Daily Archives: February 25, 2008

The Strelan Article on the Theology of the Cross

Here is the full article on by John G. Strelan, Theologia Crucis Theologia Gloriae.

Just quickly summarising, while broadly agreeing with the basic distinction between a Theology of Glory and a Theology of the Cross, there are two points on which I have some doubts about the application:

1) I do not believe that it is a ‘Theology of Glory’ to affirm the certainty of faith which we may place in the means by which God has chosen to preserve and transmit his revelation to the world, ie. through the Church and the apostolic ministry. For just as it is precisely in the ‘hiddenness’ of God’s revelation in the crib and on the cross that made it possible for his revelation to be grasped by human hearts and minds and hands in the first place, so the means by which God chose to preserve and transmit that revelation (ie. through the writings and teachings of the human apostles and the continual tradition of the human society we call the Church) are equally and correspondingly incarnate and thus ‘hidden’. If it is not contrary to the Theology of the Cross to affirm the certainty of faith in the actual revelation itself, surely it is not contrary to the ‘Theology of the Cross’ to maintain certainty of faith in the means God chose to preserve and transmit it.

2) I do not believe that the ‘Theology of the Cross’ requires the rejection of the use of human reason, despite the fact that human reason alone could not discover the truth of God. For although there are many ways of thinking which, because of human sin, lead to idolatry and falsehood, yet it is to the human faculties of sight, hearing, touch and thought that God has made himself comprehensible. And while his Reason is far beyond ours and expressed predominantly as Love rather than pure rationality, nevertheless the God who is Love is also the God who is Logos/Word/Reason, and to say that God would act irrationally is itself irrational. Rejecting all human reason and philosophy from theological discourse and reflection would in fact be to rob God’s revelation of any conceivable or conveyable human meaning. God’s revelation may be ‘hidden’ but it is not meaningless.


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