Everyone today wants to talk about the cruciformity of Christian politics. Much to the good there.

But, despite narrative theology and NT Wright and everything, there’s an odd abstraction of the cross from the rest of the gospel narrative. Cruciform politics is often translated as a politics of sympathy and co-suffering. It sometimes merges into a kind of politics of toleration.

It’s essential to include Wright’s question of crucifiability in any political theology that pretends to take its cues from the cross. Jesus didn’t begin on the cross; He didn’t just happen to be crucified. He was crucified because He aggressively attacked the abuses and oppression of Jewish leaders, because He ignored Jewish scruples about table fellowship and Sabbath; because He said “Woe” a lot.

A cruciform politics might culminate in passive suffering. But before the passive suffering comes very active confrontation.

Articles by Peter J. Leithart

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