"The deity of Christ is the differential feature of Christianity. Even Hegel could discern that 'the Christian religion has this characteristic: that the Person of Christ in his character of the Son of God himself partakes of the nature of God.'
"A suffering messiah who is less than God may elicit our pity or admiration, but not our worship. A messiah to whom one cannot pray is not the Christ of the New Testament. If the Messiah is God's own coming, then Christ is God, according to apostolic reasoning."
~ Thomas C. Oden, Classic Christianity: A Systematic Theology (2009)