understanding God through the cross

Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.

John 14

When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.

John 8

I have had contact in recent years with those influenced by Martin Luther’s theology, which is a theology of the cross. And I have thought that my own theology of the cross is not strong enough in line with what scripture teaches, though hopefully I have all the basics covered well enough.

Enter Greg Boyd, and his recent work on understanding and interpreting all of scripture through the cross, indeed understanding God through that centering point. If nothing else, grappling with what he is saying can help us begin to see God and all the rest of scripture through the cross. If all of scripture is fulfilled in Jesus, it seems like Jesus reaches a kind of fulfillment even of his incarnation and all that followed in his healing and teaching, through the cross. Even the resurrection and its meaning comes from the significance of that cross, Jesus’s death. I follow in agreement with Boyd’s thought here.

I personally am beginning to think that Boyd is making a pretty good, maybe even solid case for understanding the violence attributed to God in scripture to God being willing to humble himself as is true at the cross, when essentially God was made sin for us in Jesus, being willing to be misunderstood for what God does not approve of or sanction. And also how God’s wrath which is shorthand for judgment is simply God in grief allowing evil to destroy itself at certain points of time. It’s not that God never gets angry. But all of God’s activity, I take it, is meant to be redemptive, or at least with that in mind as a hope and goal.

And so we understand God through Jesus, and especially Jesus crucified. Something I want to reflect on more in whatever days are to come. In the effort to know God better, and be more faithful to the gospel, in and through Jesus.

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