I read this today , and part of me (a large part) laments the absence of such views amongst God’s people. Not even the absence of "views" as such, but of any kind of serious confrontation of the forces of this neoclassicism. The way in which neoclassicism encourages and enables this very covert and deceptive contamination of the gospel by sneaking in on the coat tails of various rationalizations and explanations of how the gospel is "compatible" with the world "as we see it" is the way in which the world wins over the church, and prevents the church from being the church.
It is this willingness to suffer, rather than cause suffering, that sets the Church apart from the coveting divisive violence inherent to neoclassicism. While neoclassicism fractures society through competition, the Church worships a God of peace, lives peaceably, and loves even her enemies. Moreover, the embrace of cruciformity reminds the Church that membership in the body of Christ is costly. Simply put, we cannot join the Church and continue to pursue the same comforts, luxuries, priorities, and privileges of the society in which we find ourselves. For, as Bonhoeffer writes, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die… [Suffering] is the badge of true discipleship.” This embrace of suffering not only distinguishes the Church from the more ‘conservative’ elements of neoclassicism, it also distinguishes the Church from the more ‘progressive’ elements which attempt to love without suffering. Ultimately, however, cruciformity is the Church’s response to neoclassicism because, in her suffering, the Church bears the sins of neoclassicism in order to bear them away. Cruciformity (as suffering against suffering) becomes the embodiment of the Church’s proclamation of forgiveness and constitutes the offer of healing and new life to all who are held in the grip of neoclassicism. The world will be made new when the Church, in tangible and economic ways, lays down her life for the world.
Therefore, the Church as the pilgrim people of God pursues a trajectory of nonsensical charity (sharing life together with the poor), and nonsensical vulnerability (faith, dependence, cruciformity) in order to embody a political economics that offers the world a genuine alternative to neoclassicism
Somehow, through appeasing us with talk of how God wants us to have peace, we can be persuaded that there is no cross; no "cruciformity".
Dan says above: "This embrace of suffering not only distinguishes the Church from the more ‘conservative’ elements of neoclassicism, it also distinguishes the Church from the more ‘progressive’ elements which attempt to love without suffering". How the church "constitutes the offer of healing and new life to all who are held in the grip of neoclassicism" is where I find myself so painfully aware of how bereft of this attribute the church nearly always is. One might even say that it’s not even being the church as long as it insists upon avoiding the necessary challenge to the forces of neoclassicism.