QOTD: Richard Bauckham on God as “both free and faithful”

This is one of my favorite Bauckham quotes, taken from God Crucified: Monotheism and Christology in the New Testament (p.72).  If you’ve not read the book, you should.  It’s a good read!

[T]the identity of the God of Israel does not exclude the unexpected and surprising. Quite the contrary, this God’s freedom as God requires his freedom from all human expectations, even those based on his revealed identity. He may act in new and surprising ways, in which he proves to be the same God, consistent with his known identity, but in unexpected ways. He is both free and faithful. He is not capricious nor is he predictable. He may be trusted to be consistent with himself, but he may surprise in the ways he proves consistent with his himself. The consistency can only be appreciated with hindsight.

See also Mike’s earlier post The Christian God is Surprising.

Richard Bauckham on Paul’s Christology in Philippians 2

In his book God Crucified: Monotheism and Christology in the New Testament, Richard Bauckham writes,

The exaltation of Christ to participation in the unique divine sovereignty shows him to be included in the unique divine identity. But since the exalted Christ is first the humiliated Christ, since indeed it is because of his self-abegnation that he is exalted, his humiliation belongs to the identity of God as truly as his exaltation does. The identity of God – who God is – is revealed as much in self-abasement and service as it is in exaltation and rule. The God who is high can also be low, because God is God not in seeking his own advantage but in self-giving. His self-giving in abasement and service ensures that his sovereignty over all things is also a form of his self-giving. (61)