Peter C. Orr
Exalted Above the Heavens: The Risen and Ascended Christ
NSBT 47; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2018.
Available at IVP.
Peter Orr’s book about the exalted Jesus is partly an accessible version of his PhD thesis (Christ Absent and Present: A Study in Pauline Christology ) but also an extended meditation on Col 3:1-2, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” He’s interested in both what the exaltation of Jesus tells us about his identity but also about the continuing work of Christ, or we might say, WIJD, what is Jesus doing? He covers some good topics like continuity between the earthly and exalted Jesus, how Christ and the Spirit are related but not collapsed into each other, and a very good explanation of the church as the “body of Christ” as neither mythical or symbolic but “Christ is conceived as a corporate person who is spiritually united with the bodies of believers, who fills the church in anticipation of the time when he will fill all things and whose relationship with believers is as strong as the marriage bond between husband and wife.” Christ is present with his church in an epiphanic sense as mediated through the apostles, church, and Spirit. As to what Jesus is now doing, not just receiving prayers, but praying, and Christ continues the work of the gospel to the ends of the earth.
If preachers are wondering what to preach on ascension day, or how to preach Ps 110, then I suggest that this book is an ideal resource to proclaim that Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father.