In doing some research to preach on Colossians 2:6-7, I have consulted some great resources regarding Christological monotheism—the idea that Paul was placing Jesus into the identity of YHWH, by using his name “Lord.” This was a real epiphany for me during seminary. I get so excited about the profound christology embedded in this now empty and rather pedestrian phrase—Jesus is Lord—and its profound implications for gospel, community, and mission!
Communicating the insights of Christological monotheism and their implications for the church has been a struggle and a joy. I was surprised to discover two missional books take up CM. Missiologist Alan Hirsch devotes an entire chapter to it in his book The Forgotten Ways, drawing out the implications for following Jesus in all spheres of society (echoes of Kuyper). In Promoting the Gospel, John Dickson refers to CM as “the Bible’s most basic doctrine.” He reminds us that because Jesus is Lord our mission is doxological and our doxology should be missional. Indeed, the fact that Jesus is Lord affects the whole of the christian life and mission of the church in the world! What would our churches, our neighborhoods, our cities, our countries look like if we began to grasp the all-encompassing, integrative, redemptive, implications of the lordship of Jesus Christ?
Here are some helpful resources on the topic of Christological Monotheism:
- N.T. Wright, Climax of the Covenant
- Richard Bauckham, God Crucified (expanded)
- Larry Hurtado, Lord Jesus Christ; cf. At the Origins of Christian Worship and entry in Dictionary of Paul and His Letters
- Alan Hirsch, The Forgotten Ways
- John Dickson, Promoting the Gospel