The Wood Between the Worlds
A Poetic Theology of the Cross
by Brian Zahnd
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Pub Date 06 Feb 2024 | Archive Date 07 Mar 2024
The cross is the heart of Scripture
Everything about the gospel message leads to the cross, and proceeds from the cross. In fact, within the narrative of Scripture, the crucifixion of Jesus is literally the crux of the story—the axis upon which the biblical story turns. But it would be a mistake to think we could sum up the significance of the crucifixion in a tidy sentence or two. That kind of thinking only insulates us from the magnificence of what God has done. In our ongoing quest to make meaning of the cross, we need to recognize that this conversation will never conclude—that there is always something more to be said.
Brian Zahnd reminds us that the meaning of the cross is multifaceted and should touch every aspect of our lives. Just as gazing through the eyepiece of a kaleidoscope reveals a new geometric image with every turn, Zahnd helps us see that there are infinite ways to behold the cross of Christ as the beautiful form that saves the world. The Wood Between the Worlds is an invitation to encounter the cross of Christ anew.
"Most books on the cross of Christ are regurgitations of outmoded atonement theories that say almost nothing memorable. But Brian Zahnd has once again broken the mold with his revolutionary book The Wood Between the Worlds. Herein we have a capacious portrait of Jesus' sacrifice that is so stunningly beautiful and uniquely framed that the reader cannot look away. An enrapturing volume to reignite the church's curiosity around the crucifixion penned by one of today's most provocative pastors."
-Jonathan Merritt, author and contributing writer for The Atlantic
"To the apostolic witnesses, the cross of Christ was never a theory to be solved by theologizing, as if the calculative mind could solve its mysteries through abstraction. The cross can only be narrated, beheld, and shared as a transforming testimony—proclaimed in sermons, symbols, and parables, in the poetry and hymns of lives it has rebirthed. For over four decades, Brian Zahnd has been a poet-preacher-prophet of the cross. I daresay he's an eyewitness theologian who kneels at its foot. This book is his revelation of who he has seen there."
-Bradley Jersak, principal of St. Stephen's University, New Brunswick, and author of A More Christlike Word
"With the heart of a pastor, the mind of a scholar, and the soul of a Jesus follower, Brian Zahnd here shares the fruit of his long, unhurried contemplation of the cross of Christ. His keen insights liberate us from flawed atonement theories based in retributive justice that have persisted for far too long, and he breathes new life into the mystery of the cross: the supreme centerpiece of God's love that radiates redemption and ushers us into the peaceable kingdom."
-Eric E. Peterson, pastor of Colbert Presbyterian Church