So I finished Fleming Rutledge’s The Crucifixion today, and, yeah. I felt like I should write something about it, but I fear it’s hard to do it justice.
That said, I’ll take a stab at it. At the risk of hyperbole, Fleming Rutledge has written what might be the most important Christian text so far of the 21st century. It’s a substantial tome, clocking in at over 600 pages and dense with footnotes (surprisingly one of the best things about it). It’s the first book of its size that wasn’t a fantasy novel that I’ve read in a very long time. It also took a long time to read, but it was time well spent. And she brings her weighty subject to bear in a way that so effectively speaks to our moment by revealing its timelessness.
I think what struck me most is the way she applies it to “the common plight of all humankind, for it is the one thing that binds us together”(582). As she puts it, “Above all, we must account for victims and perpetrators alike. If we cannot do this, then it is not the evangel“(577).
The division, loneliness, suffering, injustice, and utter mercilessness that many people are experiencing right now does not need to be restated. But I think it warrants pointing out that those experiences transcend any dividing line we can conjure. Indeed, the very division that cuts right through all of us is what we have in common. And the action that heals, restores, forgives, and rectifies that division is common to us all too.
Fleming Rutledge mends the cracks between differing perspectives in a way that’s a shadow of the real mending that she points too. Read and be healed.