Paul’s Theology Of The Cross: A Case Study Analysis Of 2 Corinthians 11:16-12:10 -- By: Daniel T. Lioy

Journal: Conspectus
Volume: CONSPECTUS 20:1 (Sep 2015)
Article: Paul’s Theology Of The Cross: A Case Study Analysis Of 2 Corinthians 11:16-12:10
Author: Daniel T. Lioy

Paul’s Theology Of The Cross: A Case Study Analysis Of 2 Corinthians 11:16-12:10

Dan Lioy1


This journal article builds on the work of an earlier essay (Lioy 2015) to undertake a case study analysis of one representative passage in Paul’s writings through the prism of his crucicentric thinking (especially in dialogue with a confessional Lutheran perspective). The major claim is that the apostle’s theology of the cross (in Latin, theologia crucis) helps to clarify his apocalyptic view of reality. The corresponding goal is to validate the preceding assertion by exploring Paul’s cruciform mindset in 2 Corinthians 11:16-12:10.

1. Introduction

In an earlier essay (Lioy 2015), I explored Paul’s apocalyptic interpretation of reality. The treatise dealt with the nature of apocalyptic literature, Paul’s end-time view of existence against the backdrop of Judeo and Greco-Roman cultural contexts, and how the apostle’s eschatological worldview exercised a controlling influence on his writings. The preceding assertion was validated by a case study analysis of Ephesians 1:15-23.

Concerning Paul’s apocalyptic convictions, I articulated five key premises that formed the building blocks of his narrative discourse, as follows: (1) Since the dawn of time, the forces of darkness (i.e. Satan, sin, and death) have threatened to undermine the cosmic order, including humankind; (2) The Father has triumphed over these malevolent entities through his Son’s redemptive work on the cross; (3) Believers, through their baptismal union with the divine-human Son, are co-participants in his victory won at Calvary; (4) Because the Son reigns supreme over every aspect of the believers’ life, all their thoughts, feelings, and actions must be submitted to his rule; and (5) Believers are a foretaste, down payment, and guarantee of the Father fulfilling his promise to reclaim and restore the entire created realm, all of which will be finalized at the second advent of his Son.

Of particular interest to this journal article is premise number 2, specifically its mention of Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross. For example, in taking account of the imperial ideologies that prevailed in the first century AD, I observed that Rome’s cultural heroes were renowned for their wealth, fame, and power. Also, I pointed out that the latter were seized by brazen self-interest, ruthless competition, and savage violence. In contrast, I noted that Paul urged believers to live in ways that were cruciform in nature. I also maintained t...

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