Blog Template Theology of the Body: The offense of the cross

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The offense of the cross

In his letter to the Galatians, Paul talks about the "offense of the cross." Given how common the cross has become, particularly as an item of jewelry, we often forget how offensive the idea of God being crucified was to the people in the first century. Now, for many non-Christians, the cross does not so much symbolize the crucifixion of Christ as it stands in for all of Christianity and in the process the cross has regained some of its offensiveness. The latest news is that the president at the College of William & Mary has ordered the cross removed from the Wren Chapel. Obviously there are some constitutional issues here, but what is interesting to me is that it is the cross that is the issue. This may sound weird, but I think it is good that the cross has once again become offensive.

As an aside, one of my friends said that her understanding of the history of the cross was that it did not become important symbolically until the Romans stopped crucifying people. I'd be interested to know if anyone knows more about this.

Also, if you are interested, pictures of the Wren Chapel can be found here.