The God who Became Human is part of the New Studies in Biblical Theology and is an in-depth look at the incarnation.
Graham Cole begins with Genesis and looks at the times when God is described as having human physical features, such as hands, face or performing human actions, such as standing, walking or expressing human emotions such as grief (Genesis 6:6). These incidents are described in various ways and attributed to God or the Lord or the angel of the Lord. Cole believes these times were God’s way of preparing his people for the incarnation in veiled ways. There are many of these incidents but they become increasingly rarer as we move towards the end of the Old Testament.
Next Cole discusses Jesus’ incarnation and why did God become human. He gives six reasons from his own research and that of others. These are: to reveal the Father to us, to redeem us, to represent us to God as our Great High Priest, to substitute sacrificially for us, to defeat the evil one and to model true humanity. Finally, he discusses the significance of the incarnation.
Cole concludes that the reason for the incarnation is God’s love for his people and his desire to dwell with them. He finishes his book with John’s words: “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world …” (1 John 4:9).
The book is well-written but quite heavy going at times.
Overall, an insightful read.