Self-Justification, Self-Assertion, and Self-Deification

For man seeks God in the law, and attempts to conform to him through the works of the law, in order to bring himself into the righteousness of God. If he sees and believes in God in the person of Christ, condemned by the law, he is set free from the legalist concern to justify himself. Man seeks God in the will for political power and world domination. If he sees and believes God in Christ who was powerless and crucified, he is set free from this desire to have power and domination over others. Man seeks to know God in the works and ordinances of the cosmos or the course of world history, in order to become divine himself through knowledge. If he sees and believes God in the suffering and dying Christ, he is set free from the concern for self-deification which guides him towards knowledge. Thus the knowledge of God in the crucified Christ takes seriously the situation of man in pursuit of his own interests, man who in reality is inhuman, because he is under the compulsion for self-justification, dominating self-assertion, and illusionary self-deification.

Jürgen Moltmann – The Crucified God

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