Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Centrality of the Cross

On Monday I'm giving a lecture on The Centrality of the Cross for the Pennisula Gospel Partnership Training Course. I'm pretty much ready but, if you were me - what would you say? What are the issues? How would you argue the case?

(all of which is assuming that the cross is actually central...)


  1. How about where are we left without the cross:
    - no demonstration of divine justice (Rom 3)
    - no demonstration of divine love (Rom 5)
    - no cancelling of the law debt we all face (Col 2:14)
    - no defeat of the greatest enemy (Col 2:15)
    - no reconciliation between humanity & God, and Jew & Gentile (Eph 2:11-22)
    - no living way into the most holy place (Heb 10:19f)
    - no-one to open the scrolls of history (Rev 5)

    And that's just for starters... Actually the more I think about it, the more I feel a blog post coming on...!!

  2. What a privilege to be given that as your lecture title Dave. No doubt you'll post your notes/ highlights on here?

    Off the top of my head, I think I'd be inclined to do...

    Some introductory stuff simply observing the fact of it's centrality in the NT (Paul's 'I preach Christ and him crucified' alongside the way the gospel are weighted towards time spent on the passion) and historically in orthodox christian piety. Might include here some recent attempts to relativise, even attack, the centrality of the cross, to provide a polemical context for the lecture.

    Then, structure something like this maybe:

    1. Cross is central to God's self-revelation
    2. Cross is central to our salvation
    3. Cross is central to discipleship

    With some closing stuff putting it in context (cross is central, but not to be considered without the resurrection, etc.) perhaps?

  3. Perhaps also start with the centrality of the cross in Jesus' own self-understanding, e.g John 12:27, also in the worship in heaven (Rev 5)

  4. An observation: After the cross God's love is never spoken of in present tense, but always in past tense. The NT tells us, not "God loves you", but "God LOVED you."