Millions of Christians around the world use the sign of the Cross—and have done so for centuries—as a gesture of blessing. It is practiced when alone, during worship, before sleep, upon waking, before eating, before travel, and many other times throughout the day. But, what does it mean? Where did it originate? What did the sign of the Cross mean to the first Christians, and how has this simple movement of the hand evolved over the centuries?The sign of the Cross is literally a tracing of the Cross of Christ onto the body. By so doing, Christians invite the mystery of the Cross into their everyday lives. Andreas Andreopoulos joins Hank Hanegraaff to discuss the symbolism, the history and the mystery behind the sign of the cross—an interesting, informative and inspirational conversation that truly fulfills the mission statement of Hank Unplugged.
For more information on receiving Andreas Andreopoulos book, The Sign of the Cross The Gesture, the Mystery, the History for your partnering gift, please click here.
Topics discussed include: Metamorphosis and the theology of the transfiguration (3:30); art and theology (10:00); the depth and symbolism of icons (13:30); biblical authority and whether all Christians should practice making the sign of the cross? (20:30); making the sign of the cross as a form of prayer that centers us in Christ (31:30); the many ways that the symbol of the cross is used throughout Christian practice (34:40); the connection between the Eucharist and the cross (41:30); what does the cross have to do with our own suffering? (45:10); the cross as a weapon against spiritual warfare (48:15); the sign of the cross as a declaration of faith and Christian identity (52:00); the symbolic nature behind the gesture of the sign of the cross and the use of it as a way to bless oneself and/or others (55:15); theology as experience and experience of—recovering from an overly rationalistic form of faith and rediscovering our shared Christian tradition (1:00:15); Dionysius and the threefold process of ascent (1:02:05); what is prayer? what is contemplative prayer? (1:09:10); different expressions of the sign of the cross and the different occasions they are used (1:13:10); learning to become imitators of Christ and the cross—WWJD (1:16:00); what the sign of the cross has to offer Christians from all traditions—despite differences in tradition (1:19:45); the significance of personally connecting with Christological events such as the incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection and the second coming (1:23:25); what is the cosmic cross? (1:28:30); different understandings of original/ancestral sin (1:34:00); a summary of the significance of the sign of the cross (1:41:40).
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