Matthew (Straight to the Heart Series: 60 Bite-Sized Insights)
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The Straight to the Heart is a series of devotional commentaries for those who appreciate the insights and sound research found in commentaries but find scholarly writing dry and lacking in personal application. The books in the series do not cover the whole text, but focus on key sections which communicate the main themes of each book. Although the tone is light, the text is full of useful application and backed by substantial scholarship. Its clear, thought-provoking insights will feed both mind and soul.
Number of Pages: 272
Vendor: Monarch Books
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 7.75 X 5.00 (inches)
Availability: In Stock
Series: Straight to the Heart Commentary
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Jesus of Nazareth sparked a massive revolution. A lot of people miss that fact. They are so used to the long-haired, blue-eyed, white-robed storybook Jesus that they imagine He was about as tame and domesticated as many of His churches today. But He wasn't. Jesus was a radical, dangerous revolutionary who made big waves and powerful enemies. He was not killed for preaching pithy parables, but because He claimed to be King.
Straight to the Heart of Matthew is one of a series of devotional commentaries, which allow people to get to grips with each book of the Bible one bite at a time. Phil Moore does not cover the whole of each book, but rather focuses on key sections which together form a useful introduction. There will be 25 volumes in all, each containing 60 readings. The short chapters are punchy and relevant, yet crammed with fascinating scholarship.
"Phil Moore has served us magnificently."
"Most commentaries are dull. These are alive. Most commentaries are for scholars. These are for you "
"Think of these books as the Bible's message distilled for everyone."
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: 55-65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5devotional readings on MatthewFebruary 12, 2012bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4Moore has written this book "to take you on a tour of Matthew's gospel and bring you face to face with Jesus as Matthew knew him." (16) Matthew groups his material by theme rather than chronological order. More suggests there are five "acts" to this gospel drama and divides his work accordingly.
Moore's work is not a commentary. Each of the sixty readings is about four pages long and covers one or two major lessons in the Bible passage. This would make a nice devotional reading, covering two months.
I learned some things from Moore's book, such as the parallel of the life of Jesus to the experiences of Israel. Jesus baptism (Israel through the Red Sea), Jesus' forty days of temptation (Israel's forty years in the wilderness), Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Israel receiving the law at Mt. Sinai).
Another great lesson is the method of the devil in Jesus' temptation. He also has a great section on Gehenna (Matt. 10:28).
On the Pharisees, he notes they did everything humanly possible to bring Israel back to God. "That was the problem. Everything humanly possible. Jesus' Sermon on the Mount is a description of what is divinely possible." (60)
On Matt. 7:13-27 and the narrow road - "Christians are saved by grace through faith, but there is no such thing as an 'invisible conversion.' When a person puts their faith in Jesus Christ, they start living differently. It's as simple as that." (78)
I am a picky theological reader and a couple things Moore wrote bothered me. He presumes to know what Moses, Elijah and Jesus were talking about at the transfiguration. (165) He says, "Jesus had been reading the Psalms in the run-up to his crucifixion." (249) (How does he know that? Perhaps Jesus had memorized them as a child.) He has a discussion about Jesus being a ransom (Matt. 20:28) that seemed to make the topic less understandable than more so. (194-7)
Those were minor issues, however. In general, this is a very good book for devotional reading.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of this review.