Fleming Rutledge is having a long-overdue moment in the wake of her 2015 book, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ. I finally finished it in 2017, qualifying it for this list, and gushed about it in my review, (which you can access through the title link in the previous sentence).
Rutledge sees her book as an exercise of religious imagination, drawing together biblical and theological images of the atonement and exploring their significance. “The principal purpose of this book,” she says, “will be to strengthen the reader’s surmise that the cross of Jesus is an unrepeatable event that calls all religion into question and establishes an altogether new foundation for faith, life, and a human future.” (2)
I credit this book with drawing me back to a love of theology, primarily because Fleming doesn’t insist that such a pursuit be done at the expense of beauty and literature. In fact, she insists on such things.
This is my top theological recommendation these days. Solid, comprehensive, generous, and insightful. With the occasional quote from Flannery O’Conner, Dostoevsky, and MLK. An easy pick.