Most famous theologians have a book that they have written concerning Christology. What is Christology? Christology is Christian reflection, teaching, and doctrine concerning Jesus of Nazareth. Christology is the part of theology that is concerned with the nature and work of Jesus, including such matters as the Incarnation, the Resurrection, and his human and divine natures and their relationship. Mark A Noll’s Christology is on fine display in this book. His approach is to look at the creeds, specifically the Apostle’s Creed, Nicene Creed and the Chalcedonian Creed, to give a foundation that is both intellectual and comprehensive. His research is very in-depth and his scholastic knowledge is very broad. His interpretation reflects his intense desire to be authoritative as well as thoroughly, profoundly, comprehensively and passionately rooted in Scripture. This book reflects his genius by taking an intellectual tone instead of critical one.
Noll’s Christology is throughout the book but he gives his specific and razor focused view in chapter seven. In his own words: “the main point is for serious intellectual efforts, those who look to Christ as their prophet, priest, and king act most faithfully when they carry out those efforts with norms defined by Christ. The circularity of this reasoning when applied to Scripture is obvious, since the Bible tells us of Christ from whom we are to take our bearings when approaching Scripture.”  Noll’s Christology is founded in Scripture but is also explored through the creeds, which do not always reference scripture, but are an intellectual processing of what scripture means. He even goes so far as to indicate that the Bible provides a comprehensively true perspective on all things and that the Bible does not explain everything in the world directly. “With the Scriptures’ own statements about themselves in view, attitudes toward studying the world—eagerness to exploit secondary ways of knowing—should be opened up rather than shut down. This openness to experiencing the world, in turn, is exactly what a biblical vision of divine creation, with Christ as the active agent, encourages.” This process of truly a world view on his Christology makes it a very broad look. He explores other authors who have pushed up to the line and may have even gone across some of them. His intention is to explore thought to the greatest extent. This is a much better framework to explore who Christ is for those who are intellectually inclined.
Unlike his land mark book, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, this book has an ease and readability to it that is engaging and makes you think. His reasoning in a sequential order with a firm foundation and multiple references. It is very much about Scripture and not his own absolutes. This read is much more engaging.
When Noll starts to examine incarnation, it was very clear and concise. A couple of things stood out to me.
One was the quote by Richard Jenkyns, “Christianity presents a similar paradox: this world may be of less account than the one to come, but that doesn’t not make it unimportant; it is, indeed, the theater in which the great drama of salvation and damnation is to be played out.” This insight into the importance of Christ and what was at stake in his coming to earth put into such powerful language. It does give a descriptive insight for me.
Second, is this brilliant intellectual picture of the humanity of Christ. “as the incarnate Son, “He worked with human hands, He thought with a human mind, acted by human choice and loved with a human heart. Born of the Virgin Mary, He has truly been made one of us, like us in all things except sin.” These descriptions and word pictures of who Christ is brings great clarity to this part of Christology.
There is always a hope to progress as a scholar and as an author. This quote summarizes what I have found to be true about this author in this book: “Were I to attempt another full scale historical assessment like “the Scandal of the Evangelical Mind,” it would have a different tone—more hopeful than despairing, more attuned to possibilities than to problems, more concerned with theological resources than the theological deficiencies.” It is great to see that sometimes age does bring a certain wisdom to you. Changing your tone doesn’t mean that you change your opinion but it does lend to a conversation instead of a pointed condemnation. Noll has in my opinion come full circle.
 Encyclopedia Britannica
 Mark A Noll, Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2011), 125.
 Ibid., 129.
 Ibid., 36.
 Ibid., 37.
 Ibid., 153.N