Thursday, August 28, 2008

reversing the Cross

I am proposing a postmodern theology of the Cross in which I ask, what is happening on the Cross? What is happening to us? What events pulsate through that unforgettable scene? Of what are we to make ourselves worthy? It is a mystification to think that there is some celestial transaction going on here, some settling of accounts between divinity and humanity, as if this death is a amortization of a debt of long standing and staggering dimensions. If anything, no debt is lifted from us in tis scene, but a responsibility imposed upon us...The crucified body of Jesus is a site--one among many--of divine eventiveness, through which there courses a stream of events that traverse our bodies and shock the world under the name of the weakness of God, and we are to make ourselves worthy of this event.

John Caputo, in the essay "Spectral Hermeneutics", in the book "After the Death of God", p. 66

The reversal here is staggering, and as much against the Bible as anything I've seen. Is it not written that righteous works cannot save us? Is it not written that all our righteousness is merely as putrid rags?

For a good look at what the Bible says about this, please check out this page.

Some excerpts from it.

The sinner needs to escape the righteous judgment of God or he will face damnation.
Rom. 1:18, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness."
Matt. 25:46, "And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

But, no sinner can undo an infinite offense since to please God and make things right, he must obey the Law, which is the standard of God's righteous. character.
Gal. 2:16, " the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified."
Gal. 2:21, "I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly."

Jesus became sin for us and bore our sins in His body on the cross, thus fulfilling the Law.
2 Cor. 5:21, "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
1 Peter 2:24, "and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed."
Rom. 8:3-4, "For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh. 4in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit."

Caputo's 'we must make ourselves worthy' is simply another variation on works salvation. Not only that, his redefining (it's not about making us right us God) and denigrating (it's merely one such event among many) is unbiblical to the core.

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