Spearman defends the Virgin birth and examines terms like “begotten,” “Logos” and “mystery.” He explains aspects of traditional Christian doctrine, such as the idea that God is unchanging, and that the nature of God the Father and that of God the Son “communicate” with each other. Spearman also effectively shows that the Eucharist is centrally connected to Jesus’s humanity and divinity, suggesting that through the Eucharist, communicants are united with Jesus. In the second half, Spearman turns to God’s divinity. Departing from classical Trinitarian formulation, Spearman argues that “Jesus is God the Father.” He also examines the role of the Holy Spirit, focusing in particular on how the Spirit acts after Jesus has ascended to Heaven. Theological tyros will find some of Spearman’s language obscure–“Humanity lays down His life and Deity takes it up again”–and lengthy lists of biblical passages obfuscate more than they clarify; a few concrete analogies in each chapter would have been beneficial. Rather than relying solely on Scripture, Spearman could have leaned more on the 4th-century Church fathers who devoted their lifetimes to parsing the very questions to which this book is devoted.

Neither a sophisticated and innovative theological work, nor a primer fit for novices.

Pub Date: May 11th, 2006
ISBN: 0-9769188-0-3
Program: Kirkus Indie
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