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.
“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)
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
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.