More Thoughts from Christian Wiman

“Christ… is a shard of glass in your gut.  Christ is God crying I am here, and here not only in what exalts and completes and uplifts you, but here in what appalls, offends, and degrades you, here in what activates and exacerbates all that you would call not-God.  To walk through the fog of God toward the clarity of Christ is difficult because of how unlovely, how ‘ungodly’ that clarity often turns out to be.”

Writing from the perspective of one who is facing a rare, painful, and terminal form of cancer; here Wiman emotionally elucidates one of the most profound insights in Martin Luther’s Theology of the Cross:

He deserves to be called a theologian, however, who comprehends the visible and manifest things of God seen through suffering and the cross…  The manifest and visible things of God are placed in opposition to the invisible, namely, his human nature, weakness, foolishness. The Apostle in 1 Cor. 1:25 calls them the weakness and folly of God. Because men misused the knowledge of God through works, God wished again to be recognized in suffering…

This is clear: He who does not know Christ does not know God hidden in suffering. Therefore he prefers ,works to suffering, glory to the cross, strength to weakness, wisdom to folly, and, in general, good to evil. These are the people whom the apostle calls »enemies of the cross of Christ« (Phil. 3:18), for they hate the cross and suffering and love works and the glory of works. Thus they call the good of the cross evil and the evil of a deed good. God can be found only in suffering and the cross, as has already been said Therefore the friends of the cross say that the cross is good and works are evil, for through the cross works are dethroned and the ‘old Adam,’ who is especially edified by works, is crucified. It is impossible for a person not to be puffed up by his good works unless he has first been deflated and destroyed by suffering and evil until he knows that he is worthless and that his works are not his but God’s.”

Gerhard Forde “On Being a Theologian of the Cross

Martin Luther “Heidelberg Disputation 1518

Christian Wiman “My Bright Abyss

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