Friday, June 08, 2007

Quote of the Week

"I could never myself believe in God, if it were not for the cross. The only God
believe in is the One Nietzsche ridiculed as 'God on the cross'.

In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it?"

John Stott, The Cross of Christ, p.335


HALFMOM said...

Umm - a comforting and wonderful quote - I really like it.

It makes me think of Heb 4:15 - and I also like having a High Priest who knows, experientially, the cross and all it represents of human life and pain.

In fact, I fall on my face before such a One who knows, understands and loves me anyway.

Every Square Inch said...


I didn't quote at length but Stott goes on to compare our suffering Savior with other religions - Buddhism, for instance where statues of Buddha depict him as sitting detached from the world.

Thanks for sharing Hebrews 4:15. Christ is the only One who lays claim to divinity, yet also suffers as the lowliest of men. This, he does for us.

L.L. Barkat said...

To the thought about Buddha... it seems to me that he joined the world of suffering rather than escaping it (didn't he leave a life of luxury to pursue the simple life among the suffering people?). Perhaps the idols of him paint a different picture.

I wonder if people instinctively understand and expect a God or god-prophet who identifies with the human condition, so that the most "successful" religions address this in some way, even if not redemptively. (I suppose the Greek and Roman gods are a little different on this count.)

Craver Vii said...

While I have respect and admiration for John Stott, and I understand the quote to be a manner of lifting up our Lord above all other gods, my anchor (for belief and worship) is not in that Christ related to our pain, but simply that He is God.

Every Square Inch said...


Yes, it occurred to me when I was reading the Cross of Christ that Buddha actually did seek to identify with pain and suffering. His problem is that he had no answers.

I think Stott knows this as well - his point is simply that the symbol for Christian faith is the instrument of our Savior's death and suffering while Buddha is symbolically depicted as serene and detached from suffering.

Every Square Inch said...


I appreciate Stott as well - his book Cross of Christ is my favorite IVP book. :-)

I think his expression of his personal feelings here were simply to highlight the glory of God in identifying with our suffering.

Ted Gossard said...

Thanks for that quote, ESI. This is so important for us living in this world where suffering is everywhere and experienced by us all. God in Christ took on himself that suffering in suffering for us. Without that, where would we be? And because of that God is present to save us and help us (Hebrews).

Every Square Inch said...


Thanks for your thoughts.