Notes on Deere’s Surprised by Voice

This is not a simple endorsement of Jack Deere’s book.  I think it is problematic in a lot of ways.  It exhibits a woeful lack discernment and much of the exegesis is too simplistic.  Still, there was a number of insightful passages.

He makes the observation that Jesus’s power to work miracles was not merely because he was God, but noting Acts 10:38, and its apostolic interpretation of Jesus’s ministry, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power and how he went around doing good and healing, because God was with him.

People on both sides might actually miss this, and Deere himself may not catch it, but this is an important Christological point.  Crucial to a Reformed Christology is the theologia unionis, the union between the human and divine natures of Christ.  This means Jesus’s human nature can never have the attributes of his divine nature, otherwise it would cease to be a human nature!   Deere draws the following inference:  “So even though Jesus was fully God, he took on the limitations of humanity in such a way that he did not heal, prophesy, or minister out of his own divine power.  But he did minister in power.  From where did this power come” (43)?  Deere’s use of Acts 10:38 and elsewhere suggests, quite rightly, that it came from the Holy Spirit.

Again, this draws upon a similar, yet another Christological point:  Reformed Christology does not confess that Jesus was fully powered with the attributes of the divine nature acting at all times (while this sounds shocking, this explains how Jesus wept, got tired, suffered, and admitted ignorance of the of the second coming, actions which cannot be properly predicated of the impassable deity).  In contrast to our Lutheran and Eastern Orthodox friends, we believe that Jesus received this power from the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  Reformed theology has always confessed this (cf. Francis Turretin, vol. 2, pp. 324ff).   Deere simply (whether he knows this or not) extends the inference.

One comment on “Notes on Deere’s Surprised by Voice

  1. Good words here. In bible study/sermons where the issue of Jesus’s power has come up I have often made the point that when Jesus was walking around Galilee with the disciples and tripped and skinned his knee he didn’t just put his finger on the wound and heal himself, like any other “human” he put a bandage on it and some neosporin on it and went about his business.

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