Eerdmans Fleming Rutledge Collection (6 vols.)

Eerdmans, 1998–2011


Explore the intersection of the Bible, contemporary culture, politics, and art with six volumes from celebrated Episcopalian preacher Fleming Rutledge. Rutledge’s work combines astute academic insight with an engaging voice that brings theology to life, interacting with sources ranging from the New York Times, to the Lord of the Rings. Rutledge explores central doctrines and events in the Christian Faith with a thoughtful voice that speaks intelligently to all Christians. Also included are the preaching resources And God Spoke to Abraham and Note Ashamed of the Gospel, showcasing her homiletic prowess.

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Key Features

  • Explores the intersection of the Bible and popular culture, art, and politics
  • Presents homiletical resources from a celebrated Episcopal priest
  • Provides biblical insights in an engaging voice

Product Details

Individual Titles

And God Spoke to Abraham: Preaching from the Old Testament

  • Author: Fleming Rutledge
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 435

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Many Christian preachers today largely neglect the Old Testament in their sermons, focusing instead on the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ teachings and activities. As Fleming Rutledge points out, however, when the New Testament is disconnected from the context of the Old Testament, it is like a house with no foundation, a plant with no roots, or a pump with no well.

In this powerful collection of 60 sermons on the Old Testament, Rutledge expounds on a number of familiar Old Testament passages featuring Abraham, Samuel, David, Elijah, Job, Jonah, and many other larger-than-life figures. Applying these texts to contemporary life and Christian theology, she highlights the ways in which their multivocal messages can be heard in all their diversity while still proclaiming univocally, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.”

These sermons, from one of our great preachers, are magnificent in the deepest sense of the word - serving to magnify. They enlarge and bring into sharp focus the often-neglected Old Testament. They also enlarge our vision for what preaching the Word—and hearing the Word—can mean today. In an age of fluff and bombast, Fleming Rutledge’s clear-eyed, grace-infused truth-telling is awfully good news.

—Andy Couch, editor-at-large, Christianity Today

In her sermons Fleming Rutledge hits just the right chords of challenge, biblical fidelity, and graciousness. I love her style and her overall approach, and there is much to be learned from her specific applications.

—Philip Yancey, author, What Good Is God?

One of America’s finest preachers, Fleming Rutledge opens up the powerful words of the Old Testament as they touch our human life. I really don't know anything else like this book, which both thinks about the place of the Old Testament in our proclamation and then puts it there, not just in a sample sermon but in a large collection, preached over many times and places. We need this book.

—Patrick D. Miller, professor emeritus of Old Testament theology, Princeton Theological Seminary

The Battle for Middle-Earth: Tolkien’s Divine Design in The Lord of the Rings

  • Author: Fleming Rutledge
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Pages: 241

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings has long been the gold standard for fantasy fiction, and the recent Oscar-winning movie trilogy has brought forth a whole new generation of fans. Many Tolkien enthusiasts, however, are not aware of the profoundly religious dimension of the saga.

In The Battle for Middle-Earth Fleming Rutledge employs a distinctive technique to uncover the theological currents that lie just under the surface of Tolkien’s epic tale. Rutledge believes that the best way to understand this powerful “deep narrative” is to examine the story as it unfolds, preserving some of its original dramatic tension. This deep narrative has not previously been sufficiently analyzed or celebrated. Writing as an enthusiastic but careful reader, Rutledge draws on Tolkien’s extensive correspondence to show how biblical and liturgical motifs shape the action. At the heart of the plot lies a rare glimpse of what human freedom really means within the divine plan of God. The Battle for Middle-Earth surely will, as Rutledge hopes, “give pleasure to those who may already have detected the presence of the sub-narrative, and insight to those who may have missed it on first reading.”

If I had to recommend a single work that most completely discloses the theological and moral quality of Tolkien’s entire mythological enterprise, I would without hesitation name Fleming Rutledge’s The Battle for Middle-Earth.

Christianity & Literature

The Bible and the New York Times

  • Author: Fleming Rutledge
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 381

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This collection of vividly illustrative sermons by a leading contemporary Episcopalian preacher eloquently heralds the Christian call to faith in the face of modern challenges.

Widely known for their up-to-the-minute relevance to modern life, the sermons of Fleming Rutledge are always out on the edge, challenging the boundaries of contemporary thought and experience. No issue is too threatening, no event too shocking, no question too impertinent to be addressed. Following Karl Barth’s dictum that sermons should be written with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other, Rutledge weaves the changing events of the daily news together with the unchanging rhythms of the church seasons. Her book leads readers through the liturgical year, from All Saints to Pentecost, showing how the biblical story intersects with our own stories.

This is beautiful, powerful, literary writing. Fleming Rutledge writes as a person who knows she is dying, speaking to other dying people, determined not to enrage by triviality.

—Annie Dillard, author, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and American Childhood

Noted evangelical preacher Fleming Rutledge collects here a number of her sermons that have a thoughtful and strong spirit. She takes seriously the biblical message and delves deeply into the text, all the while relating the biblical message to contemporary experience. Preachers may find here some good inspiration for their own work, while most readers will appreciate these sermons as solid spiritual reading.

The Bible Today

Carefully crafted, theologically sound, and literate. . . . The sermons read very well as, in effect, a collection of essays. They show that preaching is alive and well in the Episcopal Church.

Covenant Companion

Not Ashamed of the Gospel: Sermons from Paul’s Letter to the Romans

  • Author: Fleming Rutledge
  • Publisher: Eerdmands
  • Publication Date: 1999
  • Pages: 244

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In this inspiring collection of 51 sermons on Romans, Fleming Rutledge presents afresh the radical gospel of Paul. Countering the widespread suspicion that Paul somehow complicated Jesus’ simple teachings, Rutledge shows how Paul actually makes explicit what is implicit in the Gospel narratives and reveals “the full dimensions of God's project to reclaim the cosmos and everything in it for himself.”

With her stirring words and joyful delving into Romans passages, Rutledge leads readers to refocus their eyes and ears on Paul’s valuable teachings. She unpacks major ideas and motifs in the epistle, including the cross and resurrection of Christ as the first event of the age to come, faith as the human response ignited by the fire of the Word and the Holy Spirit, and God’s work of salvation as all-encompassing and incomparable. Her Not Ashamed of the Gospel will be a help to preachers and an encouragement to listeners.

I would recommend this to all preachers as brilliantly applied homiletics. . . . It presents the gospel challenges of Romans with force and brilliance.

Expository Times

Fleming Rutledge calls Romans ‘theological dynamite.’ When you hear or read these sermons, you know that she is ready to light the fuse! Here is unabashed orthodox theology boldly preached with enthusiasm, flashes of brilliance, and engaging wit. Although she is the most elegant and eloquent of contemporary preachers, Rutledge is a bomb thrower. The ‘bomb’ that she tosses is the gospel of Jesus Christ and the explosion that she provokes is a fresh hearing of gospel truth. A remarkable book of sermons from the most remarkable of today's preachers.

— William H. Willimon, bishop, United Methodist Church

Rutledge’s sermons are clear and memorable, deftly negotiating the paradoxes in Paul’s message, never in mere black and white but articulating the nuances of a gospel too marvelous to be simplistic.

Christian Century

The Seven Last Words from the Cross

  • Author: Fleming Rutledge
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 91

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

For at least a century, at special three-hour services on Good Friday, it has been the custom in many churches to reflect on the Seven Last Words of Jesus from the Cross. In this tradition, Fleming Rutledge here presents seven eloquent meditations on these final sayings of Jesus.

Rutledge links the sayings from the cross with contemporary events and concerns, but also incorporates recent biblical scholarship and modern questions about the death of Christ, particularly in light of Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ. Rutledge shows how each word or saying from the Cross affords an opportunity for readers to gain a deeper understanding of the horrific death suffered by Jesus.

Intending for this book to lead readers into a genuine devotional experience, Rutledge has made every effort to evoke and preserve the contemplative atmosphere of the three-hour Good Friday memorial. The book includes frequent references to hymns associated with this special day, and each meditation ends with an appropriate hymn text for personal prayer and reflection.

Fleming Rutledge brings a profound knowledge of the atoning work of Christ to bear on a series of meditations for God’s people. The result is a treasury of wisdom on the cross of Christ. I will continue to read this little book.

—Richard Lischer, James T. and Alice Mead Cleland Professor of Preaching, Duke Divinity School

Rutledge explores faith and suffering, interspersing timeless questions with contemporary issues. . . . Her enthralling forays into the meanings of words both ordinary and theological is a boon to anyone who, like her, finds layers of hidden meaning in etymology. She is also a careful interpreter of Scripture who is keen to place the New Testament in its historical context and alive to details others might miss.

Publishers Weekly

The Undoing of Death

  • Author: Fleming Rutledge
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Pages: 382

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

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, Rutledge is also a best-selling author whose previous collections of sermons have touched readers deeply. This new volume, representing 25 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 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 33 artistic masterpieces depicting the events of Holy Week, making it a feast for the eye as well as the soul.

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.

Church Times (UK)

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.

—M. Craig Barnes, pastor, The National Presbyterian Church

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.

Publishers Weekly

About Fleming Rutledge

Fleming Rutledge is an Episcopal priest involved in a nationwide ministry of preaching and teaching. Her books have been celebrated across denominational borders.


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