Friday, May 28, 2010

Modern Theologies of the Cross= Theologies of Glory.

Bethany asked me to expand on the comment I made regarding modern appropriation of the theology of the cross. Here's my response regarding Moltmann and Jungel. It's funny that she should have asked when I was working on the footnote:

"The major problem with recent so-called modern theologies of the cross is that they want to claim that the knowledge of God given in the cross can form a basis for the criticism and revision of classical theism. This is particularly true of Moltmann who insists that we can predicate suffering, passion, and mutability to the divine being because of the cross. In turn, Moltmann argues, we can then correspond to this suffering and solidarity with the oppressed through secular leftist political activism (what Gerhard Forde has referred to as a "negative" theology of glory). This entirely misses Luther's point, in that contrary to these thinkers, he is claiming that the divine attributes posited by classical theism are valid. The cross conceals these attributes of power and glory in order to humble us. If we could see the divine being through the cross, then for Luther the cross would lose its contradiction and paradox. It would be a matter of vision and not faith. In the same way, our proper response to the cross should not be the animation of political activism (though in the kingdom of the world this is certainly not bad), but rather the passivity of faith. In other words, Luther's point is exactly the opposite of these modern appropriations."

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