10 Reasons You Should Read Fleming Rutledge’s ‘The Crucifixion’

Andrew Wilson | February 17, 2017

Fleming Rutledge’s The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ is an extraordinary book. It’s theologically deep and beautifully written, pastoral and scholarly, ecumenical and evangelical. Like its author, it’s Episcopal but not as you know it. It’s endorsed by people you rarely find endorsing the same book: Stephen Westerholm and David Bentley Hart, Kate Sonderegger and Stanley Hauerwas, Larry Hurtado and Robert Jenson. In some ways, it’s the successor to John Stott’s The Cross of Christ; in other ways, it’s nothing like it. Readers looking for something on the cross that incorporates both richness and retrieval should forget N. T. Wright’s latest offer and get this book.

In no particular order, here are 10 reasons why.

1. Beautiful scholarship and scholarly beauty.

Few books achieve such marks. Rutledge writes as a preacher, full of imagery and pathos, illustration and contemporary application. When she talks about radical evil, or the judgment seat of Christ, we are caught up in high drama, sensing the depth and intensity of what’s at stake, rather than (as can often be true) feeling like we’re watching someone solve a math problem.

At the same time, she engages with a remarkable breadth of secondary literature from a…

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