The new issue of the Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology (Volume 29 no. 2, Autumn 2011) is out (but unfortunately not online), and includes my view of R. Michael Allen’s book The Christ’s Faith: A Dogmatic Sketch (T&T Clark, 2009).
The book is the published version of Allen’s Wheaton dissertation on the theological ramifications of the pistis Christou debate — a New Testament discussion over whether this important Greek phrase should be translated “faith in Christ” or something more akin to “the faithfulness of Christ” or “Christ’s faith.” Are men and women saved by virtue of placing our faith in Jesus, or by virtue of his faithfulness to us?
Here is an extract from the review:
Allen’s presentation is straight-forward and unambiguous, making this book a challenging entry into a live debate over pistis Christou – demonstrating in particular how the subjective genitive is not only commensurate with traditional theology (‘coherence’) but also beneficial to it (‘necessity’), so that a retreat from the exegetical debate to the dogmatic impropriety of ‘Christ’s faith’ is no longer permissible. While the hermeneutical debate rages on in the circle of biblical studies, Allen has offered a solid contribution to systematic theology and to the church by rigorously demonstrating the dogmatic import of the question.
It’s an important topic and Allen does a fine job addressing it from the point of view of dogmatic theology. Look for my full review in SBET.