Chapter 10, “The Mystery of the Work of Christ, Part 1”
Doctrines of Atonement, Gnosticism, and the Offices of Christ
Kilcrease begins to introduce the work of Christ at this point. God, he says, is doing a new work of creation through Jesus who serves as a prophet, priest, and king. These three roles appear throughout the Old and New Testaments as we see how God redeems and governs His creation. While this is a good way of understanding Jesus, through history the Church has primarily seen him through three different motifs, the motifs of conquest, substitution, and revelation. In conquest we see Christ conquering sin and death as a mighty king. This is certainly biblical, but it does not give a full picture of redemption. When we consider substitution Jesus takes our place in sin and death, allowing us to take his place in life. Again, this is biblical but incomplete. Finally, in the motif of revelation, Jesus’ death is a demonstration of his love. It also serves to motivate us to live a holy life. All these motifs are good, but incomplete.
Jesus is also often viewed as the prophet, priest and king. He fulfills these roles, which work together. Kilcrease ties the motifs and the roles to the different persons of the Trinity and observes that they must all work together. When not balanced they lead to error. Kilcrease discusses the implications of the various ways of being off-balance.