How do we reclaim our confidence in the living God who speaks and acts? And how are we to make this God known to the world if we are not convicted ourselves?
The power of God is manifest through his Word, and yet much of the church has largely ceased to believe that God speaks, gradually being convinced that God has no power and has not revealed himself to us. Additionally, our culture’s current emphasis on “spirituality” puts the focus on us and our religious activities, rather than on God.
But the Christian gospel does not stand back and wait to see how the human being will respond. It is an announcement that creates its own conditions. In the very words themselves, it is already happening. The power in Christian proclamation is God’s message itself, with the emphasis not on the human hearing, but on God’s revelatory and performative word. The action is God’s, not ours—God is a verb.
Fleming Rutledge is a preacher and teacher known throughout the US, Canada, and parts of the UK. She is the author of ten books, all from Eerdmans Publishing. Her 2017 book, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ, is the product of a life’s work, was named Christianity Today’s Book of the Year, and is being described as a new classic on the subject.
One of the first women to be ordained to the priesthood of the Episcopal Church, Rutledge served for fourteen years on the clergy staff at Grace Church on Lower Broadway at Tenth Street, New York City.
Fleming and her husband will celebrate their 60th anniversary this fall and have two daughters and two grandchildren. She is a native of Franklin, Virginia.