Chapter 5, “The Mystery of the Person of Christ, Part 1”
Kilcrease now moves into a discussion of descriptions of Jesus’ person and work in terms of dogmatic theology. First he observes that his perspective will be that of the historic creeds recognized by Lutherans. the Bible will be seen as normative. Kilcrease states that in the abstract, the person and work of christ can be separated, but in the concrete, they cannot.
Kilcrease speaks in the language of postmodern philosophy throughout this chapter, with narrative creating reality and meaning. Because of this tendency it is difficult to identify his concrete, underlying points. It seems that he is affirming Jesus’ work to be that of giving himself to this world in order to triumph through death and resurrection.
This emphasis on sin and salvation, alienation and restoration leads Kilcrease into a discussion of the mystery of Christ and his context within creation. Theology then becomes the practice of bringing the message of, or rather, the reality of, the incarnation to our world. This message creates something. It is not clear what it creates, whether faith, conviction, or maybe reality. Through the messages God convicts of sin and shows his forgiveness. This forgiveness is delivered through trust in Christ and his Word, rather than trust in our own opinions. The Law of God then becomes again that which encourages us to righteousness.
While in the time before the Fall God’s Law only showed his people what was good, after the Fall the Law always accuses us. In Christ we find ourselves trusting God’s Word again. This, God’s self-donation, ends my need to give myself to pay for sin.