The Horror of the Cross

Bishop Robert Barron offers some commentary on The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ by Rev. Fleming Rutledge. In this book Rutledge reminds us of the stark horror and ignominy of crucifixion and why it is so strange and offensive for it to be at the centre of the God’s good news for the world. I am looking forward to reading, by all accounts, this masterpiece from Rev. Rutledge which has been adjudged Christianity Today‘s Book of the Year. One book that significantly impacted my understanding of the cross is Crucifixion by the late Martin Hengel. It is a must read from one of the finest New Testament scholars of the 20th century. Unlike Rutledge’s work, he does not attend to the theological significance and meaning of crucifixion. He rather masterfully and concisely portrays a vivid historical survey of crucifixion in ancient Roman society. The cross is very serious business and we, both Christian and non-Christian, need to re-sensitize ourselves to its sheer gruesomeness.

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