Chapter 13, “The Mystery of the Work of Christ, part 4”
In this final chapter, Kilcrease talks about Christ’s descent to inferos and his work in the prophetic office. The Formula of Concord sees Christ’s descent into hell as the start of his exaltation. In 1 Peter 3;18-22 the descent happens after Jesus is made alive again, hence after the humiliation is ended. It is to be noted that the victor’s parade is made through the conquered territory. The descent into hell is considered central enough that it appears in the Apostles’ Creed, which has Roman roots, as does 1 Peter. Another feature of note is that Jesus proclaims his victory in prison, a place where the condemned await further punishment. This does not offer a chance at repentance or release. Rather, it confirms the condemnatory nature of hell. Jesus, the victor, descends to proclaim the finality of hell.
Kilcrease now turns to speak of Jesus as the final prophet. This is the end of his reversal of the Adamic curse, for here he restores the voice of God which was rejected in Eden. It is through the Word that God created and sustains all. It is the living Word of God, Jesus, the prophet, who brings restoration over against the devil and his false words.
Kilcrease's book was full of interesting ideas. He has an extensive bibliography and does interact with an impressive number of authors. He also engages in some significant exegesis, and generally engages the Scripture well. With that said, I must confess the book was difficult and frustrating to read. There were many typographic and grammatical errors. Spelling inconsistencies, especially in foreign language phrases, caused me to wonder if Kilcrease understood what he was attempting to quote. This is an area where I tend to be critical, as a classicist. Yet any competent editorial assistance would have clarified the meaning of much of the book. I also found that there were many statements of logical necessity. Not all followed necessarily from the stated data. This cast doubt on the strength of the overall argument. Finally, I found myself confused about the basic point of the book. The thesis did not jump out at me, nor could I find one emerging as I read. All in all, a disappointing experience.