The Hope of Glory: Reflections on the Last Words of Jesus from the Cross

Jon Meacham. Random House, $22 (144p) ISBN 978-0-593-23666-6
In this eloquent yet inconsistent work, Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Meacham (The Soul of America) shares personal reflections on the seven last sayings of Jesus from the cross. He explores how the sayings come from a combination of gospel accounts, explaining how Good Friday sermons usually began with Jesus’s words of absolution (“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”) and move toward “surrender to the Father.” Jesus’s dying words can benefit the faithful and faithless alike, Meacham maintains—a perspective that gives his commentary a respectful, comforting tone. In a lengthy prologue and epilogue, Meacham argues that, because God did not dictate Scripture but rather men wrote it, readers cannot know which parts are true and which are embellishments. For instance, contrary to Jesus’s own words (John 14:6), Jesus is not the only way to God, Meacham claims. Yet he acknowledges both the Trinity and Jesus as the Son of God, which will leave Christians wondering exactly where he stands. Though Meacham succumbs to the vagaries of relativism, his ruminations on Jesus’s message of love will appeal to progressive Christians. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 01/13/2020
Release date: 02/18/2020
Genre: Religion
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