Advent: The Once & Future Coming of Jesus Christ

Fleming Rutledge. Eerdmans, $30 (400p) ISBN 978-0-8028-7619-5
With her trademark eloquence and theological rigor, Episcopal priest Rutledge (The Crucifixion) reflects on the liturgical season of Advent, challenging the conventional interpretation of Advent as preparation for Christmas. She highlights “the eschatological, future-oriented nature of Advent,” advising that the contemporary church rediscover its call to proclaim Christ’s Second Coming as the primary focus of Advent’s “watching and waiting” theme. Rutledge elucidates complex theological notions, such as the church’s mandate to live in between the “once and future, now and not-yet,” and “apocalyptic theology,” which emphasizes the battle between God and the “great Enemy... the personified demonic power of Sin and Death.” The book includes a comprehensive thematic introduction, several previously printed essays, and numerous sermons, which are meant to be sampled one or two at a time and are divided into categories such as “Justice and the Final Judgement” and “The Armor of Light.” Rutledge intends this book as a “valedictory message to serious young preachers,” and it will also appeal to anyone looking for challenging, insightful, and inspiring sermons that wrestle with the grim reality of suffering and “the problem of evil” while also offering hope. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/09/2018
Release date: 09/04/2018
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