Christology is the field of study within Christian theology which is primarily concerned with the nature and person of Jesus Christ as recorded in the canonical Gospels and the epistles of the New Testament. Primary considerations include the relationship of Jesus' nature and person with the nature and person of God the Father.
Artificial theory underlies the formal orthodox Christology and, in fact, the dogmatics in general of the Catholic and Protestant churches. It is supposed that in the doctrine of both these great bodies that they are in possession, in the form of writing or oral tradition, of a sum of supernaturally communicated information concerning the nature and diving relations of this Being, of the divine purpose in relation to him, and of the manner in which that purpose has been and will be carried out.
To talk about the point of something is to talk about its meaning--about the matter with which it has to do, the way in which it deals with it, and the reason or purpose it has in doing so. But, ordinarily, one undertakes to tlak about the point of something only when there is reason to believe that its point is unclear, because it either has been or threatens to be somehow obscured or even forgotten. Just this, however, is what has happened again and again and is still in danger of happening in the case of christology.
[It is assumed] without argument that the constitutive assertion of christology, of which its other assertions--indeed, all the assertions of a properly Christian theology--are the elaboration, is the assertion, "Jesus is the Christ." To be sure, this particular formulation is but one of many of the same type in which the constitutive christological assertion is expressed in the New Testament.
The lingering disagreements about which Christological model was to be considered normative burst into the open in the early 4th century in what became known as the Arian controversy, possibly the most intense and most consequential theological dispute in early Christianity. The two protagonists, Arius (c. 250–336) and Athanasius (c. 293–373), differed over matters of theology but were quite similar in temperament and personality—learned, self-confident, and unyielding. Both were from Alexandria, Arius a distinguished churchman and scholar and Athanasius a brilliant theologian. Arius’s Christology was a mixture of adoptionism and logos theology. His basic notion was that the Son came into being through the will of the Father; the Son, therefore, had a beginning. Although the Son was before all eternity, he was not eternal, and Father and Son were not of the same essence.
Christological reflection in the 19th century was encumbered by the critiques of the Enlightenment—the repudiation of the supernatural elements in the Gospels, the challenge to metaphysical thinking and to the notion of revealed morality. This assault on traditional views raised fundamental questions for the entire Christian religion and had substantial implications for Christology. Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1834) focused on what classical Christology would have called the human nature of Jesus and argued that Jesus had a unique consciousness of God as well as ethical self-consciousness
The contemporary world of theological and philosophical “Christology” can feel like undiscovered territory for Reformed Christians. Full of specialized vocabulary and historical figures who are underrepresented in Reformed theology, there is a feeling of excitement for some and, for others, insecurity.
Insofar as the christ of neo-Christology is regarded primarily as a trope for a breaking down of the Creator-creature distinction, is removed from the original covenantal revelation, and the offices of prophet, priest, and king, as well as the sacrifice for sins and the propitiation of God's wrath, that christ is a false metaphysical substitute for the Word made flesh- in other words, it is an idol. This is why Calvin seems so unhelpful to modern and postmodern Christologians. He's not in the least interested in what they are interested in. He was aware of Cyril and Chalcedon, to be sure, and Calvin never holds back from rejecting Nestorianism, but he's far more interested in Biblical theology and a Christ who is the Son of God, Mighty God, Angel of the Lord, the Messiah, the savior of Israel, and the one who ushers in the kingdom.
The apostle Paul is frequently accredited with the origin of the first Christology. Whether his statements about Jesus constitute a Christology may be a matter of definition of a moot point for theological scholarship; but it is, nonetheless, true that his summaries of the Christian faith place the "kerygman" within a matrix of sentences is more than historical. He believes Jesus Christ to be a diving being who by living and dying and living again saves those united to him in faith.
Most discussion of early Christology focus on the multiple titles or names that were given to Jesus of Nazareth in the years following his baptism in the Jordan River. This confession from the Gospel of Philip (ca. late second century) evinces the conviction that the Son was given and now shares the "one single name" of the Father. In light of all the names/titles ascribed to Jesus, what is the "name of the Father that he gave to the Son? ...It is the sacred Tetragrammaton: "YHWH".
The Nicene Christology, the Christology of the Greek church, proceeds from...the conception of salvation as a metaphysical process, a change of nature, a divinizing immortalizing of the human. Accordingly the Savior, the mediator of this transformation, is conceived in terms of his nature rather than his office. He is God and man in one person, and therefore is by the very constitution of his person Savior.