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The Word Enfleshed

Exploring the Person and Work of Christ

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A Fresh Theological Account of the Person and Work of Christ

The literature on Christology is large and ever-expanding. The same is true for work on the atonement, which has blossomed in the last decade. Few studies attempt to connect the dots between these two theological topics, however. In this volume, respected theologian Oliver Crisp offers a fresh analytic-theological account of the person and work of Christ, focusing on the theme of union with God Incarnate. Along the way, he engages a range of contemporary and historic Christian thinkers and tackles a number of key issues in contemporary discussions. Wide-ranging and carefully argued, this unified account of the person and work of Christ will be of interest to scholars and students of Christian theology.

1. The Eternal Generation of the Son
2. Christ without Flesh
3. Incorporeality and Incarnation
4. The Christological Doctrine of the Image of God
5. Desiderata for Models of the Hypostatic Union
6. Compositional Christology
7. The Union Account of Atonement
8. The Spirit's Role in Union with Christ
9. The Nature and Scope of Union with Christ


"Thoughtful and unfailingly generous with his many interlocutors, Oliver Crisp engages the full breadth of christological topics with an eye turned equally to traditional Christian claims and contemporary philosophical challenges to them. In its wide-ranging assessments of eternal generation, incarnation, hypostatic union, and atonement, The Word Enfleshed exemplifies the core values of the analytic theology movement by offering a set of theological arguments that cross established boundaries of academic discipline as well as confessional identity in the service of helping Christians give a credible account of the hope that is in them."

Ian A. McFarland, Regius Professor of Divinity, Selwyn College, University of Cambridge

"Anyone who has followed Oliver Crisp's essays over the last few years must have suspected that even as he plies analytical tools to work on particular, local puzzles in theology, he is taking his bearings from a fairly comprehensive account of Christian doctrine. The Word Enfleshed confirms that suspicion. The chapters of this book are focused on issues sharply defined enough to be manageable, yet when assembled they amount to a well-connected doctrinal system, at least in outline. Crisp continues his defense of a Christology that has a traditional profile, meanwhile extending his argument into soteriology, anthropology, and pneumatology."

Fred Sanders, Torrey Honors Institute, Biola University

"There are people who appreciate analytic theology--and then there are the rest of us. But count on Oliver Crisp to make reading this book a pleasant experience for those of us outsiders getting our toes wet. Little is lost in translation when Christology is enhanced with analogies to Batman, egg yolks and whites, masquerade balls, and Tibbles the cat. In an era where academic theology is succumbing to specialization and fragmentation, Crisp offers us a compelling account of the integration of the person and work of Christ. This is a work of retrieval from the ancient church, as well as a recovery of the catholicity of Reformed thought."

Julie Canlis, sessional lecturer, Regent College

"This is analytic theology at its christological best. Crisp is profoundly sensitive to the historical traditions and contemporary debates. He explores and defends central themes on the life and work of Christ with humor, deftness, and deep insight. He never relinquishes rigor, precision, and a sense of the necessary development of models and conceptualities to confess orthodox creeds and a high Christology. This work continues to establish Crisp as a major modern christological thinker for both philosophers and theologians."

Gavin D'Costa, professor in Catholic theology, University of Bristol

The Author

  1. Oliver D. Crisp

    Oliver D. Crisp

    Oliver D. Crisp (PhD, University of London; DLitt, University of Aberdeen) is the Principal of St. Mary's College, Head of the School of Divinity, Professor of Analytic Theology, and Director of the Logos Institute at the University of St. Andrews,...

    Continue reading about Oliver D. Crisp


"Upon finishing the book, the reader is left with a panoramic view of the work of Christ. . . . Crisp covers a broad range of complex topics in a rather condensed space. . . . It would certainly be an excellent addition to any graduate level Christology course."

Vanessa Williams,


"Crips continues his magnificent contribution to the field of Christology with The Word Enfleshed. . . . Perhaps the most constructive element is his fourth chapter, in which he deals with the image of God from the point of view of the hypostatic union. Most accounts of the image of God are usually wary of metaphysical starting points. However, I predict that Crisp's provocative chapter will have to be addressed from now on."

Rafael Bello,

Southeastern Theological Review