Peter Kirby wrote:So the question becomes... where on earth did the counterpart to the heavenly crucifixion take place? Since even McGrath is now arguing that there were two parallel crucifixions in early theology, in heaven and on earth.
It could be Golgotha, on a hill outside Jerusalem, but Paul doesn't say that.
(Paul could have thought that, of course, without saying it; there is no hard proof either way.)
But there are some things that Paul (or whoever the author is...) does say that I am obliged to point out.
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
Don’t you know that all who share in Christ Jesus by being baptized also share in his death?
Colossians 2:12 (deutero Pauline)
And when you were baptized, it was the same as being buried with Christ. Then you were raised to life because you had faith in the power of God, who raised Christ from death.
Not by Paul, Hebrews 6:6 says that apostates attempting to return to the fold seek to "crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh":
If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
I'm not saying you have to interpret these lines any particular way. But I am saying that a distinct plausibility is there, that the parallelism of heaven and earth regarding the crucifixion isn't what McGrath is assuming that it is. If that premise can't be more than one plausible assumption, the rebuttal isn't as strong as it could be.
(Just saw his post... it seems that PhilosopherJay isn't that far off.)
If christ lives in people then *christ* is some aspect of our human nature - not some visitation from some celestial, outer-space realm. Ancient people personified aspects of the world around them. Pauline theology/philosophy has personified an aspect of our human nature - our mind, our intellectual capacity. Our mind has it's intellectual 'furniture' just as our physical world has it's own 'furniture'. Just as flesh and blood can be crucified in our physical world - so, likewise, in our intellectual world, ideas can be 'crucified', killed off, when past their sell by date. Just as we can see a physical chair, so too can we picture a chair in our mind. One is real, the other imagined. Both reflect the other. Neither is a substitute for the other.
Thus, re Paul, christians can be "crucified with Christ"
and at the same time "before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?"
. So, two types of crucifixions here. 1)The crucifixion within, the crucifixion that takes place in 'heaven', in our intellectual capacity. 2) The crucifixion that happened before the eyes
of the christians. One unseen, in the heavens, in the mind, the other public for all to see.
It was the public crucifixion, execution, that, as it were, set the ball rolling. From that tragedy a new theological/philosophical development arose. 'Salvation' was not physical but intellectual. Sure, this new theology/philosophy was dressed up in the world view of that time. Strip away the fancy dress and what is left was way ahead of it's time: That in order to move forward intellectually it is necessary to 'crucify' outdated mental images. Intellectual evolution is not an automatic process - it requires conscious deliberate action - it requires intellectual 'warfare'.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.