The book “Jesus Christ our Lord” concerns itself with the works and persona of Jesus Christ. The author systematically presents the key Christological themes using a well thought approach. Walvoord preoccupies himself with Christ’s persona in a way that pastors and learned laymen would identify with. This is because, it strikes a gentle balance between casual and technical reading. The book seems to remind us, however, that though there is an essential need to deal sufficiently with the persona of Christ, the subject remains beyond the grasp of any writer.
Since the onset of the first couple of centuries, there has been Christological debate, although, the Church has always had a fundamental conformity regarding the persona of Christ. They converge on the fact that he is a person with two natures that are fully divine, yet, entirely human. Neo-orthodoxy and liberalism in the last century challenged some of these premises based on faulty Christology and improper views of the scripture stemming from in-errant inspired revelations from God. The author seeks to address these views through his well outlined literal piece.
Walvoord deems the doctrine of Christ’s eternity as the major doctrine of Christology. There is no other category apart from the one drawing a division between creature and creator. In Isaiah 9: 6, Proverbs 8: 22-23, Psalm 90: 2 and Micah 5: 2 in the Old Testament, these portray the second person of the trinity as Eternal. Consequently, John 1:1 and8:5, Revelation 1:8, Ephesians 1:4 and Colossians 1:16-17 in the New Testament, affirm this notion. Walvoord argues that there is sufficient proof of Christ’s Deity, while the issue of pre-existence is proven as a result of his eternality. He gives a series of Scriptures to back up Christ’s heavenly origin. He attributes Christ to being omniscient, immutable, sovereign, self-existent, omnipotent, omnipresent and further, tries to show that while Christ took another set of attributes during incarnation, none of it influenced the divine attributes he possessed.
Walvoord’s arguments open another controversial clause as he tries to put to rest the matter concerning the origin of Christ’s Son ship. He argues that the Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament is Jesus because, he is a visible representation of God, does not appear any more after reincarnation and performs similar functions. Other views that he tries to address include; His baptism, His exaltation, the resurrection, the incarnation and the institution of the covenant of redemption. Walvoord stresses that isolating the terms of God, in the Old Testament, to a specific member in the trinity is not right unless the New Testament or some clear context requires this. He says that these attributes should be ascribed to the triune God. The first born nature of Christ attests of his external existence while the word ‘monogenh’ in Greek means, “only begotten” as rendered by King James Version. As a dispensationalist who opposes interpretational subjectivism, it is surprising, however, that the author follows this trend regarding typology .He defends himself by stating that extremes to be avoided include; finding typology only where the New Testament identifies while finding it everywhere in the Old Testament. He also stresses that the term”Son of Man” which is used to emphasize Christ’s deity should be used to teach Christ’s humanity.
Walvoord’s works remain an invaluable contribution to Christological studies. It does not approach the discussion from a technical and scholarly level but, is without doubt, very rich in terms of being resourceful. He interacts with extremely critical views but refrains from over burdening the reader with information and stark detail. The manner through which he handles his arguments is refreshing and simply delineates scriptural teachings systematically. Any reader would inevitably profit from the works as the theme and message he intended to lay bare is clearly brought out.