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Taking Jesus at His Word: What Jesus Really Said in the Sermon on the Mount

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2012 / Paperback

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Product Description

Difficult. Unnerving. Impractical! The poor in spirit are blessed. The city sitting on a hill has no hope of being hid. Money & God? One or the other. Don't Judge. These are all, of course, quite familiar injunctions given by Jesus to his followers in his Sermon on the Mount. But we so often soften them; ignore them; change them. Join Addison Hodges Hart on a journey into consideration of Jesus' words afresh and come away Taking Jesus at his Word.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0802866913
ISBN-13: 9780802866912
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Blessed are the poor in spirit. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. You cannot serve God and mammon. Judge not, that you be not judged. Though such sayings from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount are very familiar, many people -- including Christians! -- struggle to fully understand and follow them. For those who are brave enough to reconsider what Jesus really said, Addison Hodges Hart offers Taking Jesus at His Word.

Author Bio

Addison Hodges Hart is a retired pastor and college chaplain. He is also the author of Knowing Darkness: On Skepticism, Melancholy, Friendship, and God and The Yoke of Jesus: A School for the Soul in Solitude (both Eerdmans).

Endorsements

Finally, someone who not only studies the Scriptures but also makes sense of them for life here and now, up close and personal! Thanks to Addison Hodges Hart--whose writing is warm, real, and lilting--the Sermon on the Mount comes alive as a veritable template to guide us through the twists and turns of our lives. This is a beautiful book, one that promises to be read over and over again.
-Joan Chittister

As ironic as it may seem, it's more popular these days to call Jesus 'Lord' than it is to strive to do what he taught. For all who want to follow Jesus' teachings, Taking Jesus at His Word is a beautiful gift. I'm grateful to Hart--and more amazed than ever by Jesus.
-Brian D. McLaren

Addison Hart comes to the Sermon on the Mount seeking bedrock guidance from Jesus for the fundamental question facing all of us, Christian and non-Christian alike: How should I live my life? Hart's reflections provide thoughtful insights into these bracing teachings of Jesus. This isn't the last word on the Sermon, but it will help readers find for themselves Jesus' path of life.
-Rodney A. Whitacre

Editorial Reviews

Finally, someone who not only studies the Scriptures but also makes sense of them for life here and now, up close and personal! Thanks to Addison Hodges Hart - whose writing is warm, real, and lilting -- the Sermon on the Mount comes alive as a veritable template to guide us through the twists and turns of our lives. This is a beautiful book, one that promises to be read over and over again.
-- Joan Chittister

"As ironic as it may seem, it's more popular these days to call Jesus 'Lord' than it is to strive to do what he taught. For all who want to follow Jesus' teachings, Taking Jesus at His Word is a beautiful gift. I'm grateful to Hart -- and more amazed than ever by Jesus."
-- Brian D. McLaren

"Addison Hart comes to the Sermon on the Mount seeking bedrock guidance from Jesus for the fundamental question facing all of us, Christian and non-Christian alike: How should I live my life? Hart's reflections provide thoughtful insights into these bracing teachings of Jesus. This isn't the last word on the Sermon, but it will help readers find for themselves Jesus' path of life."
-- Rodney A. Whitacre

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  1. Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    theologically liberal view of Jesus' words
    November 1, 2012
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 2
    Value: 2
    Meets Expectations: 1
    Hart writes that he has spent years meditating on the Sermon on the Mount. He shares the impact on him, a man who has lived a while. "I would like to just listen, think, ruminate, and take notes." (3)

    However, this book is much more scholarly than just his ruminating and taking notes. He quotes the Didache, for example.

    I was disappointed to read that Hart says Gehenna is not a real place nor a state of being. Its use is figurative, he says. (47) Nor is it an everlasting place of torment. It is not to be taken literally. Hart wants to avoid the "exaggerated concepts of a fairy-tale 'hell'..." (48)

    Hart believes the Sermon on the Mount can be lived, partly because he not not believe humanity is "totally depraved" and incapable of any true goodness. (44)

    So, theologically, Hart and I are miles apart.

    Hart has an understanding of turning the other cheek (Matt.5:39) that I had never read before. He writes that it is, "in fact, a defiant act." (62) The "other" cheek is the left cheek, associated with dishonor. "To turn the left side toward one who strikes you is bold and resistant, but nonviolent. It shows lack of respect, an unyielding stance, but also a refusal to hit back." (62)

    Hart sees the Sermon on the Mount as a call to examine our lives at the deepest level and to work on our own transformation. It is a handbook for disciples who want their lives to remain consistent with the character of God's kingdom and righteousness. (131)

    Just a word of caution as conservative evangelical Christians will not agree with Hart's theology regarding sin, judgment, and hell.

    An extensive discussion guide has been included.
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