We continue our Lenten series on Fleming Rutledge’s outstanding book, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ (2015). In this post we are finishing chapter 1, ‘The Primacy of the Cross’.
Marx said that religion was ‘the opiate of the people’ – a drug designed to keep reality, and the political task of reforming the world, at bay.
Along these lines, Rutledge refers to Feuerbach (‘theology is anthropology’ – ultimately it only tells us about ourselves) and Freud (religion is wishful thinking, developed to help make existence tolerable) (57).
If these thinkers are right and the goal of religion is to avoid suffering, then it is no wonder that the cross is repulsive and unnecessary to many people today.
And there are other ways the cross is rejected – Rutledge discusses these:
Islam: has no place for a crucified Christ in the Qur’an.
Buddhism: Rutledge refers to…
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