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The Cross

Submitted by The Rev. Ross Downes on Tuesday September 7 2021.

The content of this post may not necessarily reflect the policies, theologies or opinions of St Peter's Anglican Church, Palmerston North.

The Cross

In Short

The purpose of this short paper/blog, is to lightly touch on a view of the meaning of the Cross. This will not in any way pretend to be a doctrinal statement, but rather a particular view that happens to sit (roughly) in the via media.

The occasion is ‘Holy Cross’ day, which the church recognises on September the 14th. If we were to recognise this day, the next question would be; “what would we do” (by way of a celebration of recognition.)


I grew up hearing many different attitudes to the cross. I also encountered transformationalthinking about the cross during my time in the seminary. Short statements include the following.

1. “Why are you wearing a crucifix?” (A Cross with the figure of Christ on it.) “ I thoughtyou believed in the risen Christ, The Cross should therefore be empty!”

2. Bishop J A T Robinson (he was a visiting lecturer at St John while I was there) did not wear a pectoral Cross. (Most bishops wear a pectoral cross. Some are crucifixes, and some are plain crosses) Being emboldened theology students, we asked bishop Robinson why he didn’t wear a pectoral cross. He stunned us into silence with his reply. “Well, all the hippies are wearing them these days” “my statement about the cross comes in my books. (Bishop Robinson achieved fame and notoriety with his book ‘Honest to God.’ The book provided a clear window into orthodox theology, but angered fundamentalist theologians. At a public lecture at the college that year, they turned up in force ‘to rescueGod from this raving heretic!’


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