Saturday, 27 September 2008

Theology of the cross

The latest issue of Reviews in Religion and Theology features the journal’s new section of foreign-language book reviews – an excellent and important new endeavour, edited by Philip McCosker. This issue includes my own review of Michael Korthaus’ Kreuzestheologie: Geschichte und Gehalt eines Programmbegriffs in der evangelischen Theologie. Here’s an excerpt:

“If the cross is accorded such soteriological primacy, then it follows that a theology of the cross will not merely be one christological option alongside others, but it will be a fundamental explication of the gospel itself. And for just this reason, a theology of the cross will always be assertive, polemical, antagonistic. The word of the cross is a word of contradiction; it opposes every worldly power and every 'theology of glory'. At a time when much theological discourse has been hijacked and neutralized by the demands of liberal politeness and political correctness, Korthaus's call for a more assertive, more agonistic mode of speech – a discourse which corresponds to the 'word of the cross' itself – is especially to be welcomed.”

3 Comments:

John Hartley said...

In other words, books like John Stott's "The cross of Christ" are not merely assertive and polemical because of the styles of their authors, but they are necessarily assertive and polemical because of their conviction of the soteriological primacy of the cross.

Yours in Christ - JOHN HARTLEY.

Weekend Fisher said...

I'm Lutheran; the theology of the cross is (theoretically) the only kind of theology that we recognize and everything else is a sub-topic from there. Of course, the world hardly knew what hit it when the Word of God died ... so there's a sense in which any theologian who touches on the cross has got to confront people squarely with the offense of the cross. But it's an entirely different type of offense than the common offensiveness. It's a shame that all the common examples of polemics and antagonism are so strikingly unChristlike.

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF

Daniel Hames said...

Graham Tomlin argues that the cross is both soteriologically primary while upholding its confrontation of wordly power. His essay is well worth a read.

Theology of the Cross: Subversive Theology for a Postmodern World?
http://theologynetwork.org/christian-beliefs/the-cross/starting-out/theology-of-the-cross--subversive-theology-for-a-postmodern-world.htm

Dan

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