We have moved from Black History Month to Women’s History Month and I can think of nothing better to do this month than keep working on Fleming Rutledge’s book on the Crucifixion. This is a monumental work and she is a brilliant writer and theologian.
She also doesn’t let anyone off the hook when it comes to understanding the power of the Cross. Just one quote from the current chapter I am reading where she is making the case that we all, like or not, have to face judgment. But that is not just “individual” judgment.
“The whole people is called before the bar of God’s judgment. (I could honestly just stop on this sentence and let it reverberate in our brains for days.) it is typical of the way we think, however, that individual fear of judgment is easier to understand than corporate guilt. It is typical of American Christians to want to choose between these two as though they were mutually exclusive, with the so-called Christian Right focusing on individual misdeeds and the liberal left emphasizing social justice. The idea of judgment upon the sinful individual and the godless society both at once is epitomized in the outburst of the prophet Isaiah when he is confronted with the presence of the Lord: ‘Woe is me! … for I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips’ (Isa. 6:5).” (p. 310, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ)