No other God has wounds.

Posted: June 20, 2006 in Theo/Philo



Bob Dylan’s penetrating lyrics function to remove the dust covers of neglect from the human situation.

In the song ‘You gotta serve somebody’ Dylan created a dust cloud in the wake of the expose of our so-called freedom.

Here is a lyrical snippet from ‘you gotta serve somebody’:

You may be a construction worker working on a home,
You may be living in a mansion or you might live in a dome,
You might own guns and you might even own tanks,
You might be somebody's landlord, you might even own banks

But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You're gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody.

(Bob Dylan)

Slavery is not just the preserve of Eastern Europe or Africa but is everyone’s fate. The great risk taker the apostle Paul in his amazing letter to the early church in Rome introduced himself to this church (he had not personally met) as ’Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God…’ (Romans Chapter 1 Verse 1)

Paul describes himself as a slave knowing that the Church in Rome would be as familiar with slaves as we are with today with MacDonald’s or Starbucks.

Paul was different in one important respect to the ubiquitous slaves of Rome, he volunteered for the job.

The steel band around his neck, the mark of a slave, was kept in place by Paul’s wishing it so. His love for God showed itself in service. Far from being the crutch of comfort that those wishing to dismiss Christianity describe it as; Paul experienced shipwreck, incarceration, mob rule, beatings and eventual beheadingHow far removed from the current notion of Love is the idea of service?

As stated, I believe everybody is wired to worship, Bono sings 'lookin’ for to fill that GOD shaped hole'.Blaise Pascal wrote:

’What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.’

In the excellent book, ’No God but God’ Os Guinness wrote ‘In one of their periodic efforts to eradicate religious belief in the Soviet Union, the Communist party sent KGB agents to the nations churches on a Sunday morning. One agent was struck by the deep devotion of an elderly woman who was kissing the feet of a life sized carving of Christ on the cross.

“Babushka (Grandmother),”he said. “Are you also prepared to kiss the feet of the beloved general secretary of our great Communist part?”

“Why of course,” came the immediate reply.” But only if you crucify him first.”

The distinctiveness of Christianity is that no other god has wounds.

Several thousand years before Christ’s execution by crucifixion, Isaiah (a Jewish visionary) explained the reason for those wounds yet to be when he wrote ‘by his wounds we are healed.

The distinctiveness of Christianity is that no other god has wounds.

  1. Great post! The Dylan lyrics really hit home, and I appreciated the KGB story too. Only problem is that (Eastern) Orthodox Christians don’t believe in 3-dimensional representations of Christ or the saints, but only 2-dimensional (i.e., traditional icons). Nevertheless the story’s point is well taken, and you can’t beat the snappy retort!


  2. Mike Godfrey says:

    Hi Lawrence,
    Thanks for the comment,im not too hot on eastern iconography.I regularly stop by your blog, Im a frustrated Scientist-so I really enjoy the mix of theology and Science-This is something I am hoping to post about the idea that Science is worship for a christian.Any way thanks very much.

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