I am basically a ‘Theologian of Glory’

I know there is a lot (not enough) of talk about the “theology of the cross” vs. the “theology of glory”, and those of us who think we understand this ‘Christian faith’ thing have come down on the side of the cross…but that is not really who I am, and what I believe.

I basically am a theologian of glory. I am constantly thinking about myself and my ‘situation’.  I enjoy and am pleased with all the “progression” and “victories” in my life, while I bemoan the losses and the pain. I blast the Almighty for His unwillingness to fix all the problems in my life and the lives of my family members. Instead of thanking God for all of my pain and adversity, I am angry with Him.

Do I even want to try and understand the reasons, or believe that “all things work together for good for those who love God and are called for His purposes” ?   Not really. I am too busy with my own purposes to give any time to His purposes.

I am basically a “theologian of glory”. The only way I could ever be a “theologian of the cross”, is if He were to make me one. And thanks be to God, that He does make me one. He puts that “theologian of glory” to death everytime He gives Himself to me in the law, and the gospel. He makes me a “theologian of the cross” everytime He gives Himself to me in His supper. He makes me a “theologian of the cross” everytime I return to my baptism, which carries me through life the way a mother safely carries her baby in her loving arms.

I am a “theologian of glory”, who is basically content to stay that way. But that is not the way that my Lord would have it. He is not content that I stay that way. He has commanded me not to stay that way, and invited me to receive unto myself the “theology of the cross”… the pain, the suffering, the sorrow and lonliness of death…and then the joy of the resurrection and new life.

He knows full well that I basically do not want any part of His cross. Once again (as it has always  been and ever will be) our Lord has taken care of everything. “This is my body…this is my blood…do this,  and I will work my love and forgiveness in you. I will create in you a clean heart, against all your struggling and complaining.”(my paraphrasing)  That is how our Lord makes us into “theologians of the cross”…he takes us there, and then He dies for us, and then He enjoins us in that death for our own good.

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7 Responses

  1. Great post, Steve. I think Paul’s struggle in Romans 7 echoes the struggle of the kind of theologian we long to be vs. the kind we too often are. It goes back to that wonderful issue of grace. Peace and joy.

  2. “It goes back to that wonderful issue of grace. Peace and joy.”

    You said it, Ivy! I If it doesn’t…then we are all in real trouble!

    I hope you are well and running 50 yard dashes whenever you feel like it!

    – Steve

  3. I have made some real strides of late in rehab. Thankfully I’ve been able to get everything in place for physical therapy in Gettysburg (3 minutes from the seminary!) and with an orthopaedist. I don’t want to lose the progress I’ve made. My only really frustrating issue at this point is the inability to sleep. I would appreciate eyour prayers for that.

    It’s hard to believe that next Sun. is our last in RI. Blessings.

  4. Theologian of Glory – what a great way to put it. But my heart yearns to be a theologian of the cross, sometimes, when I am not busy being too self-absorbed.

    It’s sad that even in my charity, sometimes I’m in it for my own glory.

    - Tony

  5. Tony,

    I like the way that you put it ,Tony. “…when I am not too busy being self absorbed.”

    Nice one! That describes me about 98% of the time.

    Thanks Tony!

    – Steve

  6. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

  7. Thanks Alex!

    Talk to you soon.

    Thanks for stopping by -

    Steve

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