“The theology of the cross … is nevertheless first of all a statement about God, and what it says about God is not that God thinks humankind so wretched that it deserves death and hell, but that God thinks humankind and the whole creation so good, so beautiful, so precious in its intention and its potentiality, that its actualization, its fulfillment, its redemption is worth dying for.”
— Douglas John Hall (The Cross in Our Context: Jesus and the Suffering World. 2003. Minneapolis: Fortress)
🙂 I picked this up from the doctoral paper of Mary Christine Lohr entitled Finding a Lutheran Theology of Religions: Ecclesial Traditions and Interfaith Dialogue submitted to the University of Exeter in 2009 🙂
I can’t get enough of reading the part God thinks humankind and the whole creation so good, so beautiful, so precious in its intention and its potentiality, that its actualization, its fulfillment, its redemption is worth dying for again and again. I can’t help but be emotional while I think of the biosphere with all the rain forests and the fauna therein, all the continents and the peoples in their varied songs and dances, all the music of articulated languages, all the dreams recorded in words and works of art and thriving organizations, all the curiosity bursting forth in scientific theories, inventions and space exploration that has now reached beyond the Solar System. The human is beautiful. The biosphere is wonderful. To see that it is so is just as lovely.
Months ago I met a physicist who was a bit at a loss for words when I asked point blank on his views on the world-apparently-being-slowly-destroyed. From his response I gathered that there are movements in nature that we haven’t perceived yet. He seemed to tell me that science knows that what we have found out for now is not enough to speak of what’s real. I felt then that I was listening to a scientist who had been humbled by what he has so far perceived of the structure of nature. I also felt that there was a hint of naive hope in his tone. In turn, I, too, was humbled in that I saw my ‘greediness’ in wanting to put markers and pointers and enclosures to things and phenomena in accommodating them into my scheme of understanding.
I understood a bit more then of how I could not do that with Creation. Creation is awesome, and that’s why it’s beautiful. Something that leaves us awestruck isn’t something that can be easily boxed, nor can even be boxed at all. Life and living cannot be outlined just within sociological formulations, nor ideological dogmas, nor faith systems that render us constrained and betrayed. Especially that Creation is a reflection of God.
There’s got to be more to Creation than just objects that ‘need’ to be defined, classified, organized, and manipulated. In the phenomenon of the Cross is a picture that could help make it clear to us how radical the valuing of Life, of Being, is…
…may everyone of us find that which keeps us breathing, gives us space for growth, and so Live…
[Thank you to the webpages where I got the pictures above from. Peace.] ♥♥