In chapter five Gorman seeks to set the groundwork for the rest of his book. He does this primarily through looking at the master text, or the text that best explains Paul's narrative understanding of the cross. Gorman sees this foundational text as Phil 2.6-11 ( even though Paul probably did not create this text he most certainly owned it).
In summation Gorman states that, ' For Paul, to be in Christ is to be a living exegesis oft his narrative of Christ, a new performance of the original drama of exaltation following humiliation, of humiliation as the voluntary renunciation of rights and selfish gain in order to serve and obey.'
Gorman then lays out what he sees as the four narrative patterns of Cruciformity:
- Cruciformity as faithful obedience, or cruciform faith.
- Cruciformity as voluntary self-emptying and self giving regard to others. This includes: love, grace, sacrifice, altruism/substitution, self giving, voluntary self-humbling/abasement, and incarnation and suffering. This is also called cruciform love.
- Cruciformity as paradox, namely life giving suffering and the transformative potency of weakness. This includes: paradoxical power and wisdom, interchange of character between Christ and believers, the apocalyptic victory and the liberation of new life and transformation, and reconciliation and justification. This is also called cruciform power.
- Cruciformity as the pattern of reversal, it is the requisite prelude to resurrection and exaltation, or cruciform hope.