JOSEPH POGGEMEYER, THE DIALECTIC OF KNOWING GOD IN THE CROSS AND THE CREATION. An Exegetico-Theological Study of 1 Corinthians 1,18-25 and Romans 1,18-23
The apostle to the Gentiles presents a dilemma when in 1Cor 1,21 he asserts that human beings did not know God and in Rom 1,21 that they did. Consistent truth emerges, however, as both of these verses resonate with echoes from Eden and Calvary. Thus, both pericopes in the present study point to the cross as the place where human cognizance of the divine happens most profoundly. The former verse brings to the fore the need for a domain of faithful obedience—found in a shadowy form even in the person of Adam in Eden—as a foundation for the human-divine relationship. The latter reveals the need for a beauty which humans can only perceive in the cross: the glory of permanent and victorious love which the persons of the Holy Trinity share and reveal on Golgotha. In other words, these passages together teach us that human knowledge of God must be enlightened by the cross: a cruciform radiance of divine sacrificial love shines out from the Crucified One, and a cruciform obedience in faith distinguishes the heart of believers. The word of the cross grasps Christians by the power of the Holy Spirit. Hence human knowledge of God, the ultimate goal involving both the cross and the creation, springs from the very life of the Trinity.
JOSEPH POGGEMEYER, pursued undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan. A priest of the diocese of Toledo, Ohio (USA), he received master’s degrees from the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio where he now teaches in the theology faculty. He studied at the Gregorian University in Rome for his licence and doctorate in biblical theology.
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