Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

April 12, 2005

Thomas Schmidt's A Scandalous Beauty

C. J. Mahaney, whom I seem to be quoting an awful lot lately, believes that one helpful strategy for keeping the Cross of Christ the central thing in your life is to frequently read good books about the Cross. I've taken that to heart, which is why I wanted to read Thomas Schmidt's A Scandalous Beauty: The Artistry of God and the Way of the Cross. I first heard of this book from Jared at The Thinklings. The book is essentially a series of meditations, sometimes humorous, but in the end very serious indeed. Like Jared, I highly recommend this one. Here's an excerpt from a review I found at

God is out to draw near to people and to woo them to Himself through the horrific death of Jesus the Christ. What Schmidt seeks to persuade the reader of is that God does not do this only (or even primarily) through propositional truths but through the flesh and blood of the Logos, the Word who comes with poetry and story, with images and word pictures to help us understand that His death, while scandalous and filled with pain, is also beautiful, not only for its sacrifice but also for the artistry of God in executing it and proclaiming it.
Schmidt starts out in a rather whimsical tone that leaves you somewhat unprepared for the deeply personal turn in the last chapter. Here the book moves from merely interesting and readable into the realms of art. Exceptional.


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