Sunday, February 27, 2011

The cross is a scandal for modernism

I am really enjoying reading Miroslav Wolf's book, Exclusion and Embrace.
I particularly like the way the following passage describes modernism and contrasts it to the implications of a world view centred in the Cross of Jesus Christ:
The inner logic of the cross demands acceptance of two interrelated beliefs that are deeply at odds with some basic sentiments of modernity. First, modernity is predicated on the belief that the fissures of the world can be repaired and that the world can be heeled. It expects the creation of paradise at the end of history and denies the expulsion from it at the beginning of history. ... Before the dawn of God's new world, we cannot remove evil so as to dispense with the cross.. None of the grand recipes that promise to mend all the fissures can be trusted. Whatever progress actually does take place, it also "keeps piling wreckage and hurls it in front of the feet" of the angel of history, as Walter Benjamin wrote..
Second, modernity has set its high hopes in the twin strategies of social control and rational thought. "The right design and the final argument can be, must be, and will be found", is modernity's credo (Bauman, 1993)... The "wisdom of the cross", to the contrary, teaches that ultimately salvation does not come either from the "miracle" of the right design or from the "wisdom" of the final argument (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:18-25). We cannot and ought not dispense with "design" and "argument"... But, ...[they] themselves will themselves need to be healed by the "weakness" and "foolishness" of the self-giving love. This "weakness" is "stronger" than social control and this "foolishness" is "wiser" than rational thought.

Collapse of the Tacoma Narrows bridge in 1940 due to a design flaw.


  1. Love that book! Was incredibly helpful for my 4th year project on dialogue with Muslims. Hope you continue to enjoy it. I plan to go back some day.

  2. Please find a completely different Understanding of the hidden meaning of this Christian idol via this essay.

    How it was created by Paul and the church fathers

    Plus a radical critique of the much hyped Christian mind, and the inevitable atrocities committed by it (in collective form)

    And of course conventional religion IS about crowd control, and not much else.
    It is based on the collective Taboo against Wisdom. The origins and devastating consequences of which are described in this essay.