The book that has occupied my thoughts for much of the summer is that almost hidden gem of the OT, the Book of Ruth. It was the focus of this year’s All Souls week away, and so my talks are issued as a free podcast. What blew me away is that of all the books in the OT, it is perhaps the most unrelentingly positive and inspiring. This is despite the fact that its dark historical and literary context was the Book of Judges, and that the suffering and vulnerability of 2 of the protagonists, Naomi and Ruth, were very real.
It is a far more profound and important book than the Mills&Boon romance that it too easily gets reduced to (even though, to be fair, there are one or two moments of rose-tinted romance). After all, if it is only a romance, then Ruth 4 makes hardly any sense as a denouement.
Here is the outline of the talks (click for iTunes link):
Ruth for Today
1: ANARCHY WITHOUT MONARCHY (An Overview of Judges)
2: SOVEREIGN MISFORTUNE (Ruth 1)
3: ALIEN KINDNESS (Ruth 2)
4: RISKY ROMANCE (Ruth 3)
5: FAMILY MATTERS (Ruth 4)
6: THE GLOBAL KINSMAN REDEEMER (Matthew 1:1-17)
Here are the accompanying handouts for download:
- Background Resources:
- Talk Outlines: