Paul’s cruciform theology of self-emptying as modeled by Christ is radically displayed in the hymn of kenosis referenced in his letter to the Philippians; and scholars have disagreed as to whether this hymn serves as a moral imperative to follow Christ’s example, or a celebration of the soteriological act of God. Both are credible interpretations, yet it is argued that it brings too much to bear on the marginalized who seemingly have little or nothing left to self-empty. However, Paul and theologians throughout the ages offer this message as applicable to all, and recent scholarship suggests this kind of kenotic act may actually be liberating, especially in the most unlikely of applications – the abused.

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