The Eternal Sonship of Christ By George W. Zeller and Renald E. Showers. Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1993. 127 pp. Paper, $8.99.
Several evangelicals have recently concluded that Christ only became the Son of God at His incarnation and therefore His Sonship was not eternal. In The Eternal Sonship of Christ, Zeller and Showers deal with all the passages used to argue that view. They demonstrate persuasively that the term “Son of God” relates to Christ’s deity and is of an eternal nature. Some additional points are given as to why this is an important doctrine. The Eternal Sonship of Christ consists of ten chapters and two appendices. It has several short chapters that outline the deity, preexistence, and incarnation of Christ. The rest of the book deals with the doctrine of Christ’s eternal Sonship and why it is important.
Chapter 7, “The Meaning of the Term ‘Son of God,’” is especially well written. Showers demonstrates that the term “Son of God” has a threefold significance: It means that the Son is a separate Person from His Father; the Son is the heir, not the servant; and the Son has the same nature as His Father. The third point in particular was convincing, since “Son of God” is used in several contexts that teach the deity of our Lord (e.g. Heb 1:2-3, 8 and John 5:17-18).
Appendix A contains a helpful article by S. Herbert Bess which originally appeared in the Grace Journal. It is entitled, “The Term ‘Son of God’ in The Light Of Old Testament Idiom.” Bess traces the usage of “Son” in the OT and shows how the term “Son of God” in the NT means that Christ possessed the same nature as the Father.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in studying issues related to the deity of Christ.
R. Michael Duffy