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Products>The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ

The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ

, 2015
ISBN: 9780802847324

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Though the apostle Paul boldly proclaimed “Christ crucified” as the heart of the gospel, Fleming Rutledge notes that preaching about the cross of Christ is remarkably neglected in most churches today. In this book Rutledge addresses the issues and controversies that have caused pastors to speak of the cross only in the most general, bland terms, precluding a full understanding and embrace of the gospel by their congregations.

Countering our contemporary tendency to bypass Jesus’ crucifixion, Rutledge in these pages examines in depth all the various themes and motifs used by the New Testament evangelists and apostolic writers to explain the meaning of the cross of Christ. She mines the classical writings of the Church Fathers, the medieval scholastics, and the Reformers as well as more recent scholarship, while bringing them all into contemporary context.

Widely known for her preaching, Rutledge seeks to encourage preachers, teachers, and anyone else interested in what Christians believe to be the central event of world history.

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Key Features

  • Discusses the cross and Jesus’ curicifixion and why it isn’t often the focus of preaching
  • Explores the controvery around the crucifixion in contemporary context
  • Uses both classical and recent writings to look at the meaning of the cross of Christ


  • Part 1: The Crucifixion
    • The Primacy of the Cross
    • The Godlessness of the Cross
    • The Question of Justice
    • Bridge Chapter: Anselm Reconsidered for Our Time
    • The Gravity of Sin
  • Part 2: The Biblical Motifs
    • Introduction to Part 2: Motifs of the Crucifixion
    • The Passover and the Exodus
    • The Blood Sacrifice
    • Ransom and Redemption
    • The Great Assize
    • The Apocalyptic War: Christus Victor
    • The Descent into Hell
    • The Substitution
    • Recapitulation
  • Conclusion: Condemned into Redemption: The Rectification of the Ungodly

Top Highlights

“The right approach is not ‘What questions do I have to ask of the Bible?’ but ‘What questions does the Bible have to ask of me?’” (Page 20)

“are fighting on a related front to secure the human, fleshly actuality of Jesus at the center of the faith.” (Page 70)

“The utter uniqueness of the New Testament gospel is not the foolishness itself, but the linkage of holy foolishness to an actual historical event of government-sponsored torture and public execution—a happening, it must be emphasized, without any spiritual overtones or redeeming religious features.” (Page 3)

“If a congregation is led to an understanding of salvation, the sense of sin will come as a consequence—and then the knowledge that the danger is already past will result in profound and sincere repentance. That is the proper time to start talking about sin.” (Page 173)

“Most of us are conditioned to think of Jesus’ death as the scandal, when in fact it is not the death in itself but the mode of death that creates the offense.” (Page 72)

Praise for the Print Edition

Rutledge helps those who preach and those who listen not only to understand the meaning and significance of the crucifixion, but also to stand under it in awe and devotion.

—Anthony B. Robinson, Christian Century

This is a work of a lifetime that could only be written by someone who has lived a life determined by the cross.

—Stanley Hauerwas, Duke Divinity School

Before we can get to the glorious resurrection, we must take full account of the tragic necessity of the cross. . . . Penetrating and unflinching in its insistence on Jesus Christ, condemned, crucified, dead, and buried, this book powerfully demonstrates that the crucifixion of the Son of God is good news of cosmic and comprehensive scope.

—Leanne Van Dyk, Columbia Theological Seminary

In this amazingly complex but clear book Fleming Rutledge goes deftly where few seem willing to go—to the variety of imaginations shaping early Christian explorations of the significance of Jesus’ death. She is one of the few theologians who not only preach inclusivism but practice it by inviting all points of view into the discussion.

—Scot McKnight, author, The Jesus Creed

Fleming Rutledge is an Episcopal priest involved in a nationwide ministry of preaching and teaching. Her books have been celebrated across denominational borders.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


5 ratings

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  1. Ken McClurkin

    Ken McClurkin


  2. diederick pütter
  3. Glenn Crouch

    Glenn Crouch


    I thoroughly enjoyed this book - in fact more than I expected. Given that this is a scholarly book and I hadn't read anything by this Author (though I had heard a podcast of a couple of her talks), I was pleasantly surprised by how easy I found this to read, and how inspiring I found many of the Authors arguments. Whilst I have many different understandings than the Author, these were normally in side issues - and didn't affect her passion for the Gospel. I found her argument for Justice to be quite refreshing, especially given that it wasn't at the expense of Grace and Mercy. I also appreciated her emphasis on the obscene and horrific nature of the Crucifixion - which I agree we should be reminded of. This is not only a good coverage of the Crucifixion and what it means, but this is a good book to get you thinking about the Atonement - and the various aspects of it / approaches to it. Always good when a book gives you much to think about. I am also appreciative that the Author has renewed in me an appreciation of Anslem of Canterbury. I was introduced to him almost 30 years ago - but now realised that I my admiration had slowly diminished over time, and that I had completely lost what Anslem had meant by "Satisfaction". The Author's handling of Anslem - and in using his arguments in a foundational way - was refreshing - and it was like getting an old friend back again :) As noted, this book is quite scholarly and of decent length, so I would not recommend it to all. But if you want to get into a good discussion on the Crucifixion / Atonement that includes a travel throughout history, and are prepared to examine your own preconceptions then I think you would also enjoy this!
  4. pk47



  5. Chris K

    Chris K



Digital list price: $26.99
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