The theologian of the cross – Jurgen Moltmann

I am continuing to read Jurgen Moltmann, and I am currently amongst some tasty thinking by this amazing theologian. In ‘The ‘Crucified God”, he writes the following:

“The theologian of glory calls the bad good and the good bad; the theologian of the cross calls things by their right names (dicit quod rest est).’ The theologian of glory, and that is the ‘natural man’, who is incurably religious (Berdyaev), hates the cross and passion. He seeks works and success and therefore regards the knowledge of an almighty God who is always at work as being glorious and uplifting. But the theologian of the cross, and that is the believer, comes to knowledge of himself where he knows God an his despised humanity, and calls human things by their real names and not by images of their attractive appearance. He does not name them as they would wish out of fear of nothingness, but as they are accepted by the boundless suffering love of God. The ‘theologian of glory’ of the invisible being of God secretly creates for himself free room for activity in his own interest which will allow him ‘to love what is like’. For his theology needs equations and confirmations. But the ‘theologian of the cross’ is led by the visible nature of God in the cross. He is freed to love that which is different and other. This has far-reaching consequences: religious desire for praise and might and self-affirmation are blind to suffering – their own and that of others – because they are in such love with success. Their love is eros for the beautiful, which is to make the one who loves beautiful himself. But in the cross and passion of Christ faith experiences a quite different love of God, which loves what is quite different. It loves ‘what is sinful, bad, foolish, weak and hateful, in order to make it beautiful and good and wise and righteous. For sinners are beautiful because they are loved; they are not loved because they are beautiful.'”

 – Jurgen Moltmann, ‘The Crucified God’. P220.

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