Thomas Joseph White’s book The Incarnate Lord discusses the importance of Jesus’ identity. The classical tradition of Christology understood Jesus ontologically, that is to say, in terms of his fundamental being or existential identity; whereas modern and contemporary Christology tends to understand Jesus psychologically or relationally. The transition from an ontological Christology to a consciousness Christology has conduced toward all manner of relativism, subjectivism, indifferentism, and the attenuation of evangelical zeal. In this episode, Bishop Robert Barron unpacks these theological concepts and explains their consequences in familiar terms. The listener question asks about the Jesus Seminar of the Westar Institute.

Topics Discussed

  • 0:17  – Introduction, Chesterton, and Bishop’s recent trip.
  • 3:00 – What is Christology and why does it matter?
  • 4:55 – Why does high-level theology matter?
  • 7:28 – What is the major difference with modern Christology?
  • 10:58 – Who is Jesus?
  • 13:20 – What are the ramifications of reading Jesus with a psychological priority rather than an ontological priority?
  • 15:00 – How is the emphasis on Jesus’ ontology make Christianity unique compared to other religions?
  • 18:20 – What was the theological priority of the early Church?
  • 19:45 – What are some of the insights we learn about Jesus from Saint Thomas Aquinas?
  • 25:15 – What books does Bishop Barron recommend for studying Christology?
  • 27:00 – Question from listener: What does Bishop Barron think about the Jesus Seminar of the Westar Institute?

Bonus Resources

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8 comments on “WOF 069: Following the Right Jesus

  1. Thank you for continuing with this so very important on-point topic as the under-girding evil also continues to break down our society in so many different ways. One must know Jesus with the heart. Once that happens, it’s hard to forget and even when slipping, it’s hard not to return. God Bless You.

  2. Jesus didn’t wander around “Palestine.” He wandered around the Roman provinces of Judaea, Galilee, and Samaria. The name “Palestine” was affixed to the region later, by the Roman emperor Hadrian.

  3. Gino Fillion Apr 6, 2017

    This message is for the sound technicians on your team. 1. Why does Father Barron’s microphone still have a bad sound? Why not use the same microphone as the questioner? The difference is striking. 2. Be careful with the use of “Gate”; when they are misused, it cuts something natural into the sound of the voice. 3. I have the same advice to give for Father Barron’s audio homilies. We need quality in 2017 for the sound. His voice sounds “cheap” because of a technician who lacks experience. This is not the first time I have notified you of this problem and nothing changes.

  4. Kristin H. Apr 7, 2017

    Thank you for taking the time to do this episode. I am smack in the middle, of Bishop Barron’s book, Exploring Catholic Theology, just finishing the Essays in Part 1 . With a little bit of head spinning when I woke this morning trying to piece together what I read last night and the notes I took (WOWZA), this episode did clear up a few of the points that was causing some of the spinning. I joke only because I am working hard to understand exactly what this episode talks about. The more I learn, the more I want to know, even if it is clearly above my ability to fully understand :). So, thank you!
    Kristin H.

  5. i wanted to ask if you could please give us more on this topic please.

    • oh boy, wasn’t that stupid. of course i should get the book. well, i actually trusted my husband in a long term marriage and was too devastated to fight for what was all mine for 8 years before i even met him – i just walked away and gave him everything he never worked for and now i live on a pension of less than $300 a month. Guess i’ll buy the book when i get the cash together. i don’t know what came over me thinking it would be available for free. i mean nothing is free: housing, food, transportation, school loans, etc., doesn’t matter how hard that this ‘working person’ works

      • i know one thing for sure – I do trust Him. My Lenten promises: detachment & silence. I’m still working on them and I believe detachment is easier than silence. Silence must be interior as well. That is always, so to say, an ongoing prayer. it’s SO loud.

  6. Racheal Apr 12, 2017

    Why does it have to be an either/or? Why not a both/and? Why not fall in love with Jesus and with someone here on earth living right now? Such a person would bring me closer to God and I would bring them closer to God.

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