The theology of the Cross and Marx's concept of man : with reference to the Caribbean
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The theology of the cross is both a method of doing evangelical theology, as well as an evangelical confession of the Christian Faith. It is universal in scope, and it is set within the context of the Reformation doctrine of the Two Kingdoms. It, therefore, insists that while the Kingdom of the world and the Kingdom of Christ are to be distinguished from each other, nevertheless, they constitute an intrinsic unity. Marx's concept of man and his theory of history constitute his peculiar atheistic Weltanschauung. This preoccupation with man as an alienated being is paralleled by the concern for man's salvation as expressed in the theology of the cross. However, Marx's anthropology remains one-dimensional in scope, and is thereby placed within the realm of the Kingdom of the world. The Marxian claim that man is the centre of himself and the final and sole arbiter of his own destiny, and that God is a totally human idea which ultimately enslaves man, challenges the Church to proclaim and "incarnate" the liberating message of the Gospel anew today. The Church is called to articulate a theology of the cross in which God is confessed as being pro-man. The Church points to the cross of Christ where it sees God paradoxically revealed in suffering, shame and death, where God seemed (and seems) to be most absent, it is precisely there that He is most present, actively struggling on behalf of man. Cross and Resurrection are bound together. The Christian life is therefore a life of celebration and hope sub cruce. Caribbean theology is at the crossroads: it is historically connected with western theology and finds some "natural" affinities with Liberation Theology. However, while it may and should attempt to draw from the richness of both theologies, it should guard against capitulating to either of those forms. It must articulate an indigenous theology of the cross which maintains the tension between identity and relevance of the Gospel. To do otherwise would lead to a theology (or ideology) of glory. In short, Caribbean theology's primary concern must be the proclamation and "incarnation" of the message that the Triune God, through the praxis of love in His Son, and through the witness of His Spirit, is present in suffering and death, wrath and judgement, working on behalf of man and his reconciliation.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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