Willimon on the Political Victory of the Cross

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This may be difficult for some to hear, but the Northern Alabama Bishop writes that these man-made principalities are nothing but shadows to God. How dare he!

He writes,

Politically, this means that Jesus’ victory has left us with only one realm – the kingdom of God. Other principalities, whether they be those of the United States, the United Kingdom, or Satan, exist now only in our minds, in our contrained imaginations, as mere shadows of their former selves….


Barth stresses that even those who neither know nor acknowledge this, even those who actively resist this change in citizen ship, still find themselves living in this realm, “claimed and absorbed by his act of obedience.”

Christus Victor must be this type of political victory, one in which Christ has defeated the powers and what what remains is their constant attempt at resurgence, a rebellion which the Church still stands, with Christ at our head, as the only real obedient place of citizenship.

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2 Replies to “Willimon on the Political Victory of the Cross”

  1. Do those instruments of state power, the police officer’s gun and handcuffs, also “exist now only in our minds”? That would be good! But no, I think we are still supposed to be subject to our earthly governments.

  2. I hate to be redundant, but how would one tell the difference between these supposedly defeated powers, resisting the fact that they are “mere shadows of their former selves” from the ever-shifting and failing states that existed before Christ and appear to continiue in our midst to this day?

    It still seems like a cop out to say that Christ was victorious over all earthly nations but they have spent the last two thousand years pretending that it never happened. One has to wonder which of us is trapped by our “contrained imaginations”. These powers and principalities have been chugging along just fine, thank you very much. To create a bizarro worldview in which it is otherwise takes real chutzpah.

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