The "Theology of the Cross"

juliet agpad's picture

I would like to ask the group to open a good subject to start with about the "Theology of the Cross." IF there is such thing...

tomgroeneman's picture

my theology of the Cross

It is significant that Dan uses texts primarily from 1 Cor. to illustrate and develop Luther's definition. When I read Lee's post, I was somewhat impatient about whether he was going to address the topic of the thread or not. The Corinthian Church was all about demonstrations of eloquent oratory, manifestations of spiritual gifts and power, carnal lifestyles and financial wealth, and worldly wisdom; all characteristics of the theology of glory. And how descriptive of the American evangelical culture today; ego driven preachers building their own personal empires in mega-churches and publishing.

For me, the theology of the Cross is about forsaking the world and entering into the mystery of His suffering as a follower and true disciple of the Master.

Mark 8:34-38

"34And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.

35"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it.

36"For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?

37"For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

38"For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."

Phil. 3:10

"10that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;"

I recently was a member of a Church where the Pastor was continuously preaching from the local newspaper and the latest ideas coming from Harvard University; rarely if ever was the gospel preached from the pulpit and I cannot remember him once mentioning the Cross in his nauseating liberal sentimentalism. When people are taught a Jesus that demands nothing of them then they produce nothing.

An awareness of the Cross is demonstrated in an abhorrence of sin and rejection of the world, the flesh and the devil. Engaging the culture may be intellectually persuasive but in the end the believer and the Church are absorbed and become like the world. The theology of the cross is the only antidote to the poison of relativism and scientific materialism.

The Cross is both: the wisdom/answer to the world's philosophy, and power/destruction of sin and its consequences; of God. And the only hope for salvation.

Tom Groeneman