Re-thinking God’s Glory and Christoformity

Re-thinking God’s Glory and Christoformity October 16, 2018

Haley Goranson Jacob
Conformed to the Image of His Son: Reconsidering Paul’s Theology of Glory in Romans
Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2018.
Available at

This volume by Haley Goranson Jacob (Whitworth University) is based on her PhD written at St. Andrews University under the supervision of N.T. Wright. It is quite a good read and offers some great insights into the meaning of doxa and doxazo, royal ideology in the Psalms as echoed in Paul, plus the meaning of Rom 8:29 about being “conformed to the image of his Son.” But it is far more than a myopic exegetical study of a single verse and a few words. In many ways she sees in Rom 8:29 a synthesis of the symmorphos of Phil 3:21 with the eikōn terminology of 1 Cor 15:49 and Col 3:10, echoes of Psalm 8 in 1 Cor 15:24-28. So by symmorphous tēs eikonos tou huiou autou (“conformed to the image of his Son”) in Rom 8:29, Jacobs thinks “Paul refers to believers’ participation with the Firstborn Son in his rule over creation as adopted children of God. More specifically, I will suggest that in Romans 8:29 a vocational participation is implied. By ‘vocational participation’ I mean that, on the basis of their union with Christ and thus transformed identities in him as the new Adam, believers therefore share with Christ in his resurrection life and glory, and thus fulfill their vocation as redeemed humans, representing God to his creation and interceding on behalf of creation to God.”

Some interesting insights, doxa as more about reputation and exalted status than glorious resplendence, synergeō n Rom 8:29 implying that “God works all things together for good with those who love God, who are called according to his purpose,” and doxasen refers to a realized glory comprised of transformation into an exalted status.

I can also commend this volume as a well-structured thesis. As a doctoral supervisor, I was overjoyed to see previous chapter recaps in the beginning of every chapter to situate the next chapter, plus great end of chapter summaries, and a good step by step prosecution of an actual “thesis.” So I commend this volume as an example of how to write a biblical studies thesis.

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