Surveying the Cross
In his compelling article "The Gospel at Ground Zero" [September], Russell D. Moore's view of the Atonement bears an all-too-typical reduction of the Cross to its effects and benefits. As he says, "In the … Cross, God tell us he knows all our traumas, our insurgencies, our secrets—and that he has already executed them at Golgotha."
But Moore failed to subordinate the effects of the Cross to its ontological significance. It is not just my personal secrets that are murdered on the cross. God is murdered on that cross. A powerless, crucified God who has humbled himself is behind the apostle Paul's message of "Christ crucified." Once we know who God is, we can grasp where he was on 9/11
As far as it went, Moore's article challenges the navel contemplation of revivalist-pietistic American evangelicalism. What he left out would have strengthened his argument and needed emphasis on the spiritual combating firefights located in "fighting the right war."
I was saddened by Will Willimon's response in "How I Have Changed Since 9/11" [September]. He doesn't understand the Cross at all if he thinks that is the worst day in history. All my life, it has been called Good Friday. This is the second best day in history.
Had Christ not been crucified, he could not have been gloriously resurrected. He died on that cross for our sin as was God's plan. I pray that no one blames all Muslims for 9/11, just as no one should blame the Jewish clergy for Christ's death.
In "How I have Changed Since 9/11," Philip Yancey wrote, "Imposing democracy on Iraq and Afghanistan has come at a terrible cost to all parties, with no guarantee of long-term success." Anne Graham Lotz added to the anxiety of this present ...1