The Gospel of Ruth
By Carolyn Custis James
This isn’t the Ruth, the Naomi, or the Boaz we thought we knew. Carolyn Custis James has unearthed startling new insights from this well-worn story… insights that have life-changing implications for you. Naomi is no longer regarded as a bitter, complaining woman, but as a courageous overcomer. A Female Job. Ruth (typically admired for her devotion to Naomi and her deference to Boaz) turns out to be a gutsy risk-taker and a powerful agent for change among God’s people. She lives outside the box, and her love for Yahweh and Naomi compels her to break the rules of social and religious convention at nearly every turn. Boaz, the Kinsman Redeemer, is repeatedly caught off-guard by Ruth’s initiatives. His partnership with her models the kind of male/female relationships that the gospel intends for all who follow Jesus. James drills down deeper into the story where she uncovers in the Old Testament the same passionate, counter-cultural, rule-breaking gospel that Jesus modeled and taught his followers to pursue.
Within this age-old story is a map to radical levels of love and sacrifice, combined with the message that God is counting on his daughters to build his kingdom. The Gospel of Ruth vests every woman’s life with kingdom purposes and frees us to embrace wholeheartedly God’s calling, regardless of our circumstances or season of life. This story of two women who have lost everything contains a profound message: God created women not to live in the shadowy margins of men or of the past, but to emerge as courageous activists for his kingdom.
Carolyn Custis James (MA, Biblical Studies) travels extensively as a popular speaker for women’s conferences, churches, colleges, seminaries, and other Christian organizations. Her ministry organization, WhitbyForum, promotes thoughtful biblical discussion to help men and women serve God together. Carolyn founded and is president of the Synergy Women’s Network. She is a consulting editor for Zondervan’s Exegetical Commentary Series on the New Testament and author of When Life and Beliefs Collide and Lost Women of the Bible. Carolyn and her husband live in Sellersville, Pennsylvania. They have one grown daughter.