Thursday, March 29, 2012

A summation of cross-centered

I have been working through several books on the atonement. Currently I am working through two classics on the topic: George Smeaton's  The Apostles' Doctrine of the Atonement and James Denney's The Atonement and the Modern Mind. The following excerpt is from Denney's book and it is an excellent encapsulation of what the term cross-centeredness means. When one speaks of the cross being central to all we are as Christians, I assume that they mean what this passage ably points to.

It will be admitted by most Christians that if the Atonement, quite apart from precise definitions of it, is anything to the mind, it is everything. It is the most profound of all truths, and the most recreative. It determines more than anything else our conceptions of God, of man, of history, and even of nature ; it determines them, for we must bring them all in some way into accord with it. It is the inspiration of all thought, the impulse and the law of all action, the key, in the last resort, to all suffering. Whether we call it a fact or a truth, a power or a doctrine, it is that in which the differentia of Christianity, its peculiar and exclusive character, is specifically shown ; it is the focus of revelation, the point at which we see deepest into the truth of God, and come most completely under its power. For those who recognise it at all it is Christianity in brief; it concentrates in itself, as in a germ of infinite potency, all that the wisdom, power and love of God mean in relation to sinful men.

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