Tuesday, May 30, 2017

CWG (Chapter 11)

Chapter 11: Through the Lens of the Cross

In this chapter, Boyd lays some important groundwork for volume 2 of the project.

He discusses six scholars who have influenced his cruciform hermeneutic, but also points out some distinctive features of his work. Since God's clearest Word is seen in the incarnation (and especially the cross), we should learn (from the cross) that God's speaking will contain both beauty (sacrificial love... how God acts towards humans) and ugliness (violent crucifixion... how humans act toward God). If the Word (Jesus) of God was made ugly by man, the word (Scripture) of God will also sometimes appear ugly.

Because God is non-coercive, Scripture will always include whatever elements of the human subject were resistant to God's influence. Our task, then, as Christian readers of ugly-looking passages in the Old Testament, is to look beyond the surface level ugliness. This is, in fact, how Boyd interprets the 'veil' in 2 Corinthians 3. The cruciform hermeneutic removes the veil so that we may see beyond the surface level meaning of the text when necessary (whenever it doesn't conform to the revelation of the cross).

There are literary crosses found throughout the Old Testament. They are ugly, but when we deeper (with eyes of faith), we may see God's self-sacrificial, other-oriented love.

Personally, I didn't find Boyd's mention of the six scholars who have influenced him added much to the discussion that hadn't already been there (though it is good to note influential resources).

Overall, it seems Boyd wrote this chapter to press further and dig a little deeper into the rationale for his hermeneutic. The cross has a light side (God's acts toward us) and a dark side (our acts toward God). If this is true, then other revelations may also have light and dark sides.

In some ways, this is rather obvious (though the obvious insight hasn't always been applied to Scripture). People accommodate other people all the time in ways that may appear to be endorsements. But it would actually be a mistake to assume endorsement simply because accommodation has taken place. We ultimately know what someone endorses by their direct revelation, not necessarily what seems to be endorsed due to their partnerships and participation with others. For Boyd, the sacrificial love of Christ on the cross is the direct revelation. We must always look beyond the ugly to see the crucified Christ.

No comments: