I recieved my copy of 'Vintage Jesus' by Mark Driscoll last week. I was going to leave it until the end of the semester but I couldn't help sneaking a peak. Chapter 2 is Vintage Driscoll! Chapter 2 is a defence of Jesus' humanity. I asked myself why on earth would anyone need to defend the humanity of Jesus? Yet Driscoll is right on the money when he says:
Perhaps the people who most commonly prefer Jesus' divinity over his humanity in our present age are hardcore Protestant Christian fundamentalists. They are so committed to preserving the divinity of Jesus that they tend to portray his humanity as essentially overwhelmed by his divinity so that he was largely not tempted to sin, if indeed tempted at all.' (Vintage Jesus P.35)
Driscoll goes on to say that hardcore Protestants tend to view Jesus 'like Superman, Jesus only appeared to be a regular, tempted Galilean peasant; under the Clark Kent-like disguise there remained on Jesus' chest a big red "G" for God, which made him unable to really suffer from the same weaknesses as the rest of us mere mortals.' (p.36)
I know from my own experience of listening to sermons and to preaching that Jesus' humanity is often undermined in English independent reformed churches, through the influence of the late Martyn Lloyd Jones. Lloyd Jones' arguments for the temptation of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane really goes a long way to argue that Jesus wasn't tempted at all. Certainly there is the issue of how a perfect man, who is also fully God can be tempted, yet we should let the texts speak for itself. As it says in Hebrews 4:15 'For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.' (NIV). Jesus was not faking human weakness, or faking temptation but experienced the full onslaught of the evil one and overcame, therefore he conquered sin in our place and is able to symphasise with us in our struggles and temptations.
I would recommend Vintage Jesus because it is Vintage Driscoll, he might make you cringe but he'll also make you think.