Renouncing Violent Appearances: CWG Excerpt
My ultimate hope for this two-volume work is that readers will acquire the cross-centered “Magic Eye” that allows them to discern the self-sacrificial, indiscriminately loving, nonviolent God revealed on the cross in the depths of the OT’s sometimes horrifically violent depictions of God. And in seeing this, my hope is that readers will see that the revelation of God on the cross must bring a once-and-for-all end to all of our own violent conceptions of him. Just as we renounce the sin and violence manifested on the surface appearance of the cross, even as we by faith discern God stooping out of love to break this sin and violence, so too, I contend, we should renounce the sin and violence manifested on the surface appearance of the OT’s violent depictions of him, even as we by faith discern God out of love stooping to bear this sin and violence. For when the sin of the world was nailed to the cross with Christ (Col 2:14), the sinful conception of God as a violent warrior god was included.
Hence, the revelation of the agape-loving and sin-bearing crucified God entails the permanent crucifixion of the violent warrior god.
Some early church theologians argued that God had to relate to his people as spiritual infants, and over time, God’s people developed a capacity to receive clearer revelations of him. Gregory of Nazianzus, who wrote in the fourth century, claimed that God needed to allow aspects of fallen culture to get mixed in with his…
In a recent paper delivered at the Evangelical Theological Society, Paul Copan raised a number of objections against my book, Crucifixion of the Warrior of God. This is the first of several blogs in which I will respond to this paper. (By the way, Paul and I had a friendly two-session debate on Justin Brierley’s…
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