Monday, June 2, 2008

Hey everyone

Hi, my name is Jon Ludwig and I'll be a junior at unh this coming fall. I play saxophone and am a music ed major. I've been reading the book on and off for the last week or so and it's really captivating. I highlight a lot when I read a good book so heres a quote in thinking about the cross that hit me pretty hard, "Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us (leading us to faith and worship), we have to see it as something done by us (leading us to repentance)," (63). This was said right after a comparison was made that people today are just as responsible for Jesus's crucifiction as those back in the day. What do you all think?


Ben said...

Ahhhh!!!!! I had thought through a response, typed it up, and then bam! I tried to send but internet went down and the response was lost. Ever tried to re-write something you've already written? Impossible for me. I need to take time to recollect my thoughts and then I shall return.

Stupid technology....

Ben said...

Round 2:

I find this question of blame very interesting and one that actually does have practical consequences, I think.

To me the question of my responsibility in the crucifixion is not really a question at all. I am certain, given my sin, that I put Christ on the cross because if there was no sin then there was no need for Christ to die.

The main question for me here lies in the phrase "just as." If we were to play The Blame Game and assign blame for who, in fact, gets the most responsibility for Christ's death, would the Jewish leaders, the mob, Pilate, or the Roman centurions receive more of a share than myself? Perhaps, though I am unsure. I do know that I am hesitant to be overly critical of them though because, knowing my self and my sinful tendencies, I am hesitant to think I would've acted differetly than them under their pressures in this situation. To me this is similar to how I deal with the original sin of Adam. Do I think it a raw deal that Adam ruined it for the rest of us? Well, I can't answer that question because knowing myself and my sin I probably would've done the same thing. We are all culpable of sin which means we all bear responsibility. Do some bear more than others? I do not know though I am very hesitant to say Yes.

I think the practical point in all of this for me is that the question ought to leave me in a state of abject humility. Any thinking that drives me to blame others, to absolve myself, or even to say that they need forgiveness more than me is fallible. What the question forces me to remember is my own wretched sin and my desperate need for the cross. This should bring me to utter humility, and this is of great practical use.


cmshillaber said...

I agree with Ben's comment. As Christians, the moment we for one second forget that we are in part responsible for Christ's death we run the risk of developing a level of pride in ourselves and what we can do. Honestly, I'm really starting to come to understand that without a cross focus (on the death of Jesus and who's responsible) humility seems to fall away for me. I start to think that I can do things on my own. Reality is, I can't even come close to forgiving my own sins, nor do I come close to perfection.

Sadly, I think when Christians forget their involvement in Christ's death, the pride that can develop in the "self" can lead to being judgmental and hypocritical. This is something the world GREATLY dislikes about the church, and often accuses it of. Sadly, there's truth in it. Why? Because we're all responsible for Christ's death and being sinful we sometimes forget its importance.

I've never thought about the cross so much or in such a significant way before, but I'm really enjoying the book too! Hopefully those thoughts make some sense...

Ben said...

I just arrived at the passage being discussed today in my reading. It's interesting to look back as Stott deals with each of the characters - Pilate, the Jewish leaders, and Judas - that he ends each section with a paragraph relating to us and how we are similar to these characters. He doesn't allow us to examine their sin without examining our own tendancies as well. My favorite is his discourse after Pilate, page 55:

"It is easy to condemn Pilate and overlook our own equally devious behavior. Anxious to avoid the pain of a whole-hearted commitment to Christ, we too search for convenient subterfuges. We either leave the decision to somebody else or opt for a half-hearted compromise or seek to honor Jesus for the wrong reason (e.g., as teacher instead of as Lord), or even make a public affirmation of loyalty while at the same time denying him in our hearts."