Kipling’s Theology of the Cross

I know Z is in the middle of reposting his series on Theology of the Cross (and for obvious reasons, we usually try to limit the Outhouse to one sitter at a time), but this was so relevant to that context I thought I’d slip it in.

I just got back from an early Father’s Day event at TCS, and part of the festivities was recitation of Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem “If” (well, if I know about it, it must be famous).  Among the other qualities which Kipling asserts will make one “be a Man, my son!” we have:

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

That struck me as very Theology of the Cross.  It’s obvious to see how a Theology of Glory fails to unmask earthly Triumph as an impostor, but by the same token, an expectation of Glorious Triumph will lead one to tend to view the world that now is as an unmitigated Disaster.  A properly tuned Theology of the Cross is better able to take both Triumph and Disaster in stride, focusing always on God’s sovereignty and common grace, and pinning our hope on the world to come.

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One Response to Kipling’s Theology of the Cross

  1. Zrim says:

    Very ToC/2K/SOTC. Well worth the interruption.

    Take that, all detractors of biblical patience and a better conceived Protestantism as an “under-realized, apathetic, unmoveable, antinomian and Lutheranized Calvinism”!

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