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Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ

4.56  ·  Rating details ·  225 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Advent, says Fleming Rutledge, is not for the faint of heart. As the midnight of the Christian year, the season of Advent is rife with dark, gritty realities. In this book, with her trademark wit and wisdom, Rutledge explores Advent as a time of rich paradoxes, a season celebrating at once Christ’s incarnation and his second coming, and she masterfully unfolds the ethical ...more
Paperback, 426 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by Eerdmans
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Meshach Kanyion
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Many people may expect one of those 4 week advent sermon series books. This is not that! Through sermons she helpfully articulates how a preacher and church can fully observe the Advent season. If a reader is hoping for something that will give them a program for the end of the year they will be disappointed. If the reader is looking for something that will help their congregation regain the spirit of anticipation that accompanies Advent, here it is.
Bob
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Summary: A collection of sermons and writings organized according to the lectionary calendar of pre-Advent and Advent Sundays and special days, focusing on preparation for return of Christ.

Advent is often thought of as the four Sundays before Christmas, and a time of anticipating the celebration of Christ's birth. It is that, and Fleming Rutledge would propose, far more. Reading Advent, it became more for me as well. This book is a collection of sermons given over many years and various location
...more
Jonny
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fleming Rutledge is a blessing to our generation. After reading her renowned Crucifixion, I grabbed this text. It is not a theological treatise, but a series of Advent sermons. The thesis of the sermons is that Advent is about waiting for Christ to return. In her sermons, she guides her congregation to expectantly wait the intervention of God. She uses the Bible adeptly, and weaves in anecdotes and current events. Some of her sermons are a little dated, but they all add to the dialogue. Very muc ...more
Jeremy
Sep 05, 2018 marked it as to-read
Some videos here, here, and here. Related CT article and sermon adaptation by the author. ...more
Rick Shafer
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A superb book. I hated for it to finish. It's repetitive in the very best way. A chance to meditate. To marinate.
Matthew
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: preaching, theology
I'm a big fan of advent and Fleming Rutledge, so in many ways this book was just confirmation bias for me : )

Rich reflections and powerful language in these short sermons. I'm amazed at her ability to convey such rich reflections on scripture in short Anglican-style homily-packages.

I was encouraged, as a young preacher, by her courageous engagement with Advent's less-than-pleasant aspects of the return of Christ and the judgement of God. And this as a preacher in the Episcopal church in Manhat
...more
Alex Joyner
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There are some consistent themes in Rutledge’s writing (and she warns early on that these sermons, delivered over the course of her long career, will contain some repetition.) There is the apocalyptic theology that she explored so memorably in her previous book, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ. There is the “essential affirmation” that “God is the active agent in creation and redemption,” (18) and that God’s salvation comes into a context defined by a conflict with “the ...more
Roy Howard
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I can't imagine a better book for preachers to read in preparation for Advent. Fleming Rutledge, who is a brilliant preacher herself, has collected her essays and sermons on the scripture passages that appear in the Advent season. The writings span nearly thirty years and the result is a stunning deep dive the Biblical themes that appear during this season: hope, judgment, the coming of Christ, the promise of God, Christian practices during times of disorder. She quotes Karl Barth that Christian ...more
Daniel
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This will not be your typical "Advent devotional." This is a seasonal treasure. Rutledge has compiled a lifetime of preaching Advent into this volume. It is to be soaked in slowly during Advent and it is not for the light-thinking believer.

Rutledge delivers hard-hitting thoughts on judgment and sin and the needed longing for the return of Christ.

I chose to read a sermon each day between the Advent Sundays (though the third Sunday had more than 7 readings). Being sermons, this is not a five-min
...more
Sooho Lee
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fulsome collection from one of America’s celebrated preachers. I was first introduced to Rev Fleming Rutledge two years ago and her monumental The Crucifixion—still one of the best, albeit a bit long, treatments on the crucifixion. She’s not a scholar by profession, but she’s a scholarly preacher through and through! This work is not as technical as The Crucifixion, but her rhythmic prose still flows!

Her homilies are rich, deep, and short (thanks to her Episcopalian tradition!). Each sermon t
...more
Tim Hoiland
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faith, favorites, anglican
“Advent begins in the dark and moves toward the light – but the season should not move too quickly or too glibly, lest we fail to acknowledge the depth of the darkness.”
Chris Tweitmann
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fleming Rutledge is one of my heroes in preaching. Her messages are intelligent, thoughtful, relevant, and artful. Every sermon she preaches is deeply rooted both in the specifics of a particular scriptural passage and the overarching themes and spirit of the word of God as a whole. Reading a collection of her sermons from over the years was the perfect way to enter into and savor the Advent season!
Jen
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, keepers
This book is going to be key to me "taking back Christmas" this year. The past few years, I have been on a mission, a mission to "take back Christmas" from the overly merchandising of the season, the rushrushrush and less than jolly and Holy feelings that I have been prey to as an adult during the Christmas season.

This book kind of pointed out to me that I was looking at Christmas, specifically the season leading up to it, Advent, all wrong. Christmas is Christmas eve and the day itself. Leadin
...more
Dave Pettengill
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book of sermons throughout the years from Fleming Rutledge on the weeks leading up to and including Advent.
Will Turner
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ministry
Fleming Rutledge's sermons on Advent are a helpful source of pointing the church back to Christ's first coming and forward to his second coming. She argues that advent isn't so much about the birth of Jesus, but the longing and hope for his return. I'd say it's both/and.

There is a lot of repetition in these sermons. She warns about the it in the introduction. I'd say about 25% could have been cut with no significant loss. Nonetheless, there are some really solid pieces in here.

As a complementa
...more
Bob
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
What comes to your mind when you hear the word Advent? The Baby Jesus, shepherds, wise men, Peace on Earth, hope, light, sentiment and nostalgia? Fleming Rutledge’s take on Advent focuses on pain, hopelessness, darkness, suffering, repentance and the absence of God. Advent is the season of preparation for Christ’s return, but Advent begins in the dark. It begins with the fiery preaching of John, calling sinners to repentance. It’s about judgment that leads to liberation. Peace on Earth is yet to ...more
Derek Winterburn
Mar 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: theology
Rutledge repeatedly tells us that a. Episcopalians do Advent well and b. that she enjoys it particularly. This seems to be because Advent, as a period of waiting for Christmas, maps onto a Christian's real situation, waiting for the End. She makes a habit of bring up 'dark stories' that illustrate that everything is not getting better, and the world needs God's intervention.

Oddly this book includes some sermons preached from before Advent (chiefly from the Kingdom season.) Nevertheless there is
...more
Mitchel Lee
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was so impactful for me this Advent. While the sermons are a bit repetitive in theme, I liked that because the main point of Advent as a time of preparation for judgment and restoration resounded throughout. I appreciated her conviction about the importance of John the Baptist, and I felt urged on to prepare for Christ's coming again.

This is definitely a volume that I will come back to each Advent at least for one or two devotional readings.
Margaret D'Anieri
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a collection of sermons preached in and on Advent, and I will come back to it. (Published sermons are sort of an oxymoron ... so think of them as essays). Not a book to read start to finish. But worth the price for the introduction alone that recovers the power and purpose of Advent, which has become mostly “time to get ready for Christmas”. As she says, Advent is not for the faint of heart, and neither is this book, but it will change your approach to the season.
Pat O'Keeffe
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book thoroughly enriched my appreciation of the period of Advent. Even more importantly, it drew me into the story of Christmas in a way that spoke powerfully to the very real struggles of life in this world. If, as Rutledge continually affirms, Advent "begins in the dark" then the sermons in this book helped me to lean into that darkness, but it also led me to the Light that came into the world at Christmas.
James Tetley
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-books
What a brilliant set of Sermons. I started this book back before Advent and was inspired to preach a set of Sermons on John the Baptist. Fleming is an inspirational preacher, weaving culture with the Word. She truly fulfils John Stotts mandate of preaching with a newspaper in one hand and a Bible in the other. This set of sermons opened my eyes to Advent in a fresh way. Capturing a true sense of the Coming of our Lord and his return. Recommend this highly.
Kristen
Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: we-own, theology
I read this over two Advents but finished it in the age of Coronavirus, which feels appropriate. This collection of sermons is best savored, a little at a time, to let the truth of Advent sink in to your bones. We are bearing witness to the great evils of our broken world and clinging to the hope of a God who moves towards us, who is come and will come again, to heal all our brokenness, grief and pain. Come, Lord Jesus.
Mark South
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books to read, think, and prepare for Advent I have read. It’s not a traditional book. It’s a collection of Advent talks over 30 years. Fleming has brilliant and earthy way of communicating. This book is thoughtful, insightful, convicting, enjoyable. It’s not a small book yet read quickly. However, the simplicity is deceiving because the message sinks deep. Highly recommend.
Robert D. Cornwall
I read parts, skimmed others. It is not a book you would read cover to cover. It is a collection of writings and sermons for the season of Advent, which reminds us that the season of Advent is one that moves from darkness to light. I'm not a big Rutledge fan, but many will find this of great value.
Steve Wegman
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
A collection of sermons on the topic of Advent, dating from the early 1980’s to 2018. It makes the point that the season should be marked by awareness of the dark times that were healed by the coming of the Savior, rather than just the time we party and buy gifts & decorations. Rutledge is well read and insightful, but I found them repetitive and eventually boring. ...more
Joshua D.
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Advent is not for sissies. So says, Fleming Rutledge. And she's right. This is a book of Advent sermons preached over 40 years. As she says in the Introduction, it's repetitive at parts, and thus best to be consumed in small chunks or just seasonably over the years.
Luke
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed the introduction most of all. Sermons became repetitious and dated. Most sermons are written for a specific place and time and are not really written for the ages. I liked the viewpoints about Advent - a special time of season of the year.
BJ
Sep 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Typical Rutledge, full of apocalyptic grace and judgment.
Dustin Bagby
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent! Full review for Missio Alliance coming soon!
Michael
Feb 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: church, theology
Reading one sermon per section, and will pick it up next Advent season.
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“Our lives are eschatologically stretched between the sneak preview of the new world being born among us in the church, and the old world where the principalities and powers are reluctant to give way. In the meantime, which is the only time the church has ever known, we live as those who know something about the fate of the world that the world does not yet know. And that makes us different. —Will Willimon, Conversion in the Wesleyan Tradition” 1 likes
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