During the Protestant Reformation of the 1500s, Martin Luther articulated a timeless distinction between two approaches to knowing God.  He labeled one a “theology of glory,” and applied it to those who believe they can attain to a glorious knowledge of God by human goodness, religious effort, mystical experiences, or the wisdom of human reason.  According to this view, God manifests Himself most often through blessings, victory, success, miracles, power, and other exhilarating experiences of “glory.”  By contrast, Luther argued that the biblical way to know God goes through a “theology of the cross.”  God has “hidden” Himself where human wisdom would not expect to find Him, that is, in the lowliness and suffering of the man Jesus Christ, and especially in His humiliating death on a Roman cross.  As Luther put it, “true theology and recognition of God are in the crucified Christ.”  So rather than finding God by ascending to Him through our efforts, wisdom, or self-initiated experiences, God has descended to us in Jesus whose glory was in the least-expected of places – the cross – and in a way where He can be found by faith alone.

During the Protestant Reformation of the 1500s, Martin Luther articulated a timeless distinction between two approaches to knowing God.  He labeled one a “theology of glory,” and applied it to those who believe they can attain to a glorious knowledge of God by human goodness, religious effort, mystical experiences, or the wisdom of human reason.  According to this view, God manifests Himself most often through blessings, victory, success, miracles, power, and other exhilarating experiences of “glory.”  By contrast, Luther argued that the biblical way to know God goes through a “theology of the cross.”  God has “hidden” Himself where human wisdom would not expect to find Him, that is, in the lowliness and suffering of the man Jesus Christ, and especially in His humiliating death on a Roman cross.  As Luther put it, “true theology and recognition of God are in the crucified Christ.”  So rather than finding God by ascending to Him through our efforts, wisdom, or self-initiated experiences, God has descended to us in Jesus whose glory was in the least-expected of places – the cross – and in a way where He can be found by faith alone.

During the Protestant Reformation of the 1500s, Martin Luther articulated a timeless distinction between two approaches to knowing God.  He labeled one a “theology of glory,” and applied it to those who believe they can attain to a glorious knowledge of God by human goodness, religious effort, mystical experiences, or the wisdom of human reason.  According to this view, God manifests Himself most often through blessings, victory, success, miracles, power, and other exhilarating experiences of “glory.”  By contrast, Luther argued that the biblical way to know God goes through a “theology of the cross.”  God has “hidden” Himself where human wisdom would not expect to find Him, that is, in the lowliness and suffering of the man Jesus Christ, and especially in His humiliating death on a Roman cross.  As Luther put it, “true theology and recognition of God are in the crucified Christ.”  So rather than finding God by ascending to Him through our efforts, wisdom, or self-initiated experiences, God has descended to us in Jesus whose glory was in the least-expected of places – the cross – and in a way where He can be found by faith alone.

By |2015-04-03T20:22:41-04:00April 3rd, 2015|0 Comments

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