Crucified God: An Invitation to Rethinking

Moltmann’s basic thesis in The Crucified God is that the cross is both the “foundation and criticism” of Christian theology. It is the basis for our message and existence, but at the same time calls our message and existence into question. All of Christian theology, and all of Christian life, is essentially an answer to the open question with which Jesus died: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” The very identity of the church is at stake: “Whether or not Christianity, in an alienated, divided and oppressive society, itself becomes alienated, divided and an accomplice of oppression, is ultimately decided only by whether the crucified Christ is a stranger to it or the Lord who determines the form of its existence.” (p. 3) Strong words! I fear that more often than not the crucified Christ is stranger and not Lord in popular Christianity, where the radical implications of Christ crucified are far from realized (I don’t mean this as a sweeping judgment on other Christians; I’m talking about my own life!)

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