Reviews - What do customers think about Jesus' Sermon on the Mount and His Confrontation with the World: An Exposition of Matthew 5-10?
the book I thought did not exist on the beatitudes... Nov 14, 2007
I have spent what seems to be a small fortune on books on the sermon on the mount and/or the beatitudes. Some have been scholarly; some have been practical. Yet never did these works quench my thirst for understanding this essential teaching of the Lord Christ Jesus.
Yet when I started reading this book, just after reading about the first beatitude, I sensed the Spirit of the Lord within and praised the Lord for this book. Finally, after a ten year on and off study of the first of Jesus' teaching, God allowed me to find this book. This far exceeds anything I have read; it answers the questions I had of this WONDERFUL TEACHING OF THE KING OF KINGS, THE LORD OF LORDS. It is neither like a shallow pond, with its mud stirred up, which seems deep because the bottom is not within view. This false depth is typical of many scholarly works on this subject, which do not satisfy us with truth but distract our intellect with wordiness. Nor is this like many practical works, which often depend on a false piety due to a lack of the exegetical skills and effort needed to crack the tough code of this passage.
Just get it, buy it. You must understand the first teaching of Christ, since all His teaching and His great comission point back to this beginning. To serve Him and enter His kingdom, His first teaching, the beatitudes and the sermon on the mount, are HIS REQUIREMENT, SINCE THEY ARE HIS COMMANDS, HIS REQUIREMENTS OF ENTRANCE INTO HIS KINGDOM.
Great Exposition on the Beatitudes... Not So Great on Jesus' "Hard" Sayings Feb 18, 2007
I thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from Carson's exposition of the beatitudes. His book works much like a commentary. His exegesis was enlightening and truly helped me to enter into the meaning behind these great words of Jesus. The world says, "Happy are those who..." Jesus responds by turning worldly wisdom on its head.
However, I believe this respected scholar falls short on his interpretation of Matt. 5:38-48. I'm tired of people trying to make private the "hard sayings" of Jesus so that they are no longer hard. If we are walking in the Spirit of Christ... we will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Gal.5:16). When Jesus said "love your enemies"... he meant it. When Jesus said, "Do not resist an evil person"... yeah... he meant that too. I believe that Mr. Carson needs to rethink his position. Could it be that we have not really died to self when we feel that we have a "right" to defend our lives? I see a longing to "save" his life instead of "losing" it to save it. It could be that we are more influenced by American documents like the Bill of Rights than we are the New Testament.
If you are confused as to how far Christ intended us to take his statements... just look at his own life. He reflects the very image of God (1 Jn.4:7-21). Are we willing to say that Jesus simply assumed a pose to reach a certain end (the cross)? Christian, beware of the temptation that seeks to change Jesus' meaning because it seems unrealistic and too "hard" for you to accept. This is the cost of discipleship. As Peter said, "arm youselves also with the same attitude."
"If we claim to live in him, we must walk as Jesus did." 1 John 2:6
I recommend reading: "Do Followers of Jesus Fight?: A Bible Inquiry" by Edward Yoder with Jesse W. Hoover and Harold S. Bender "Mere Discipleship: Radical Christianity in a Rebellious World" by Lee Camp "The Politics of Jesus" by John Howard Yoder "The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power is Destroying the Church" by Gregory Boyd
Two great books in one volume May 8, 2001
This book contains Carson's book on the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) from 1978 and his 1987 _When Jesus Confronts the World_ on Matthew 8-10. Both books are excellent, and it's nice to have them in one volume.
The original Sermon on the Mount book discussed some historical, critical, and theological questions within the main text, and Carson has now separated that material into appendices, making the main body of the text more like that of the second book. Both books originated out of sermons, and therefore they are quite accessible, yet the fact that they're from one of the foremost evangelical biblical scholars today ensures that they flow out of the best biblical scholarship.
This book is an excellent place to get into this section of Matthew without the full study of a commentary and all the distractions therein. It focuses on the main theological and practical points in the text, making it useful for understanding the point of the text for the Christian life, yet it does it from someone who is a published scholar on the book of Matthew, which gives it far more backing than slimmer studies tend to have.