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The Undoing of Death
PAPERBACK; Published: 10/3/2005
ISBN: 978-0-8028-3021-0
Price: $ 24.00
382 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6x9
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The Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus comprise the two-part event at the heart of the Christian story. Because of its unique meaning and the intense emotions it invokes, Holy Week brings high expectations on the part of congregations and places unusual demands on those who deliver the messages. It takes a specially gifted preacher to communicate the profundity of Christ's Passion and its supreme relevance for our contemporary world.

Fleming Rutledge is just such a preacher. Heralded by congregations and peers alike as one of today's most compelling and powerful Christian voices, Mrs. Rutledge is also a best-selling author whose previous collections of sermons have touched readers deeply. This new volume, representing twenty-five years of Holy Week and Easter preaching, offers a wide-ranging vision of the Cross and Resurrection that will inform and inspire committed believers and serious seekers alike.

Divided into seven sections that progress through Holy Week from Palm Sunday to Good Friday to Easter and on through Eastertide, these sermons incorporate the biblical themes of sacrifice for sin, vicarious suffering, victory over evil and death, and the new creation arising out of eternal love. Many of these sermons are brand-new; others -- especially those for Good Friday -- have been rethought and reworked over a period of years. None have ever been published before. All of them consistently display Mrs. Rutledge's startling ability to bridge the message of the ancient biblical texts with the distinct needs of modern people.

Intellectually engaging, pastorally wise, and beautifully written, The Undoing of Death is accented with thirty-three artistic masterpieces depicting the events of Holy Week, making it a feast for the eye as well as the soul.

Read an excerpt on the Eerdmans blog, EerdWord.
Publishers Weekly — starred review
"This outstanding sermon collection by Rutledge reflects 26 years of preaching during Holy Week and Easter... Although fellow preachers will pore over her words to gather ideas for their own homilies, the general reader will also profit from these sermons, which are full of anecdotes and powerful insights into biblical passages."
Church Times (UK)
"Here are homilies from the heart, relating the gospel of Christ crucified and risen to our contemporary dilemmas as well as to our aboriginal sins and sorrows. . . This is a beautifully produced volume, a pleasure to handle. Reproductions of paintings of the Passion and the resurrection provide an effective visual commentary on the sermons."
M. Craig Barnes, pastor of The National Presbyterian Church
"Fleming Rutledge has an amazing knack for finding your most cherished doubts about the Christian faith. She then lets the gospel encounter these doubts by unveiling your most cherished hopes. By that point in her sermons you realize that you are listening to the Risen Lord and not just the preacher. "
The Rev. Carol Anderson, All Saints Church, Beverly Hills, California
"Fleming Rutledge's sermons are thoughtful, compelling, biblical, and personal — a welcome combination for the church today. The power of the Word preached with intelligent warmth is all too rare in the pulpit, but it is so very evident in The Undoing of Death."
Donald Armstrong, Grace Episcopal Church, Colorado Springs
"Good Friday and Easter Day attendance has risen to over 3,000 in our parish as Fleming Rutledge has returned over the years to confront our congregation with the news of Christ crucified and raised. The power of God in her words works to raise us from the tomb of our modern anxieties and predispositions to that promised abundant and everlasting life. These sermons are not sentimental escapist fare that ignore or sidestep the theological reality of our situation. These are, rather, sin-confronting, repentance-inducing, hope-infusing antidotes to our desperate prognosis. This book will restore passion and urgency in the preacher and offer an insightful application of salvation to daily living for all."
Frederick H. Borsch, Episcopal Bishop of Los Angeles
"These are passionate sermons. They speak arrestingly and thoughtfully of the passion of Jesus and of the passionate love of God. They tell us how and why the power of that crucified love intervenes in contemporary lives and how, in Fleming Rutledge's phrasing, 'the cross is backlit by the dawn of God's new day."
Martha J. Horne, Virginia Theological Seminary
"Fleming Rutledge is a powerful and provocative preacher. Proudly evangelical in her proclamation of the gospel, she provides a penetrating analysis of the human condition and a clear affirmation of God's gracious response. Along the way, she invites poets, sages, and rogues to enter the conversation, joining their voices with those of our spiritual ancestors."
Samuel T. Lloyd III, dean of Washington National Cathedral
"Christianity hangs or falls on the Cross. And yet, preaching for Holy Week and Easter is notoriously difficult. How to take the full measure of our human lostness? How to find words for what God has done on Calvary? How to speak credibly of an empty tomb? Here is passionate, unstinting, full-blooded preaching on the deepest mysteries of Christian faith. Fleming Rutledge doesn't hold back. She brings her formidable intellect and her wide reading to bear in saying what is nearly unsayable: that God has overcome the world's darkness, and what happened on a hill outside Jerusalem has made all the difference."
Leanne Van Dyk, Western Theological Seminary
"Excellent, honest, and compelling sermons are a rare and splendid treasure for the church. Here is a book full of them. Fleming Rutledge's sermons and meditations on Holy Week and Easter go to the very heart of the Christian faith. They portray the drama of the gospel — both the darkness of the cross and the burst of Easter light. They then call believers to a life that takes up that cross and rejoices in that light."