The Seven Last Words from the Cross

Fleming Rutledge, Author Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company $12 (81p) ISBN 978-0-8028-2786-9
Rutledge, the Anglican priest whose book, Help My Unbelief, is fast becoming a modern classic, ruminates on the last sayings of Jesus in this brief Lenten title. Adapted from Good Friday sermons she delivered in 2002 and 2003, Rutledge explores faith and suffering, interspersing timeless questions with contemporary issues like those raised by Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ or the war in Iraq. Rutledge is clearly a word-lover, and her enthralling forays into the meanings of words both ordinary and theological is a boon to anyone who, like her, finds layers of hidden meaning in etymology. She is also a careful interpreter of scripture who is keen to place the New Testament in its historical context and alive to details others might miss (such as the fact that the criminals crucified next to Jesus were probably violent armed bandits and not just petty thieves). The book is designed to complement the three-hour service that many liturgical churches hold on Good Friday. Rutledge writes that ""the prayerful singing of hymns, with special attention to the words, is a chief feature of such services,"" and she includes relevant hymn texts and music suggestions to enhance the worship experience.
Reviewed on: 11/22/2004
Release date: 11/01/2004
Genre: Religion
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