The Theology of the Cross Finds a Way
|By Hans Olav Lien (Own work)|
[CC BY-SA 4.0],
via Wikimedia Commons
Quoting H.J. Iwand, Moltmann affirms that coming to terms with the cross means coming to terms with the fact that our faith begins with “…the triumph of death, the enemy, the non-church, the lawless state, the blasphemer, the soldiers. Here Satan triumphs over God. Our faith begins at the point where atheists suppose that it must be at an end…with the bleakness and power which is the night of the cross, abandonment, temptation and doubt” (44-45).
About half-way through my latte, I paused to consider what a youth ministry vision statement inspired by this chapter in The Crucified God might look like. Pages 49-50 seemed like they would help me sum it up well:
In the end I decided against pushing for this kind of Crucified-God-style vision statement (in other words, I do still have a job). I justified myself to myself (hmm, sh*#) saying: “now Alex, remember, this vision statement doesn’t exist to enshrine your own present theological emphases.” And after all, I didn’t want to run off all the students and their families (remembering Moltmann’s warning on p. 47 that this might happen).
“Following the way of the cross, our youth ministry will not be ‘positive and constructive,’ but ‘critical and destructive.’ It will not bring students into a better harmony with themselves and with their environments, ‘but into contradiction with [themselves] and [their] environment[s].’ It will ‘not create a home for [students] and integrate [them] into society, but [will make them] homeless and rootless,” and in doing so will set them ‘free from their cultural illusions, releasing them from the involvements which blind them, and confronting them with the truth of their existence and their society.’”
By Emőke Dénes (kindly granted by the author)
[CC BY-SA 2.5],
via Wikimedia Commons
However, if I may adapt the words of the great Dr. Ian Malcolm: the theology of the cross will not be contained; it breaks free, expands into new territories, crashes through barriers, painfully, and hopefully pastorally (and within the broader framework of a theology of hope); yet, when all is said and done, the theology of the cross finds a way.
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