The Exaltation of the Cross

From Universalis:

What are these Christians about, exalting an instrument of torture?

First, we rejoice that something so terrible should have been transformed into a means of redemption for the whole human race.

Second, we remind ourselves of the fact that Christianity is not an abstract and spiritual religion. It springs from God’s direct intervention in the affairs of the world, a real historical event involving real people and, in the end, a real execution on a real cross. We may theorise and theologise all we like; but all our theorisings and theologisings are nothing without the history on which they are based. Take away that history – take away the Cross – and Christianity is nonsense.


  1. Richard Rohr says

    The language of the cross may be illogical to those who are not on the way to salvation, but those of us who are on the way see it as God’s power to save. (1 Corinthians 1:18, JB)

    When Christianity loses the doctrine and power of the cross as its central strategy, it becomes a false and impotent religion. When this happens, as it has again and again, Jesus renews his people by calling them back—usually in spite of themselves—to the “way of the cross.”

    This is dramatically happening in our time in the Churches of the poor and persecuted, particularly those of Central and South America. Their lives and deaths appear to be a crisis and grace for the Churches of North America and Europe. Through their faith and forgiveness, Jesus is calling all of this Church back to the doctrine and power of his cross, “to tell us what God has guaranteed only the knowledge of him as the crucified Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:1-2).

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