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Person of Christ: The Perfection of His Humanity Viewed as a Proof of His Divinity | Philip Schaff

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LEVEL 2

A book which truly exalts Christ and sets the heart aflame for Him! In this popularly written three-part book, Dr. Philip Schaff first sets forth the human perfection and character of Christ in such a way as brings the honest reader to worship Him as God incarnate; then shows the emptiness of any and all alternative explanations for His person; and finally presents a collection of writings by unbelievers concerning the moral perfection of Jesus in order to demonstrate the universal belief in the perfection of Christ. In light of Schaff's total argument it becomes quite clear that men ought to give up their strange and empty theories about Christ in order to bow before Him and give Him the honor He deserves.

This book is very well-written, whether your concern is careful scholarship, beautiful writing, or worshipful attitude. Furthermore, nearly every kind of person can benefit from reading it. Unbelievers will have a difficult time shaking off the forcefulness of Schaff's argument, and so it's perfect to give to non-Christians who are interested in Christ and somewhat intellectually inclined. There are some liberal christian groups who profess Christ but are, perhaps, skeptical of His deity or miraculous deeds. This book should help to correct anyone who holds to this view. And Christians themselves can read it to see more of the glory of their Lord, both in His own person and in His unparalleled impact on the world. And so we recommend this book very highly!

 

Sample Pages: Contents | Foreword | Author's Preface and Introduction

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Concerning the historical backdrop for the book:

The past few centuries have witnessed what is often called "The Quest for the Historical Jesus." For most scholars involved in this "quest," the underlying assumption is that the gospels cannot be fully trusted in their descriptions of the life of Jesus. This assumption is generally motivated by the presumption that any supernatural event is impossible, whether that event is an incarnation of God or even an isolated miracle. Therefore, reconstructions of the life of Jesus, as offered by most of these scholars, resemble the Jesus of the biblical gospel accounts very little.

In the late nineteenth-century, another scholar entered into this argument: Philip Schaff, already well-known as a church historian. But he came to the debate with a different kind of method. In this book, he argues that Jesus was an ethically perfect man, and that this perfection can only be explained as miraculous. This, in turn, requires us to believe that this morally miraculous Man must have worked the other, lesser miracles ascribed to Him in the gospels, and even that He must have been a walking miracle, God Himself in human form. Thus, the book is appropriately named The Person of Christ: The Pefection of His Humanity Viewed as a Proof of His Divinity.

The argument is presented in three parts. In Part One, approx. 80 pages, Schaff presents the basic evidences and conclusions, showing that Jesus displayed moral perfection throughout His entire life, as demonstrated even by the non-miraculous stories of the gospels, and also showing how this can only be explained by His own divinity. In Part Two, approx. 40 pages, using the information from Part One, Schaff refutes the only three other explanations for the life of Jesus. These are imposture (that Jesus or His disciples intentionally lied about who He was and what He did), enthusiasm (that Jesus or His disciples deceived themselves about who He was), and poetical fiction (that much of the life of Jesus is actually myth or legend). In Part Three, approx. 75 pages, Schaff compiles quotations from skeptics, unbelievers, and unorthodox Christians about the life of Jesus, proving that His moral perfection is generally admitted by all, thus strengthening the foundation of the whole argument.

 

 

 

"For years I searched for a copy of this rare and excellent meditation on the Person of Christ, having read only scattered quotes from it in various places. It was a great joy to finally purchase an 1880 edition from a bookstore in England several years ago and to read through it carefully.

"As a historian, Philip Schaff had an unusual ability to sum up in a few sentences the broad strokes of a man’s life and character, giving the reader a feel for the man himself. His descriptive powers were never put to better use than when he attempted to capture something of the unique glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is truly a great blessing to have this book reprinted in the twenty-first century and once again available for purchase!"
- Charles Leiter

"We propose to take up the man, Jesus of Nazareth, as he appears on the simple, un­sophisticated record of the plain and honest fishermen of Galilee, and as he lives in the faith of Christendom; and we shall find him in all the stages of his life, both as a private individual and as a public character, so far elevated above the reach of successful rivalry, and so singularly perfect, that this very perfection, in the midst of an imperfect and sin­ful world, constitutes an irresistible proof of his divinity." (pg. 22)

PHILIP SCHAFF was born and raised in Switzerland, educated in Germany, and emigrated to the United States in 1844. He died at his post as professor emeritus at Union Theological Seminary in New York City in 1893. He was respected as a preeminent church historian for much of that time.

Other Details

Author:
Philip Schaff
Publisher:
Granted Ministries Press
ISBN:
9780984031894
Pages:
224
Binding:
Paperback
Size:
8.50 x 5.50 x 0.69 inches