Initial Endorsements

Perhaps, like me, you barely recognize the Christian faith in the evangelical caricatures that dominate our public life. This book is a powerful guide to the actual, difficult, beautiful, and empowering gospel story, and a bridge back to a real faith for those with the courage to follow.”

— Bill McKibben, author of The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon:

A Graying American Looks Back at His Suburban Boyhood and Wonders What the Hell Happened

“With a theological move to the heart of things, Sharon Delgado builds from her previous works on global economy and climate crisis to offer a coherent biblical ethic— a primer costly and right on time. Like the gospel writers and Paul, she cannot speak of the cross or its way without calling by name the powers of domination that wield it. The Cross in the Midst of Creation explicates the freedom of the resurrection in resistance, transformation, and so in hope.”

— Bill Wylie- Kellermann, author of Principalities in Particular:

A Practical Theology of the Powers That Be

“With radical fidelity to the ancient gospel, Sharon Delgado unleashes the timeliness of the cross amid current systems of social and ecological destruction. Through her spirited rendition we learn, we sense, we practice the rising up that is possible. Even now.”

— Catherine Keller, professor of constructive theology, Drew University’s graduate division of religion

“In the wake of the last quarter- century’s numerous (and necessary) deconstructions of a millennium of problematic atonement theologies, many social justice– oriented Christians have become wary of, or ambivalent about, the New Testament proclamation of Christ crucified. Delgado’s literate and readable study is a reliable guide to reconstruction. It offers a contextual, liberationist, and intersectional approach that restores the cross to the center of the Christian story— and the church’s engagement in peacemaking,

racial- social equity, and reparative justice work today.”

— Ched Myers, coauthor of Healing Haunted Histories:

A Settler Discipleship of Decolonization

“With translucent prose, provocative storytelling, and trustworthy biblical scholarship, Sharon Delgado restores to Christians the cross of our salvation in the era of climate’s uncreation. We cannot get to the new creation without walking the way of the cross— though our way be littered with fear- based belief systems, deterministic notions of atonement, false ideologies, bad Bible study, religious preaching antithetical to the gospel, and devilish enticements to side with a victorious empire.

“We certainly need salvation, The Cross in the Midst of Creation reminds us, but what does our salvation look like? To great effect, Delgado puts William Stringfellow’s powers theology in necessary conversation with Dorothee Soelle’s Suffering, not only adding significantly to the theological canon on principalities and powers but forging a new understanding of the nature of our struggle and the practices for our redemption.

“For post- evangelical Christians longing for a deeper incarnation, look no farther. The apostle Paul’s word of the cross (1 Cor 1:18) demands to be

heard now, because suffering brooks no neutrality.”

— Rose Marie Berger, senior editor at Sojourners magazine and author of Bending the Arch: Poems

“Finally, a book that I can say should be read by every preacher, minister, priest, and teacher of theology. In a Scripture- based and well- balanced presentation, Sharon Delgado has managed to put to rest the idea of a punishing and vindictive god who doesn’t know how to forgive without demanding his pound of flesh. This book does that and so much more. The Cross in the Midst of Creation is a timely book meant to be read slowly and pondered over, so the fruits of digesting it are passed on to others. Well done!”

— Mary Anne Muller, theology instructor, St. John’s University, Queens, New York

“This book is a powerful answer to the terrifying times in which we are living. Sharon Delgado has given voice to the cross that it might speak to the anxieties, confusion, and despair of this moment and point the way toward new life. I pray this book lands in the hands of all those who are longing for its urgent message.”

— Nichola Torbett, activist and coeditor of Resipiscence: A Lenten Devotional to Dismantle White Supremacy

“What does it mean to truly take the loving and just transformative engagement of Jesus with the world seriously in the midst of the global challenges of our time? Sharon Delgado’s The Cross in the Midst of Creation provides one of the most comprehensive, creative, and powerful answers to this question that I have witnessed. Biblically grounded, engaged with tradition, scientifically sound, and informed by the wisdom of Delgado’s significant experience working for social and economic justice, this important work points the way in a realistic and practical manner toward the hope for beloved community and warns us clearly of the chaos that will surely come if we do not take up the urgent and sacrificial work that is required for such a time as this.”

— Mark Davies, Wimberly Professor of Social and Ecological Ethics, and director of the World House Institute at Oklahoma City University

“The Christian cross has been fraught with problematic projections and co- opted by white nationalists. Yet, for so many, it remains a powerful symbol of faith.

“Grappling with the danger and challenges of these times and grounded in an unwavering commitment to justice and creation, Sharon Delgado masterfully weaves Christian history, multiple liberation theologies, story, and contemplative practices into a work that redeems the cross as a symbol of inclusive love, collective liberation, and transformative praxis.

“This book is for followers of Jesus who are looking for ways to articulate and embrace their faith in face of the challenges and critique of Christian hegemony, and for those outside the Christian tradition who want to meaningfully and knowledgeably engage with the tradition and its symbols.

The Cross in the Midst of Creation lives up to the promise of its subtitle: Following Jesus, Engaging the Powers, Transforming the World.”

— Beth Johnson, minister, activist, and public theologian, Palomar Unitarian Universalist Fellowship; cochair, California Poor People’s Campaign

“Eight centuries ago, Thomas Aquinas wrote that every virtue is found in the cross. Today Sharon Delgado revives that truth and applies it to our current times of climate change, political division, violence, injustice, and racism. Delgado draws from the vast reservoirs of Christian spirituality and activism: Archbishop Oscar Romero, Marcus Borg, Dorothee Soellee, Elizabeth Johnson, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, James Cone, Jürgen Moltmann, William Stringfellow, M. Shawn Copeland, and many others. She points to the cross as source of what our world needs most— courage, humility, and compassion.”

— Daryl Grigsby, author, and presenter at Jesuit School of Theology Sabbatical Renewal Program

“Rooted in a vision that Christian communities should help transform the world toward justice, Delgado invites readers to think critically about how and why theology is being used as a tool to divide Christians in the United States. In reviewing various theological traditions of atonement, she offers readers insight into the theological diversity of the Christian tradition as well as a deeper understanding of how historical circumstances and cultural ideas shape theology.”

— Rebecca Todd Peters, professor of religious studies, Elon University, and author of Trust Women: A Progressive Christian Argument for Reproductive Justice

“In The Cross in the Midst of Creation, Sharon Delgado speaks from within the Western Christian experience, naming core divisions and lassoing them together to explore the underlying beliefs that too often reflect powers unaligned with the Jesus of the Bible. Delgado grapples with theologies of power and the cross in real time— our time— to connect the theological dots, showing us the immanence of God and Spirit at the cross of Jesus, and revealing a new crucifixion— the extinction, desecration, and human- caused destruction of the creation God loves. It is a necessary assessment, with the hope that even now something can be done. Part theological treatise, part exhortation, part sermon, part plan of action, this is a book I recommend.”

— Richenda Fairhurst, organizing director, Circle Faith Future; elder, United Methodist Church

“Sharon Delgado’s new book, The Cross in the Midst of Creation, challenges us all to stand with Jesus, the Christ, and decide which side we are on. Are we going to be in fellowship with the poor, oppressed, and homeless peoples of the world? Are we going to join with the rest of God’s creation, groaning to be released from bondage? Few theologians have managed to tie together concerns for racial justice, creation justice, and our basic Christianity, but Delgado does, and she makes us choose to follow Jesus and the cross if we are going to call ourselves Christians.”

— Jaydee Hanson, national board member,

United Methodist Caretakers of God’s Creation