In the book God as the Mystery of the World Eberhard Jüngel writes that the real definition of the word ‘God’ is ‘the Crucified One’. I affirm the validity of this statement and I believe that what we can say about God must be worked out from this foundation since no one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known. We should therefore not begin our theological reasoning from abstract, onto-theological principles; rather the doing of theology begins with the communal receiving of Christ’s broken body. Hence, the unity of the Church does not depend on the individual conformity to specific doctrines. The unity of the Church is a unity in Christ and it is held together by him. Any attempt to create structures in order to keep people submissive to specific doctrines is therefore equivalent to the building of the tower of Babel since it replaces the true God with an idol made by man.
While I believe that theology is a communal activity that must start with the receiving of Christ’s broken body I also acknowledge that the death of Christ must be interpreted in the light that his resurrection sheds on this event. Without the resurrection the crucifixion of Christ is meaningless and our faith is in vain, and without the crucifixion the resurrection of the Crucified One could simply not have happened. To receive the broken body of Christ is consequently an acknowledgment of the hope for a universal reconciliation of all things in heaven and on earth since this is the eschatological vision that the apocalyptic resurrection of the Crucified One unveils.
The fact that the broken body of Christ is given to us also tells us that we are invited to participate in this eschatological process, which was inaugurated by his resurrection. This invitation is at the outset an invitation to die with Christ. For this reason Paul wrote in Romans chapter 6
But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
From this follows that a life in faith means to live a life in faithfulness to the universal telos of the risen Christ. When you die with Christ you die away from sin and death and you are raised into a new life of truth, beauty and reconciliation in Christ. This is what it truly means to be alive. This is what it means to be truly human. The kingdom of heaven is thus available here and now and it is a kingdom that is fundamentally different than the kingdoms of this world. Hence we should not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds, so that we may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
To conclude this post I would like to say that my argument affirms that our theology should be a result of our faith, which is a gift from God that we receive as we take part in the body of the Crucified. Hence our belonging within the sanctorum communio is not predicated on specific doctrines or worldly authorities but on the grace of God who sent his beloved Son to the world in order to redeem and reconcile all things in heaven and on earth. I would further claim that this belief opens up for an understanding of the Church that allows for God not to be replaced by worldly and idolatrous structures. God is thus suitably allowed to be God.