God with Us: The Meaning of the Cross and Resurrection—Then and Now takes a fresh look at Christianity’s foundational story—the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Full of illuminating theological insights, Rowan explores the manifest love of God found in the gospel. Each chapter includes questions suitable for group discussions or individual reflection.
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“When Jesus was a small boy there was a revolt in Galilee that was brutally suppressed by the Romans. We’re told that there were thousands of crosses by the roads of Galilee. When in the Gospels Jesus speaks of picking up your cross and following him, he is not using a religious metaphor for things becoming a bit difficult.” (Page 4)
“So the cross is a sign of the transcendent freedom of the love of God. This is a God whose actions, and whose reactions to us, cannot be dictated by what we do. You can’t trap, trick or force God into behaving against his character. You can do what you like: but God is God. And if he wants to love and forgive then he’s going to love and forgive whether you like it or not, because he is free.” (Pages 8–9)
“What is this about? How does it work? Why do we have an instrument of torture at the centre of our imagination?” (Page 4)
“The cross was a sign of suffering, humiliation, disgrace” (Page 3)
“disarmed’ literally means that Christ on the cross discards, sheds, throws off the weight of the powers that enslave us” (Page 43)
There is a dignity inherent in Rowan Williams’ writing that both challenges and enobles those who read it. This book addresses the core questions of Christian faith: what do Jesus’ death and resurrection mean? With characteristic hope and a sense of adventure, Rowan Williams urges us to take seriously the interpretations of the past while remaining resolutely rooted in our own present, orientated towards the future. We are asked to consider in this book nothing less than the fundamental meaning of life itself. And it is thanks to the genius of his scholarship that the question brings joy in the answering.
—Lucy Winkett, Rector of St. James’ Church, Piccadilly
Reading the book, I found myself drawn afresh to the vision of “perfect humanity” made manifest in Jesus Christ.
—Miroslav Volf, Professor of Systematic Theology, Yale Divinity School
This is a wonderful book; it is life-changing. No one can read it without coming closer to the crucified and risen Jesus...Rowan Williams is a very great teacher. With simplicity, subtlety, profound seriousness and humor too, he opens up to us the infinite depth of our Christian faith.
—Sister Wendy Beckett