Item description for Cruciformity: Paul's Narrative Spirituality of the Cross by Michael J. Gorman...
Overview Most studies of Paul concentrate solely on his theology. This book breaks new ground by focusing on the source and nature of Paul's spirituality. Taking his cue from Paul's express desire to "know nothing but Christ crucified," Michael Gorman shows how Paul's personal experience of God constantly intersects with the story of the cross, an event that both reveals the cruciform character of God and shapes believers into a community of "cruciformity" (conformity to the crucified Christ). Expertly combining biblical studies and theological reflection, this noteworthy volume presents a model of the Christian life marked by faith, love, power, and hope.
Publishers Description Most studies of Paul concentrate solely on his theology. This book breaks new ground by focusing on the source and nature of Paul's spirituality. Taking his cue from Paul's express desire to "know nothing but Christ crucified," Michael Gorman shows how Paul's personal experience of God constantly intersects with the story of the cross, an event that both reveals the cruciform character of God and shapes believers into a community of "cruciformity" (conformity to the crucified Christ). Expertly combining biblical studies and theological reflection, this noteworthy volume presents a model of the Christian life marked by faith, love, power, and hope.
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Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.21" Width: 6.23" Height: 0.85" Weight: 1.4 lbs.
Release Date Jul 17, 2001
Publisher Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN 0802847951 ISBN13 9780802847959
Availability 0 units.
More About Michael J. Gorman
Michael J. Gorman (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary) is the Raymond E. Brown Chair in Biblical Studies and Theology at St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland, where he formerly served as dean of the Ecumenical Institute of Theology. He has authored or edited ten books, including Becoming the Gospel: Paul, Participation, and Mission and Elements of Biblical Exegesis.
Michael J. Gorman was born in 1955.
Michael J. Gorman has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Cruciformity: Paul's Narrative Spirituality of the Cross?
A challenging read, indeed !! Jan 3, 2008
Angela McCormick's comments are indeed well-founded, and deserve to be heard. So for that, I will not criticize her for waxing on them here (especially since the victory-through-suffering-or-love is pertinent to the discussion of Paul's "narrative" focus is expounded upon in Brother Gorman's text). I would question, however, the extent to which the matter was ignored in *Cruciformity*. The only gripe I had with this text - and it was a mild one at that, in light of the scope and breadth of the arguments presented - is that each chapter ended on and utilized that word, "Cruciformity," as a kind of straw tautology to reinforce the data everywhere else in the text. In other words, "What does Paul reinforce? Cruciformity, that's what."
And while I mention this shortcoming, I find no rationale to dwell on it, to the degree that Angela McCormick dwelt upon the suffering-vs-love. In both cases, Brother Gorman's scope is being criticized for the book he didn't write instead of the one he did. Time after time while reading this book (and I never read more than a few pages a day, since I didn't want to miss anything that was said), I thought,"... *This* is why Jesus is my Lord, and *this* is exactly why I choose to worship Him and call myself a Christian." And at the same time, the arguments are erudite and comprehensive in their scope. So few books present a Biblical view of the Holy Spirit, and I was very impressed by this book's perspective. If I never profit any more from another richly-developed argument on the Holy Spirit as I have from this book (and the author obliquely suggests that there's more to his view than written here), I think that's be alright by me. I am so glad my NT Greek Professor included this among his "Required Reading," for I have truly benefited from what I've read. Now only to live it out, daily, from grace to faith.
Ground-breaking arguments yet has some flaws Mar 22, 2006
Cruciformity: Paul's Narrative Sprituality of the Cross may seem like an odd title for a book but it functions to provide a concise summary of the author's thesis. Instead of centering on Paul's theology, Gorman takes what he believes is a new perspective in biblical scholarship by focusing on Paul's "narrative spirituality", meaning Paul's personal experience of God (2-5). The book's primary objective is to address the concept of cruciformity - or "what Paul means by conformity to the crucified Christ" - for the purpose of "showing that this conformity is a dynamic correspondence in daily life to the strange story of Christ crucified as the primary way of experiencing the love and grace of God" (5).
I was thoroughly impressed by Gorman's depth of exegesis and analysis on the theme of suffering in Paul's letters but I felt some questions still remained unanswered. To begin with, I absolutely loved Gorman's explanation of the paradox of power in weakness, like his discourse on power as moral transformation into a new creation (298-9) and as boasting of the victory found in suffering (301-2).
On the other hand, I find Gorman puts more of a focus on victory through suffering rather than victory through love. For example, Gorman states, "Suffering is somehow part of the grace of believing existence" lived out through what Gorman calls "cruciform care, the power of suffering love" (301-2). Perhaps I am being overly critical but I believe focusing on the power of suffering can bypass what was at the true root of Christ's death on the cross: love.
It is not Christ's suffering that won the victory but the unconditional love. His superabundant love for the Father and for mankind was his motivation for suffering and therefore it is love that conquered death and sin, not the suffering itself. It is not "the power of suffering love" (303) that is victorious, but rather the power of unconditional love that was put into action on the cross. I am adamant in this distinction for it is extremely important on theological grounds.
There are theological repercussions in equating suffering with love because it easily leads to the deduction that God must suffer on some level because God is love. After much reflection on this topic, I concur with scholars like Thomas G. Weinandy, who argues that God cannot suffer because it contradicts his immutability. There are many theological implications if one contests that God does suffer. Suffering is due to an emotive response, emotions change. If God suffers, then He must be said to go through emotional stages of change, which would imply that God changes. Also, suffering is the result of evil and evil is theologically defined as the "absence of good" so how can an all-good God suffer? Furthermore, if God suffers then how can heaven be perfect happiness? If we were in heaven - in the very presence of God - and he was suffering, how could we be happy? If God suffers it would only follow that we would suffer even in heaven. It would be like watching Christ suffering on the cross and yet being perfectly happy.
For a more detailed review of this book, see my website: http://members.shaw.ca/angelamccormick
Challenging Dec 31, 2004
It is indeed rare to find both an academically challenging and spiritually convicting book that weaves theology and spirituality together. Michael J. Gorman has done a masterful job of "unpacking" the cross in Paul's letters and exposing it's foundational praxis for Paul's ministry and spirituality. One can only admire the depth of insight which this book provides into matters of spirituality, while at the same time presenting a clear challenge for us to shape our lives after the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is a must read for those who want to understand just exactly how Paul incorporated the cross into his ministry and personal spirituality.