Sunday, July 13, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Anyone who perceives God's presence and love in the God-forsakenness of the crucified Son, sees God in all things"

Jürgen Moltmann, The Trinity and the Kingdom, 82


At 7/13/2008 10:48 PM, Anonymous Nick Norelli said...

I believe that because the Son was not actually forsaken, we can perceive God's presence and love in the crucifixion!

At 7/14/2008 10:13 AM, Anonymous Terry said...

So Jesus was wrong when he perceived God to have forsaken him? ;)

At 7/14/2008 9:56 PM, Anonymous jdarlack said...

Excellent quote, Chris. A much needed reminder today!

At 7/15/2008 9:20 AM, Anonymous Nick Norelli said...


Not at all. Jesus' cry of dereliction was a nod back to Psalm 22. Psalm 22:24 indicates that God did NOT forsake the psalmist (David?) but rather that he heard him and answered his prayers. Likewise, Jesus quotes this psalm because (1) he felt forsaken on the cross (who wouldn’t?), and (2) because it pointed to his being Israel’s messiah. Like the psalmist, Jesus was not forsaken, he was the “righteous sufferer who is beset unjustly by his enemies and appeals to God” (Hurtado, “Mark” in NIBC, 2.276).

At 7/17/2008 10:43 AM, Anonymous boxthejack said...

Ach, Nick, I struggle greatly with the idea of Jesus on the cross remembering to cross reference an important text by way of giving us some useful omnipotence theology.

Of course Jesus knew his psalms inside out, maybe he even hoped for a second that the rest of the psalm was true. But his screaming that line at God from the point of abject forsakenness IS our redemption. Otherwise he could have screamed Ps 22:24!

What use is it to the person without hope if Jesus had it? What use is it to the person in utter darkness if Jesus retained a divine glimmer? What use is it to the broken if the Godhead was not broken?

For me, the power of the cross is not that Jesus nodded his head back to anything, but that his head was pierced with huge thorns. Yes thereby the broken, suffering God himself fulfilled the calling of Israel.

At 7/17/2008 2:26 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Nice discussion here!

Moltmann, to his credit, does ask to what extent Jesus had the whole of the Psalm in mind when he cried out "My God, My God ..."

Whether he is convincing on that matter is another thing, but he does anticipate the question.

It does seem to me that Moltmann uses the resluts of historical critical work when it suits him, and here it does by prioritising the Markan account. Perhaps, though, there is room for both the cry of despair and the more confident tone in the other gospels? But boxthejack sure has a good point when he writes:

"But his screaming that line at God from the point of abject forsakenness IS our redemption. Otherwise he could have screamed Ps 22:24!"

At 7/19/2008 3:44 AM, Anonymous Edward T. Babinski said...


You cited Moltmann, but how about Eckhart & Blake?

"Some people want to see God with their eyes as they see a cow and to love him as they love their cow—they love their cow for the milk and cheese and profit it makes them.

"This is how it is with people who love God for the sake of outward wealth or inward com­fort. They do not rightly love God when they love him for their own advantage. Indeed, I tell you the truth, any object you have on your mind, however good, will be a barrier between you and the inmost truth.

"The knower and the known are one. Simple people imagine that they should see God as if he stood there and they here. This is not so. God and I, we are one in knowledge.

"What good is it that Jesus was born of a virgin if God is not born in me?"

Meister Eckhart

And contra Moltmann wouldn't you rather "see God" in a grain of sand and a wild flower?

To see a world in a grain of sand,

And a heaven in a wild flower,

Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,

And eternity in an hour.

William Blake - Auguries of Innocence

At 7/19/2008 4:15 AM, Anonymous Edward T. Babinski said...


“He who knew no sin BECAME SIN for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Cor. 5:21)

How exactly does God who rejects sin absolutely also "become sin?"

Did Jesus become as hated as "sin" and/or "Satan" in God's eyes?

I seem (admittedly very vaguely, so please correct me) to recall some church fathers who wrote on the topic saying that God rejected/hated Jesus at that moment, i.e., a rift was created in the Trinity itself when Jesus "became sin."

Ex-Christian Philosopher Joseph E. Barnhart pointed out the HUBRIS inherent in believing that the "sins" of us puny humans (beginning with the "sin" of eating some fruit) are so potent that they result even in a rift in the Trinity (i.e., "...he became sin for us"). And furthermore Jesus needs to continue interceding for us in heaven to God the Father, "Jesus is at the right hand of God interceding for us" in heaven. (Romans 8:34, NIV)

One friend of mine jokingly asked,
how exactly are we to imagine the need for incessant "intercession?" Didn't Jesus suffer, "become sin," say "it is finished," then die and rise from the dead, and ascend into heaven? But after he got to heaven he was assigned yet another job, which is to "intercede for us" to the Father--who apparently is still highly prone to yet more anger? Or forgetfulness?

Scene: Heaven

God: "That Christian down there is really starting to p*ss me off! I should let him slip into sin further, send him strong delusion that he might believe a lie, send in some lying spirits, and let Satan have his way with him--but save some for me to punish eternally."

Jesus: "Forgive him father. I died for him."

God: "Oh, yeah, I remember. O.K. But what about that other Christian right there who is..."

Jesus: "Forgive her father. I died for her."

God: "Oh, yeah, I remember. O.K."

And Jesus after 2,000 years and for the sixtrillionth time: "Forgive him father. I died for Him."

And God for the sixtrillionth time: "Oh, yeah, I remember. O.K."

Little wonder neither God nor Jesus has time to answer prayers since both now find themselves in a Catch-22 situation; one of eternal intercession:

"Blaugh, blaugh, blaugh: O.K."
"Blaugh, blaugh, blaugh: O.K."

Maybe this is why churches must repeat prayers over and over again in liturgical rotation from Sunday to Sunday. In a similar fashion advanced Alzheimer's patients must also hold to a repetitious stablized environment. [Harry McCall, ex-christian and ex-ministerial student]

At 7/19/2008 4:20 AM, Anonymous Edward T. Babinski said...

The Moltman quotation sounds more like Spurgeon than Blake or Eckhart.

Rev. Spurgeon: In heaven e will joyously sing and meditate on the sufferings of Christ that made the miracle of our salvation possible. I could sing and meditate on the wounds round Jesus’s head for a billion years. Then focus on the wounds on his scourged back for the next billion. Then the wound in his right hand for a billion more, the wound in his left hand for a billion, the wound in his side for a billion. Then the wounds in his feet, each foot for a billion years.

Reporter: So, you’re saying there’s nothing worthy of a Christian’s time and devotion, nothing worth looking at, or singing about, for all eternity, except Jesus and his wounds?

Rev. Spurgeon: That’s exactly what I’m saying.

Reporter: So, ah...What’s hell going to be like?

E.T.B. (based on actual replies of Rev. Spurgeon)

When Robert Ingersoll heard how Rev. Spurgeon planned to spend billions of years in heaven just staring at Jesus’s wounds, Ingersoll said, “I bet he even takes great delight in reading the genealogies of the Old Testament.”

The Best of Robert Ingersoll, Robert E. Greeley, Ed.

At 7/19/2008 4:09 PM, Anonymous Terry said...

Nick, you didn't spot my ;)

At 7/21/2008 6:35 AM, Anonymous Nick Norelli said...

Terry... I did miss it. My bad. :-)


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