Sinless Flesh


Rafael Nogueira Bello, Sinless Flesh: A Critique of Karl Barth’s Fallen Christ, Studies in Historical and Systematic Theology (Lexham Press, 2020)


Bello, Rafael Nogueira. Sinless Flesh: A Critique of Karl Barth’s Fallen Christ. Studies in Historical and Systematic Theology. Lexham Press, 2020 


Did Christ assume a fallen human nature?

“What is not assumed is not healed.” So goes the Chalcedonian maxim articulated by Gregory of Nazianzus regarding the nature and extent of Christ’s work in assuming a human nature. But what is the nature of that assumption? If Christ is to stand in solidarity with us, must he have assumed not merely a human nature, but specifically a fallen human nature?

In Sinless Flesh: A Critique of Karl Barth’s Fallen Christ, Rafael Nogueira Bello argues against the assertion made by Karl Barth, T. F. Torrance, and those who follow them that Christ assumed a fallen nature. Through retrieval of patristic, medieval, and Reformed orthodox theologians, Bello argues that a proper understanding of human nature, trinitarian inseparable operations, and the habitual grace / grace of union distinction leads to the conclusion that the assertion that Christ assumed a fallen human nature is at odds with faithful theological and historical understandings of the incarnation.

  • Introduction
  • Karl Barth’s Theology of the Incarnation and Christ’s Flesh
  • T. F. Torrance and the Mediation of Salvation
  • Inseparable Operations
  • Grace of Union and Habitual Grace
  • Original Sin
  • Conclusion
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