Reconciliation is Real

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From Allan Boesak and Curtiss DeYoung’s Radical Reconciliation — speaking of Paul’s understanding of reconciliation in 2 Corinthians 5: “What does this really mean? Reconciliation produces a “decolonized humanity.” A damaged, enslaved, and colonized identity is restored to its original design as a human identity created in the image of God. The logic of Paul’s proclamation is that because death by Rome was reversed through resurrection by God, the death of one’s identity could be reversed and returned to full humanity. All identities—ethnic, gender, religious, and the like—were reframed in one’s self-definition. One’s colonial identity was switched to an identity in Jesus Christ. The language used for Caesar—“ Son of God,” “Lord,” “Redeemer,” “Savior,” “Liberator,” “God”—Paul used for Jesus Christ, in order to announce a new identity. [Biblical scholars] Crossan and Reed write, “In a world where identity was often shaped by one’s relationship to Rome, by being, as it were, ‘in Rome,’ insisting on a self-definition exclusively by being ‘in Christ’ was subversive at best and treasonous at worst.” This is what it meant to reclaim identity. Paul wrote, “we regard no one from a human point of view”—that is, as colonizer or colonized. Or we could rephrase Paul’s words to say, we regard no one from a dominant, Roman Empire point of view; we regard no one from the colonizer’s point of view. Paul was witnessing to his own transformation and to the promise of internal healing from the effects of colonialism, racism, sexism, classism, and all forms of bigotry. This reconciliation through the cross of Jesus was real!”

Roger

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