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The Word of the Cross in a World of Glory (Lutheran Voices) [Paperback]

By Philip Ruge-Jones (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   96
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.76" Width: 5.32" Height: 0.25"
Weight:   0.28 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2008
Publisher   AUGSBURG FORTRESS PUB. #99
ISBN  0806680059  
EAN  9780806680057  


Availability  0 units.




Item Description...
Overview
Philip Ruge-Jones uses story and plain language to explore the transformative power of the Word of God in the midst of a society where the glory of power, prestige, profits, and certitude is substituted for God's glory as revealed in the crucified and risen Christ. The cross, says Ruge-Jones, calls us to redefine power and glory in radically new ways. Power now is empowerment shared in the middle of weakness. Glory now is presence in a brokenness that makes all things new. The Word of the Cross in a World of Glory listens carefully to the thirsty, hungry Jesus and the friends whom he claimed to help us understand the glory that Jesus offers. "What might the church look like," the author asks, "if our hearts became captive to the Word of the cross?" Includes questions for discussion and additional resources.

Publishers Description
Philip Ruge-Jones uses story and plain language to explore the transformative power of the Word of God in the midst of a society where the glory of power, prestige, profits, and certitude is substituted for God's glory as revealed in the crucified and risen Christ. The cross, says Ruge-Jones, calls us to redefine power and glory in radically new ways. Power now is empowerment shared in the middle of weakness. Glory now is presence in a brokenness that makes all things new. The Word of the Cross in a World of Glory listens carefully to the thirsty, hungry Jesus and the friends whom he claimed to help us understand the glory that Jesus offers. "What might the church look like," the author asks, "if our hearts became captive to the Word of the cross?" Includes questions for discussion and additional resources.

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More About Philip Ruge-Jones

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Ruge-Jones has served most of his pastoral ministry among Spanish-speaking people. While writing this course, he was a visitation pastor at Central Lutheran in Edgerton, Wisconsin. He is a visiting instructor at the Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest.

Philip Ruge-Jones currently resides in Austin, in the state of Texas. Philip Ruge-Jones was born in 1962.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Straight Talk from a Lutheran Theologian  Nov 19, 2008
A powerful book; an emotional book; a challenging book; a deeply Scriptural
book; an invitational book; a truthful book.

As I read your book today, it got me thinking...

I'm thinking of the impact of one month in Malawi, Africa with our companion
synod. Sixth poorest country in the world, yet the people who showed me
hospitality had hearts far more generous and glad than I'm accustomed to
encountering. "We have all the time God gives us," was their response to
living as subsistence farmers, who might often spend all day Sunday getting
to and from worship, carrying their Bibles for miles. They are the people you lift up in your book, and they have so much to teach me.

I'm thinking of a Select Multi-Media DVD titled "Luther's Legacy for Laity."
Your chapter on the Reformation, narrated by Hans and Marie, would serve
very well as a companion piece with David Lose and Tim Wengert's
presentations on the ultimate vulnerability of Jesus in the manger and the
cross. What does it mean for us, as little Christs, to follow his example of
being vulnerable for the neighbor. If Christ has come down, then we don't
have to spend our life trying to climb up to God. That leaves us with a lot
of free time on our hands...what might God have us do with it? I'm going to
recommend to the ELCA network of resource center directors that they
encourage congregations to use your book and that DVD together in their
small group studies.

I'm thinking how your own story is one that resonates with my work with Dr.
David Anderson and Dr. Paul Hill of the Youth and Family Institute. How can
we, as this generation of faithful parents, embody Christ's way, in a way
that is transparent and persuasive for our children?

I'm thinking that this little book is a must read for any book club that wants to take seriously our calling in the world. Thanks Phil for taking the time to write it.

Greg Kaufmann
 
The Power of Love in the Word of the Cross  Jun 10, 2008
In this slim volume, Philip Ruge-Jones gives us a simple reiteration of the Biblical injunction that the role of the Christian is not to seek earthly power and splendor, but to turn to the service of our fellow human beings out of our simple love of Jesus Christ. Our Lord told us that we were to serve, not to be served; we were to honor others, not to be honored. And through fairly engaging vernacular narratives, he gives us an idea how this will work out.

The book is broken into five sections, suggesting how the healing word of Christ may have looked to its original hearers in the First Century; how it may have looked in Germany during the Reformation; how it looked to the author growing up white and middle-class in the U.S.; how it looked to the author during his years spent serving a congregation in Chile; and how it can look in our own lives here and now.

For the most part, these five parts are interesting and enlightening. The portion set during the Reformation seems a little hollow to me, because when he hypothesizes how two house servants might respond to Luther's message, they sound less like unlettered Teutonic peasants than like Nineteenth Century labor leaders. But the portions that draw on the author's own firsthand experience flow smoothly and read like a reliable look at the world.

The book loses me a little in the final section, when it drifts a little into aphorism. I know this is unavoidable in writing for print, since the author can't know the audience and its circumstances. But this is hardly the first time we have been advised to "acknowledge our own pain" and "live the good news." Especially for those of us whose straits are a little marginal to begin with (I'm writing this on a borrowed computer), that advice starts to feel a wee bit circular.

But this flaw can be beaten if you use this book as a discussion starter in a mature study group. Turning the broad statements into a down-to-earth plan to implement in a specific place would be a good way to honor not just this author, but the message of Christ which the author stresses. Bring this book to your adult Bible study group, read it together, and discuss what the word of the cross means to you. Then put it to use in the world of glory in which you live today.
 
Ruge-Jones Brings Us a Word  May 16, 2008
In this work, Phil Ruge-Jones takes his passion for teaching and translates it into a powerful narrative about the word of the cross in a world drunk with visions of glory.

As the title suggests, this is a book that deals with the specifically Lutheran Christian dynamic between a theology of the cross and a theology of glory. Not to worry, however, because Ruge-Jones' brilliant academic mind doesn't churn out a highly scholastic textbook that goes far above the heads of anyone not versed in the intricacies of systematic theology.

Instead, Ruge-Jones' work is both extremely accessible and powerfully personal. Using stories from his own life interwoven with different Biblical narratives, he draws the reader into a world where Jesus challenges us to travel to the margins, to the places where he himself grounded his ministry.

Complete with start-up questions at the end of each section, this book is a must-have for any group or individual interested in being the people God has called us to be in a world which often promises anything but.
 
Glory in this life  May 14, 2008
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Although it is short enough to read in one sitting, it contains enough valuable information for volumes. Ruge-Jones does a fantastic job of weaving life stories with Biblical accounts, all of which lead to his final conclusion chapter that helps the reader to tie the theme together. This book is not about overly complicated theological jargon, but about how to apply the theology of the cross to our lives and our world. It has already changed the way I view my life, and I cannot wait to see how else it plays out for me.
 
Sharing our stories can lessen the suffering we inflict on others.  May 9, 2008
In his 1997 Uluru Journey: An Exploration into Narrative Theology, Australian theologian, Denham Grierson, set down a Chauceresque account of a pilgrimage undertaken to the ancient rock at the center of Australia's outback by an odd assortment of semi-unwitting companions--Grierson's attempt to do theology through telling the stories of these unlikely companions, all on their own quests, and how they grew together as community in the process. In The Word of the Cross in a World of Glory, Philip Ruge-Jones, Assistant Professor of Theology at Texas Lutheran University, lays out his own narrative theology as "the word of the cross" by juxtaposing stories of imagined and real characters who people a pilgrimage of faith across time. The communion of saints encountered in this journey end up at the reader's doorstep, challenging and inviting us to join them.

The purpose of the book is to explore the question posed in the introduction: "How might the suffering we [as the community of faith] embrace lessen the suffering we participate in inflicting on others?" Emphasizing what the Reformers called "the plain sense" of Paul's assertion that "faith comes by hearing," Ruge-Jones takes on an a fast-forward journey through Christian storytelling in a series of brief monological and dialogical narratives, from Chloe in Corinth, to a new convert who has just heard a performance of Mark's Gospel, to a couple of 16th Century servants of a bishop reacting to the publicly spoken texts of Luther, to the author's own story, to a suffering Chilean community with whom the author spent an internship in the late 1980s, to a group of Christian refugees from El Salvador living on Long Island, New York.

The book becomes the personal and touching faith journey story of Ruge-Jones as he relates his experiences in discovering for himself the word of the cross in the midst of a culture that glories in power, domination, materialism and individualism. This gentle, yet powerful witness models the way in which the confluence of stories shapes us all as we struggle to be faithful. Culminating in an insightful retelling and explication of Mark's Gospel's account of the interweaving of the stories of Jairus' daughter and woman with a flow of blood, the book concludes by laying out the implications of this tandem story as a guide to what it means to be crucified and raised with Jesus. The author invites readers to acknowledge their own pain, visit the "edges" at which the poor and powerless live, embrace the link between our own pain and that of others--and how our actions contribute to other's hardship, and finally to live out the good news in commitment to changed living that reflects the true glory, the glory of the cross.

This slim volume (92 pages) is written in very simple, accessible prose. With thought/discussion questions at the conclusion of each chapter, it makes a good short term study for any small group interested in learning more about sharing their faith, relating their own stories to the stories of Jesus and seeking to live transformed life in the midst of a culture that is at odds with glory of God that is made known in the cross.
 

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