I am not a Willimon expert, but I have to wonder if he is not an adherent to Christus Victor. I get this sense from his near-constant use of the cosmic metaphor. For example,
Christians are witnesses to a great cosmic incursion, an invasion in which god, rather than being distant from the world, has daringly entered the world (Gal. 4.4). The world is God’s contested territory in a vast program of reclamation.
Alright, I guess that is a pretty enough picture. Theological, but a little science fiction. Can we, the modern thinker, still hold to the notion of the Christus Victor, however, and see salvation as God bursting forth, defeating the powers and principalities? He (again) quotes Barth who loved the phrase “Jesus is Victor!”. Our author goes on to note that this love of Christ has ‘defeated the principalities and powers….and forever secured all creation as his territory.’ The one thing which Willimon doesn’t do is to name them (yet). Here, I am reminded of Gombis‘ work in which while exploring Paul’s use of the dramatic in Ephesians, notes that we shouldn’t name those powers, but steadily work against them. But Willimon goes on to connect Genesis to Golgotha with, “God’s Genesis assault upon chaos was brought to glorious fulfillment in Jesus’ victory on Golgotha.” All of this, to me, is a wonderful way of hiding the fact that Willimon may in fact be a closet henotheist and understands that the Most High God has defeated the powers of chaos through Christ but will not name what these powers are.
Can any respected theologian go so far as to comment on who or what these powers might be without threatening their monotheism? Or, perhaps I am going too far.