“Christ crucified must thus remain ‘metahermenutical’; he stands outside modernity, outside the market, outside every human order of power, as a real and visible beauty. Nor can worldly power ever overcome him in his mystical body, because, again, the very gesture of the rhetoric of his form is one of donation, of martyrdom, and one that the powers of this world can suppress only through a violence that creates martyrs, and so confirms – contrary to all it intends – the witness of a peace that is infinite. In the time of sin, governed by an eschatological hope that has already been imparted in history but that is still deferred, Christian rhetoric can be only a declaration of witness, and a gift. A gift of martyrs – which is the name that must, finally be given to the Christian practice of persuasion – can never be returned violently, as the Same; because this gift is always peace and beauty, violence can ‘receive’ the gift, but never return it.”
–David Bentley Hart, The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003), 441-442.