“On the one hand we share with European and other Christians the task of distinguishing Christianity from the remnants of superficial culture-religion, and this necessitates the firm recovery of our Christological foundations. On the other hand we find ourselves surrounded by true-believing, biblicist and fundamentalist versions of our faith which out-do us in confessing Christ–but a Christ so unbending, so dismissive of difference, and so reducible to dogma that we cannot recognize in him the One we … honor as Redeemer.

“How, in our present context, shall we say [“Thou art the Christ”] without seeming to endorse the kind of Christomonism … that inevitably ends in religious triumphalism and exclusivity?

“I think that we can do so only if we recover a foundational Theology–a doctrine of God–that is informed by a Judaic sense of the dialectic of divine distance and proximity, otherness and sameness, transcendence and immanence. Christomonism and the exclusivity that attends it represents, I believe, a failure of Trinitarian theology. For a triune understanding of God, the western tradition especially was always tempted to substitute an undialectical monotheism heavily informed by a Christology emphasizing the divinity principle and downplaying Jesus’ true humanity.

“The result, in the hands of the simplifiers, is what H. Richard Niebuhr rightly named “a new unitarianism of the second person of the trinity”–or, in the plain and oft-repeated slogan of popular evangelicalism, the simple declaration: “Jesus is God.” If all we can say of Jesus and of God is that Jesus is God–all the God of God there is–then we have effectively ruled out all other attempts of the human spirit to glimpse the mystery of the ultimate; and this is all the more conspicuously the case when our understanding of “Jesus,” in the first place, is really a dogmatic reduction of his person, his “thou-ness,” to the “it-ness” of christological propositions that, most of them, enshrine little more than our own religious bid for authority.”

Douglas John Hall, “Confessing Christ in a Post-Christendom Context,” 1999.