Christian Themes

(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

One of Baillie’s main themes as he discusses the nature of Jesus is that we must recognize Jesus’ deity without minimizing his full humanity. Therefore, he rejects claims that Jesus was a deity who assumed human nature, rather than became a part of humanity. He also rejects that idea that God set aside his divine qualities while he was incarnated as Jesus; a concept that implies that Jesus was not both man and God, but rather man or God.

Baillie felt that the Christian experience of recognizing God as the source of every good act is a clue to help us understand how Jesus could be both God and man. All good in human life is produced by God, and therefore perfect goodness would mean that God was perfectly present. Christ’s life was the very life of God and at the same time the life of a man.

Although God is the source of every good act, Christians also have the free will to sin and, therefore, need God’s forgiveness. In the New Testament, the belief that God wants to forgive sins comes together with the belief that atonement is costly in the conviction that God has provided a means of expiation in Christ.

Baillie points out that while there is no agreed on account in the New Testament of exactly how the sacrifice of Christ brings about reconciliation, it is clearly regarded as a work done by God. We find no contrast between the love of Christ and the wrath of God or suggestion that God is appeased by the cross. Instead it is...

(The entire section is 545 words.)