Matt Jenson (PhD, University of St. Andrews) is associate professor of theology for the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola University.
Abstract: The apparently straightforward question of whether Friedrich Schleiermacher believed that Jesus is God proves surprisingly complex. As a teenager, he confessed to his father that he had lost his faith; but later he claimed to have become a pietist again, if of a higher order. He sharply critiqued Chalcedonian categories but spoke of “an actual being of God in [Christ].” Perhaps Schleiermacher offers an orthodox Christology in other words, one that purifies philosophical categories while retaining the central biblical witness to Jesus as God in the flesh. In the end, however, I argue a cumulative case on the basis of epistolary, exegetical, and dogmatic evidence that Schleiermacher persevered in his unbelief “that He, who called Himself the Son of Man, was the true, eternal God.”
Read the full article: In Other Words? the Difficult Question of Jesus’s Divinity in Schleiermacher
* Portions of this article appear in Matt Jenson, Theology in the Democracy of the Dead: A Dialogue with the Living Tradition (Baker Academic, 2019). Used by permission.