[See page image]
499 RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA
am of God
to him, and thus reflects the Father's will. By rea
son of the fellowship of love, the Father is perfectly
disclosed to him, and the depths of his own inner
life are comprehended by the Father alone (Matt.
27; John v. 17 21, 30, vii. 16-18,
7-11). (3) From the ethical oneness with the
Father sprang the consciousness of the messianic or
official sonship-the social aspect of his conscious
ness (Mark i. 11; cf. the baptismal formula, Matt.
xxviii. 19; Didache, vii.). These two aspects-the
individual and the social-may be distinguished but
they can not be sharply separated. The messianic
sonship points backward (I Sam. x. 1; Ps. ii. 7)
and forward (Mark
61). In him the royal hopes
of Israel are fulfilled; he founds the world-kingdom
of God (John xvii. 18; cf. Matt. xxviii. 19; John
xx. 21); his universal sovereignty is won through
suffering (Matt. xix. 20-28). (4) Metaphysical son
ship is also affirmed of him. As Logos he is the only
begotten Son of God (John i. 14, iii. 16, v. 18; Rom.
viii. 32). He is the image of the invisible God, first
born of all creation, mediator of all existence,
through whom all things find their principle and
progressively realize their divine end (I Cor. viii.
6; Col. i. 15-17; John i. 3, 10; Heb. i. 2-3). His
pre-earthly existence was exchanged for humilia
tion and death here below (II Cor. viii. 9; Phil. ii.
5-7; cf. Rom. viii. 3; Gal. iv. 4; and see JEsus
CHRIST, TworoLD STATE
Accordingly he was
God's own son, the archetypal son of God; all
others become sons of God through him (John i.
12). Yet all that belongs to him is a gift of God
(Matt. xxviii. 18; John iii. 35, v. 22, xiii. 3; Acts
ii. 36; Phil. ii. 9-10; Heb. i. 2, ii. 7-8; cf. also I
Cor. xv. 24-28).
In historical theology the Son of God as pre-
END OF VOLUME X.
existent is the second person of the Trinity, con
substantial with the Father, and is described as
only-begotten, the Word; as incarnate he took upon
him human nature yet without sin; and existed in
two whole, perfect, and distinct natures insepara
bly joined together in one person without conver
sion, composition, or confusion; very God and very
man, one Christ, the only mediator between God
and man (see
IV., VIL; MED1eToR).
Ritachl, following Schleiermacher, took the doc
trine of the sonahip of Christ out of metaphysics
and planted it in the field of ethics and the religious
life. As Son, Christ stands to the Father in a rela
tion of incomparable fellowship; his will is identical
with that of the Father in the establishment of the
kingdom of God; moreover, he sustains a unique
relation to the Christian community and to the
world. While for man the Son as pre-existent is
hidden, yet for God he exists eternally " as he is
revealed to us in temporal limitation." Only for
God himself, however, is the eternal Godhead of the
Son intelligible as an object of the divine mind and
will (A. Ritachl, The
Christian Doctrine of iustdfi
cation and Reconciliation, §J
47-49, New York,
1900). C. A.
The subject is treated best in the works on
New-Testament theology (see under
and in those on systematic theology (see under
Much of the literature given under
is pertinent, also that under SON
L'Onsuit further: K. F. NBegen, Chriatua der Afenachen- and
Gotteesohn, Gotha, 1869; J. Stalker, Chriatolopy of Jesus,
London, 1879; A. Harnack, What is Christianity? ib.
1901; R. C. Moberly, Atonement and Personality, pp. 185
eqq., 211-215, ib. 1901; W. Ltltgert, Gotten Sohn and
Got<ee Geiat, Leipsio, 1905; M. Lepina, Christ and the Gospel; or Jesus the Messiah and Son of God, Philadelphia,
1911; DB, iv. 570-579; DOG, ii. 854-M; EB, iv. 46W4704.