The pistis Christou construction in Paul's letters has ignited heated debates among Pauline scholars and theologians. On the one side, some claim that the phrase denotes human faith placed in Christ. Others, however, contend that pistis Christou in Paul alludes to the faithfulness of Christ himself, with Christ's pistis chiefly demonstrated in his willingness to suffer and die upon the cross. Yet both sides of this debate overlook Paul's emphasis on the faithfulness and continuing work of the risen and exalted Christ.
In The Faithfulness of the Risen Christ, David J. Downs and Benjamin J. Lappenga focus upon the resurrection and exaltation of Jesus in their discussion of pistis Christou. They claim that when Paul writes of Christ's pistis, he refers to the faithfulness of the risen and exalted Christ. Downs and Lappenga carefully survey Paul's use of pistis in Philippians, the Corinthian letters, Galatians, Romans, and Ephesians, revealing how pistis epitomizes the risen Christ's continuing faithfulness toward all those who participate in him by pistis. Downs and Lappenga effectively reframe any future consideration of the pistis Christou construction for both New Testament scholars and theologians by showing that the story of Jesus in the letters of Paul extends to the faithfulness of the exalted Christ Jesus, who will remain faithful to those justified through union with Christ.