Book #16 – a scandalous beauty

a scandalous beauty: The Artistry of God and The Way of the Cross

Thomas Schmidt – Brazos Press – 2002 – ISBN: 1-58743-017-7

 

While I was in seminary, a professor introduced me to a book that would become a staple in my library.  It has become so not because it reveals some deep theological truth about God or gives me some sort of feel good recollection of better days of ministry.  It has become so because it reminds me that God is a creator at heart and He is creating me new everyday.

Thomas Schmidt weaves an artful book that allows us an inside glimpse of the beauty of the plan God had for Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection.  He takes familiar aspects of Jesus death and begins to explore them for what they could have been in the culture and how they can show us today that God was an artist, is an artist, and always will be a creative artistic force in our lives.

Each chapter recounts for us what might have influenced the different aspects the writers took in reporting Jesus death.  In one chapter, he recounts Jesus’ processional to Golgotha through the eyes of the Roman Messianic Triumph.     God took human artistry and put a perceptive divine spin on it.

This is an amazing book to read during this Holy Week before Easter.  Not only are we treated to front row seats at Jesus crucifixion, death, and burial.  We are reminded of the reasons for the resurrection.   Schmidt has experienced deep tragic loss and can write about the goodness of God.  This in and of itself is miraculous.  This is a reminder that we are the canvas that God paints his masterpiece – Christ in you the Hope of Glory (Col. 1). Our lives are a granite bench with the word waiting carved into it.  We are waiting for the full promise of resurrection to be manifested.

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