Our Sin

gecomprimeerd Anneke Kaai Death(1)

In his book Transforming Atonement: A Political Theology of the Cross (Fortress, 2009), Ted Jennings offers a particularly astute summary of the politics of the cross. The cross, he says, represents a collision between the way of Jesus and the politics of domination. This collision is unavoidable and God’s will only in the sense that the roots of suffering and abuse need to be “exposed” and brought to an end. He continues:

“One way that this is expressed in the tradition is that God comes in Christ in order to overcome sin. The end of sin is the end of this game of violence, of collaboration in violence, of imitation of violence—a violence exercised in the name of the supposedly “strong God” it imitates. It is because of “our sin,” as Paul suggests, that the Messiah is repudiated, condemned, and executed. But this does not mean because of a long list of personal sins. It has rather to do with our participation in a world that rules by and collaborates in violence, exclusion, and judgment. This is the pervasive reality in which we are caught up. It plays out in our relationships with people we “love,” as well as our relationships with our “enemies.” It plays out in relationship of the elite to those they control. But it also plays out among the excluded—not in the same way, but in ways that still mirror the deadly force of domination and division, even when this or that element of oppression is actively opposed. It is this scene of violence and violation that is entered by the messianic mission, and it is from this same dynamic that this mission suffers and dies.”


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