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Finding God in the Margins: The Book of Ruth (Transformative Word)


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Finding God in the Margins

2018 Top Shelf Book Cover Award Winner

The ancient book of Ruth speaks into today’s world with astonishing relevance.

In four short episodes we encounter refugees, undocumented immigrants, poverty, hunger, women’s rights, male power and privilege, discrimination, and injustice.

In Finding God in the Margins, Carolyn Custis James reveals how the book of Ruth is about God, the questions that surface when life falls apart, and how he reaches into the margins and chooses two totally marginalized women who in the eyes of the patriarchal culture are zeros.

Against the backdrop of disturbing issues we are facing today, this bracing narrative puts on display a radical gospel way of living together as human beings that shouts the Kingdom of God, foreshadows Jesus’ gospel, and raises the bar for women and for men then and now.

Praise for Finding God in the Margins

Those with keen eyes to see into the Bible's many richnesses are able to discover the depths of our humanity surrounded by the deep wells of God's grace. Finding God in the Margins is not for the faint of heart: this book will sideswipe you with admonishment when you least expect it and then turn a word of grace into redemption.

—Scot McKnight, Julius R. Mantey Professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary

In Finding God in the Margins, James offers both women and men timely guidance for understanding and then living out the world-changing love of God. I’m grateful for the scholarship and the passion woven together in this book—and for the woman who has dedicated her life and work to speaking the truths that God-loving women and men need to hear.

—Lynne Hybels, advocate for global engagement, Willow Creek Community Church

This engaging, insightful book gives the beloved book of Ruth a fresh voice, a voice about three people inhabiting the margins in the past who experienced God’s wonderful, decisive work there. This is just the book to get people talking about Naomi (“the female Job”), Ruth, and Boaz as pointers toward God’s gracious, hope-inspiring, kingdom-advancing work in our conflicted context.

—Robert L. Hubbard, Jr., professor emeritus of Old Testament, North Park Theological Seminary; general editor of the New International Commentary on the Old Testament series

The Transformative Word Series

God’s Word is transformative. It is this conviction which gives the Transformative Word series its name and its unique character. Series Editor Craig G. Bartholomew has worked alongside authors from around the world to identify a key theme in each book of the Bible, and each volume provides careful Biblical exegesis centered on that gripping theme. The result is an engaging, accessible thematic exploration of a biblical book, poised to offer you new and refreshing insights.

Learn more about the other titles in this series.


  • Introduction
  • Entering the World of Naomi and Ruth
  • Inconsolable
  • Undocumented!
  • The Power of Hesed
  • Restless in Bethlehem
  • Breaking the Rules for Naomi
  • The Manly Side of the Story
  • Better than Seven Sons

Product Details

  • Title: Finding God in the Margins: The Book of Ruth
  • Author: Carolyn Custis James
  • Series: Transformative Word
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Pages: 128
  • Format: Logos Digital, Paperback
  • Trim Size: 5x8
  • ISBN: 9781683590804
Carolyn Custis James is an author, speaker, and the founder of Synergy Women's Network. She is the author of several books on women in the church and is a consulting editor of Zondervan's Exegetical Commentary Series on the New Testament.

Sample Pages from Finding God in the Margins


Print list price: $12.99
Save $4.00 (30%)