September 24, 2012

Cross

Read more of N.T. Wright's book on the gospels and the cross.  He says that the Jesus' disciples didn't realize immediately that the Cross was a victory not a defeat.  It looked like defeat after all, just as, I think, we can look on this post-Christian world as something of a defeat for Christ.  But He's already won.  Wright argues that God's plan for dealing with evil was to draw evil to a point, to localize it's massive "power" and then defeat it.  This He did by calling Abraham and the Jews - the scandal of particularity - leading up to the penultimate victory of evil, that of Jesus being arrested and tried.  St. Paul writes that the apogee of evil was not the crucifixion but the arrest.  The crucifixion Paul and N.T.Wright see as the defeat of evil, not its climax. My tendency is to think of the Resurrection as the defeat of Satan but that's merely something that followed the victory, the chance to begin anew now that evil had been defeated. 

Wright is by all appearances a pacifist, and certainly he's done more than anybody in recent memory to make me reconsider things. He was appalled by how Christians treated the death of bin Laden as something to be celebrated (which I agree with) and he rued the fact that the response to 9/11 was guns and bombs (which is much harder for me).

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