Fleming Rutledge is a preacher and teacher known throughout the US, Canada, and parts of the UK. She is the author of eight books, all from Eerdmans Publishing. Her most recent book, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ, is the product of the work of a lifetime and is being described as a new classic on the subject.
One of the first women to be ordained to the priesthood of the Episcopal Church, she served for fourteen years on the clergy staff at Grace Church on Lower Broadway at Tenth Street, New York City.
Fleming and her husband celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2009 and have two daughters and two grandchildren. She is a native of Franklin, Virginia.
Discerning God's Work In The World: Tips From The Times For Preachers
Saturday, October 15, 2005Note to preachers: Harvard and Yale get George Herbert, for once
Helen Vendler is University Professor at Harvard and Langdon Hammer is chairman of the English department at Yale. In this week's New York Times Book Review (10/16/05) Langdon reviews Vendler's new book, Invisible Listeners, and in the process manages to cut through to the very heart of the gospel to remind us of the mandate granted to every preacher. Note especially the phrases "the ordaining function" and "the divine agency." Langdon-cum-Vendler interpret Herbert to give us a superb Pauline definition of justification (better translated as "rectification"). Vendler is analysing one of Herbert's most well-known poems. Here is Hammer's key paragraph:
[Vendler makes a] fine discrimination in her discussion of "Love (III)," Herbert's dialogue between Love [the person of Christ] and the poet. The poet feels unworthy to join in Love's banquet, which signifies both the Eucharist and general human connection. Love, a gracious host with exquisite manners, asks if there is anything the drooping poet lacks:
A guest, I answer'd, worthy to be here:
Love said, you shall be he.
Vendler notes the ordaining function of Herbert's "shall be." In contrast to the simple "will be" of futurity, it not only says the poet will be worthy, but promises, through divine agency, to make him so.
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