What are the best books, writings and great works by traditional scholars and priests in Christianity dealing with the topic of humility? I want very traditional and age old works. For example, The Imitation of Christ focuses on the interior life of the individual Christian, encouraging them to follow the example of Christ in their daily lives. What would you suggest?


2 Answers 2


One book I have which I recommend is based on the supreme example of a humble man of whom it was written nearly 2,000 years ago:

"But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Philippians 2:7-8 Authorised Version

This man is held out before all Christians as the perfect example of humility that we are called to emulate. It requires a certain attitude of mind, of belief, so that if we come to know the mind of Christ, and the kind of belief he calls us to, only then will we be able to imitate his humility.

This little book is not light-weight, however. It goes into Greek words and what their meanings are with regard to the humility of Christ. That is because the Bible is the source for learning about Christ's humility, and it was originally written in Greek. There is a helpful glossary of terms at the end. To give you a flavour of some of the points in this book, let me just quote a little bit:

"Becoming flesh' inevitably results in krupsis. It results in a schema that obscures the real status of the Mediator. What He takes results in this: 'veiled in flesh the Godhead see.' Phenomenologically, the eye of the flesh could not see the Godhead beneath the veil. The veil was too effective, hence the element of truth in Brunner's concept of the incognito of Jesus. The incarnation results in krupsis - the veil of our nature, the veil of ordinariness, the veil of His low condition, the veil of frailty and dependence, the veil at last of immolation and of divine forsakenness...

But I must add this: 'being found in fashion as a man He humbled himself.' The great point here is that it shows us that the humiliation of Christ does not consist in one great, irrevocable, definitive choice... [it] is conceived of here as a process. It was an abyss into which, step by step, He descends... Day by day there is temptation to depart from that will and to abdicate from the position of the servant, and day by day there is a choice made in the face of temptation to take the cup and its contents... the greatest single step in the humiliation and abasement is the incarnation, the taking of manhood. It's the greatest single step. But the manger is not the abyss. The humiliation is to go beneath the manger, into the loneliness, the isolation and the forsakenness. Got to go into the Passion. Got to go into the dereliction. Got to go into the anathema. Down, down, down. And it's not all implied mechanically in the first step. Moment by moment He's choosing the shame and He's choosing the pain, and moment by moment He is having to opt for the Father's commandment: 'I must lay down my life' (John 10:18)." The Humiliated And Exalted Lord, Donald Macleod, pp. 34-36, Reformed Academic Press

The reason why the only true humility is that based on the humility of Christ, is that he commanded his followers to daily pick up their cross and to follow him - the way of the cross, with all the shame and humiliation that betokens:

"And whoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple" Luke 14:27 A.V.

Therefore, my answer to your question is, The Humiliated And Exalted Lord, by Donald Macleod (The Professor of Systematic Theology who wrote it is now deceased).


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .