I’m currently reading Joshua Ryan Butler’s The Pursuing God, which like his previous book The Skeletons in God’s Closet, is a brilliantly-written, engaging work that is helping me re-appreciate ancient orthodox doctrines with fresh insight.
I’m sure I’ll have more to say about the book once I’ve finished it – and in the meantime, you can check out this interview with Joshua on the Mere Fidelity podcast to get an idea of the central themes of the book. But here’s one little example of a section that made me think early on in the book. In discussing the doctrine of Impeccability and question of whether Jesus could have sinned, Butler writes:
Is winning really fair if the chips are stacked before the game? Is Jesus’ victory legitimate if he’s unable to sin? There’s an unhelpful assumption here, though: that sin is an essential part of being human. This is backward: sin attacks and degrades our humanity. It makes us less human, nor more. By not sinning, Jesus is more human than we are […]
Jesus doesn’t use a superhuman advantage to win; he refuses the inhumanity we all participate in. The Artist is unwilling to unleash corruption into his painting, and thus is more a part of his masterpiece than we are. His incorruptible will makes him not less human but more.
Jesus is true humanity.”
(Joshua Ryan Butler, The Pursuing God, p16-17)