Between Cross and Resurrection by Alan E. Lewis

“The cross illuminates most vividly the wicked chasms of rebellion and estrangement which separate the human creatures from their Maker, the subjects from their King, by exposing so concretely the contrast between divine humility and human hubris. In Jesus, God has been enfleshed not as a sovereign but as a servant, emptied of grandeur and privilege, coming among us slavelike and self-abasing, solid in his fellowship with the outcast and defenseless, selfless in his capacity for suffering and pain. Yet it is precisely the innocent one, who comes as a lamb to the slaughter, not opening his mouth in self-defence let alone retaliation, who provokes our violence and contradiction (Heb. 12:3), our intolerance and hatred, and our thirst for blood. The gentle embodiment of God’s own love proves quite intolerable to the human objects of that love, above all to the guardians of our morals and religion who aspire to legislate for the will of God and to the caesars of politics and power who yearn to usurp the sovereignty of God. On our behalf the human authorities hurry to destroy this unprotected subverter of our status quo, before, by the sheer force of his emptiness, he destroys our values, overturns our systems and changes everything. Thus by the cross of Jesus the truth about us is smoked out: we are unmasked, denuded.”

Alan E. Lewis (1944-1994): was professor of constructive and modern theology at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Austin, Texas. While writing this book Between Cross and Resurrection he experienced his own Holy Saturday in suffering and finally succumbing to cancer. He considered this work to be the culmination of his life’s work.

Alan E. Lewis. Between Cross and Resurrection: A Theology of Holy Saturday (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company: Michigan, 2003, p.84)


Praise for Alan Lewis’s Between Cross and Resurrection

“Theologians rarely write with an elegant style. Alan Lewis is an exception. His is a beautiful book reflecting on the meaning of Holy Saturday, the hiatus between Good Friday and Easter Sunday when Jesus lay dead in the tomb and his disciples experienced the absence of God….Original.” Theological Studies

“This is the most remarkable and moving book I have ever read.” Thomas F. Torrance – University of Edinburgh

“An original interpretation of a relatively unmined toic, a rare achievement in Christian theology.” Publishers Weekly

“A profound meditation on ‘Holy Saturday’…it has few if any peers.” Daniel L. Migliore – Princeton Theological Seminary

“Few works of contemporary theology so wonderfully combine great learning, stylistic eloquence, and moving depth of insight. An important book.” Theology Today

“In this splendid, lucid, and refreshingly original work Alan Lewis does for Christian scholarship and faith what Ernest Becker in The Denial of Death did for social psychology.” Douglas John Hall – McGill University

“Alan Lewis’s magnum opus….You cannot but pay tribute to and be enriched by the faith it embodies.” Theology

“It is wonderful to see the publication of Alan Lewis’s study of a topic that was for him – and therefore will also be for us – so truly a life-and-death concern.” Colin Gunton – King’s College London


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