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Living the Sermon on the Mount: A Practical Hope for Grace and Deliverance Hardcover – July 28, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (July 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787977365
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787977368
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #528,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is the most helpful analysis of the Sermon on the Mount that I have ever studied. It does not paralyze readers with idealism and force us to dismissal, nor does it back off from a very real initiative that we can take."
—Richard Rohr, Franciscan priest; founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque, New Mexico

"This book is the blessed fruit of Glen H. Stassen’s seminal studies of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Laced with memorable stories that illustrate the Sermon on the Mount’s realism, this book excels in its interpretation and appropriation of Jesus’ hard words both personally and politically. Well written and often gripping, it deserves wide use by seminary and university students and church study groups.:
—Willard M. Swartley, professor emeritus of the New Testament, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary

From the Inside Flap

More than two thousand years have passed since Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount, and yet these powerful words still capture the imagination of Christians and non-Christians throughout the world. But they are also daunting—how can ordinary mortals live such a challenge?

In Living the Sermon on the Mount, theologian and award-winning author Glen H. Stassen helps us to see that the revolutionary ideas in the Sermon on the Mount about loving and caring for each other, living in peace, and acting justly are not unattainable ideals but a recipe for wholeness and healing in our human relationships and deliverance from the vicious cycles that we get stuck in.

Glen H. Stassen offers a road map to any Christian who wants to take Christ's challenge and live the life he had in mind for us. Living the Sermon on the Mount provides a more complete picture of Jesus, of what he was all about, and the kind of life he wanted his followers to lead. It also gives a glimpse into the God who sent him—a God who is present and active in the world, bringing us deliverance and healing. The Sermon on the Mount describes a God who is always doing new things, who is worthy of our trust and loyalty because of the depth of his love, mercy, and compassion. Once we come to truly believe in this God, our minds and hearts will open to Jesus' radical teachings.


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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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I wish I had found this book earlier in life.
Paul Jones
It is an excellent grasp of the material and presented clearly with appropriate commentary and illustrations.
Paul E. Wrenn Jr.
This book would make a good study book for a small group.
PatiC

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Paul E. Wrenn Jr. on January 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author provides the reader with two very important tools: First, an understanding that the Sermon on the Mount is not a moral code or legal requirements for those who follow Christ, but is rather a portrait of those who have experience 'new life' in Christ and as John 15 indicates "abide" in Him. Second, a method by which Matthew 5-7 can come alive in individual or small group study that focuses on "living" the truth found in Jesus' words on the "mountain". It is an excellent grasp of the material and presented clearly with appropriate commentary and illustrations.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Paul Prestidge on May 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Living the Sermon on the Mount: A Practical Hope for Grace and Deliverance (Enduring Questions in Christian Life)
Stassen's lovely little book does exactly what the title suggests: provides a practical reading of Jesus' most famous sermon. As such it represents the obvious conclusion to his (I think) ground-breaking exegetical work on Matt 5-7, which has countered the tendency to idealise Jesus' teaching. The triadic pattern he argues that Matthew uses, forms the basic thesis of the book which amounts to Jesus calling his followers to adopt "transformative initiatives" in the way they live out key aspects of their lives. Such life style transformations really are possible because the prophesied Kingdom has drawn near in Jesus, gifting disciples with faith to break the old cycles of sinful failure and begin experiencing the joyful life of the coming kingdom. Embracing Jesus' teaching in the SOM, argues Stassen, isn't heroic as with the Catholic tradition or impossible as often characterised in the wake of Luther. It's practical, wise stuff Jesus is teaching - given that the Kingdom has now drawn near to us through Jesus.
I've found Stassen's diagrams of the triadic structures in this book very helpful in trying to re-cast (often unconscious) understandings of the SOM held by folk in my Presbyterian tradition. It's a practical, readable but very serious wee book which should be a breath of fresh air for those longing to see more authentic discipleship take root in their Christian community.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey R. Walker on February 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I don't agree with everything in this book, but it is well worth the time to read it.

The most memorable thing about this book is how he breaks the "You have heard it said... but I say" parts of The Sermon on the Mount into:
1) Traditional Teaching
2) Diagnosis of a Vicious Cycle
3) Tranforming Initiative
I'm not sure I agree with him, but it gave me plenty to think about.

For example, the author says that Matthew 5:38 (You have heard it said "An eye for an eye....) is the traditional teaching. Then he goes on to say that 5:39 is the vicious cycle. (The author translates 5:39 as "But I say to you, not to retaliate revengefully by evil means.") The transforming initiative is found in Matthew 5:40-42. (Turn the other cheek etc.)

In arguing this way, the author emphasizes works and active resistantce to evil. He talks alot about Martin Luther King Jr. and Dietrich Bonhoeffer and uses them as examples of people who lived the Sermon on the Mount.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Webster on January 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Stassen takes a deep subject and presents it in a way that lay people can easily understand and relate to in their everyday life. I participate in an Episcopal Bible study group and we find the subject matter leads us in a lively and holistic discussion that we can connect with and apply to our daily lives. The book is very readable, offers diagnostic tools on how to break out of vicious cycles and provides reference notes for further study. Each person can then decide how deeply he or she wants to continue their study.

A. Webster
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By PatiC on July 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this excellent study on the heart of the Christian message. We often overlook or de-emphasize the strong message nonviolence and restorative justice in the teachings of Jesus. This book would make a good study book for a small group. I have ordered another book by Glen Stassen. I was sorry see that he passed away this past April. What a loss!
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By Lon J. Gregg on June 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While Stassen is (to this reviewer) unconvincing on the currency of the kingdom (Isaianic vision is after all prophetic of a theocratic Davidic reign, not description of the present interregnum), his analysis of the sermon's structure and patterns is helpful, and his specific applications challenging.
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By Paul Jones on June 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wish I had found this book earlier in life. Stassen brings Jesus' teachings home, with scriptural justification for each interpretation. Reading the familiar passages from Matthew, you go "Of course!, that is what Jesus was saying". If more of us lived these teachings, we would all benefit, bringing peace and prosperity to our world.

Jesus' gospel was not about fleeing God's wrath, but embracing His love.
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