a. It was co-suffering love for sinful mankind that accomplished redemption. The juridical understanding was that Christ took upon Himself God’s wrath.
b. If Christ had descended to hell after his spiritual suffering, but without the Cross, would anyone be able to imagine the depth of those sorrows and to understand the inner union of His soul with the whole of human nature?
c. If there were on Christian who knew only of the Savior’s spiritual suffering and another who knew of His physical torments, the latter would likely mourn His death with greater compunction.
d. This is because our nature is so coarse that it is very difficult for it to enter into the concept of the purely spiritual torments of Christ.
e. Christ’s bodily suffering and death were primarily necessary so that believers would value His spiritual suffering as incomparably greater.
f. Christ’s cleansing Blood, saving Cross, life-giving Tomb and healing wounds are all expressions and images which are substituted fro the general concept of Christ’s redeeming Passion. We are far from insisting that the only meaning of our Lord’s bodily suffer and, in particular, of His crucifixion and death was to provide the faithful with a way of conceiving His spiritual grief.
g. It may be objected that such an interpretation is unheard of.
h. Salvation is our conscious process of perfection and communion with God; therefore, the truths of revelation united with it should be bound to out inner experience and not be allowed to remain as if completely incomprehensible mysteries which we do not understand.
i. The author is convinced that the explanation of the truth of the doctrine of redemption which have been here expounded is in accord with the teaching of the Church, but is even more firmly convinced of the Church’s infallibility so that, if it were proved that this explanation does not coincide with her teaching, he would consciously renounce his views on this dogma.
- What do you make of the accusations leveled against this essay that: a) it introduces a novel doctrine into the Church; b) that it underemphasizes Christ’s human fear at Gethsemane; and that c) it shifts the locus of Christ’s redemption from the Cross to Gethsemane? How would Metropolitan Anthony himself reply to these charges?