Friday, May 19, 2017

CWG (Chapter 5)

Chapter 5: The Cruciform Center Part 2

In this chapter, Boyd aims to show that the New Testament is thoroughly cross-shaped. The 4 Gospel accounts all culminate in the cross. The 4th Gospel, perhaps especially, shows that the most glorious hour of revelation was the cross. Jesus' teaching and actions prior to the cross were also emphasizes the sacrifice which is best demonstrated at the cross. Paul's writing are thoroughly cruciform as well (he resolved to know nothing except Christ crucified). It isn't that the cross is an alternative to power, it is that the cross is a new kind of power (a non-violent kind... the power of love). Even the book of Revelation can (and should) be read in a cruciform way (it is the lamb who is victorious). The two ordinances of the church (Lord's Supper & Baptism) are also centered on Jesus' death.

Thus, self-sacrifice, other-oriented love should be at the center of our theology. This love is non-violent. Attempts to de-centralize or provide counter-examples of Jesus non-violence fall short. Jesus life was consistently cross-shaped. And given God's vindication of Jesus, we have no reason to believe God will ever resort to violence in the future (or, by implication, that God has done so in the past).

As I stated in my review of chapter 4, I was persuaded by Boyd's theological argument for the centralization of the cross. This chapter, then, just added to the case for its centrality. He shared a number of insightful readings of specific New Testament texts showing this theme and ably responded to passages that are sometimes used to speak against his position. Boyd seems to have purposefully gone to great lengths (unnecessarily in my case) to justify his cruciform hermeneutic.

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