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theology

only the suffering god can help

“god would have us know that we must live as men who manage our lives without him. the god who is with us is the god who forsakes us (mark 15.34). the god who lets us live in the world without the working hypothesis of god is the god before whom we stand continually. before god and with god we live without god. god lets himself be pushed out of the world on to the cross. he is weak and powerless in the world, and that is precisely the way, the only way, in which he is with us and helps us. matt. 8.17 makes it quite clear that christ helps us, not by virtue of his omnipotence, but by virtue of his weakness and suffering.

here is the decisive difference between christianity and all religions. man’s religiosity make him look in his distress to the power of god in the world: god is the deus ex machina. the bible directs man to god’s powerlessness and suffering: only the suffering god can help. to that extent we may say that the development towards the world’s coming of age outlined above, which had done away with a false conception of god, opens up a way of seeing the god of the bible, who wins power and space in the world by his weakness.”

|| dietrich bonhoeffer, letters and papers from prison

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About david b. clark

a husband and father || a student of philosophy, theology, history, literature, music, art, computer science

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