Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Leonard I. Sweet
In John 5:19, Jesus defended the healing at the Pool of Bethesda and disclosed his capacity to see and perceive, in real time and from his inferiority, his Father’s activities. Jesus informed his accusers that they would witness even “greater works.” In John 14:12, he said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” These “greater works” would be possible because Jesus ascended to the Father and poured out upon them his Spirit, the Agent whereby the Incarnate Son, the Last Adam, accomplished his works and mission. This dissertation argues that, throughout church history, a deficient understanding of Jesus’s way of seeing has hindered fulfillment of the promised “greater works.” I argue that Jesus’s way of seeing the Father serves as the model for his followers’ way of seeing, which in turn enables them to perform the promised “greater works.” I will propose an approach to learning to see what Jesus saw by the Spirit, which I term an applied semiotics of prophetic perceptuality, that will in turn enable Jesus’ followers to perform the promised “greater works.” Understanding Jesus’s way of seeing (his phenomenology) is crucial and was directly impacted by the ontological reality of his way of being. All of this resulted from his abiding in the Father, by the Spirit. For Jesus’s followers, fulfilling the “greater works” also proceeds from a mutual abiding, which Jesus described in John 14:20: “I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” The argument to be forwarded therefore is this: Jesus’s way of seeing is both knowable and replicable by his followers, being a consciousness imparted by the Spirit, of the Father-Son consciousness the Incarnate Son possessed. through the indwelling Spirit, the actions of Jesus’s followers are accompanied by power, as they rely on the grace gifts to transact the “greater works” in Jesus’s name. Chapter 2 studies Jesus’s consciousness and phenomenology in Scripture and contemporary theological work. Chapter 3 engages the early church fathers’ views on the Son’s nature and ontology; Chapter 4 examines the Reformers’ and Wesley’s responses to them. Chapter 5 peers through the lenses of modern consciousness studies and phenomenology, and Chapter 6 distills implications and applications from the previous chapters.
Chironna, Mark John, "Developing an Applied Semiotics of Prophetic Perceptuality" (2016). Doctor of Ministry. 125.