Item description for The Beatitudes for Today (For Today #1) by James C. Howell...
Overview In this first volume of an exciting new series for laity, author and pastor James Howell takes us on an engaging exploration of the Beatitudes. Howell considers each of the well-known phrases in these passages from Matthew (Blessed are the poor in spirit . . .) and creatively applies Jesus' teachings to our contemporary world and Christian lives. The For Today series will provide reliable and accessible resources for the study of important biblical texts, theological documents, and Christian practices. The series is written by experts who are committed to making the results of their studies available to those with no particular biblical or theological training. The goal is to provide an engaging means to study texts and practices that are familiar to laity in churches. The emphasis is not only on what these subjects have meant in the past but also on their value in the present-For Today. Questions for discussion are included at the end of each chapter. The books are ideal for individual study and for group study in churches. Future volumes will cover the Ten Commandments, the Psalms, the Lord's Prayer, hymns, the Apostles' Creed, Christian prayer, and parables.
In this volume of the For Today series, author and pastor James Howell takes us on an engaging exploration of the Beatitudes. Howell considers each of the well-known phrases in these passages from Matthew and creatively applies Jesus' teachings to our contemporary world and Christian lives.
The For Today series was designed to provide reliable and accessible resources for the study and real life application of important biblical texts, theological documents, and Christian practices. The emphasis of the series is not only on the realization and appreciation of what these subjects have meant in the past, but also on their value in the present--"for today." Thought-provoking questions are included at the end of each chapter, making the books ideal for personal study and group use.
From Publishers Weekly Throughout Christian history, the New Testament benedictions known as the
Beatitudes (blessed are the meek, blessed are the merciful, etc.) have been
interpreted in wildly different ways. So it's singularly appropriate that
Howell, a biblical scholar and Methodist minister in North Carolina, begins
his concise volume on the Beatitudes with a chapter on what Jesus didn't say:
he didn't say "blessed are those who invest wisely; they will own a second
home" or "blessed are the Americans," or even "blessed are the happy." Rather,
Howell claims, Jesus focused on the downtrodden and planted the seeds for a
"long-term moral revolution." Focusing primarily on the Beatitudes listed in
Matthew 5 (with some comparison to the heated, more forceful version found in
Luke 6), Howell dissects all eight sayings, trying to understand Jesus'
meaning in its original context and for us today. He points out ironies-why is
it blessed to be poor, or to mourn?-and calls attention to some radical,
surprising elements to which many Christians have become inured. He nimbly
draws from popular culture as well as classical literature. Each chapter
closes with several questions for discussion, making this helpful for
individual or group study. Blessed are the readers of this book, for they will
come away wiser. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Citations And Professional Reviews The Beatitudes for Today (For Today #1) by James C. Howell has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 11/14/2005 page 65
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Studio: Westminster John Knox Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.58" Width: 5.48" Height: 0.38" Weight: 0.45 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 2006
Publisher PRESBYTERIAN PUBLISHING #86
Series For Today
Series Number 1
ISBN 0664229328 ISBN13 9780664229320
Availability 0 units.
More About James C. Howell
James C. Howell is senior pastor of Myers Park United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and adjunct professor of preaching at Duke Divinity School.
James C. Howell currently resides in Charlotte. James C. Howell was born in 1955 and has an academic affiliation as follows - National Youth Gang Center, USA.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Beatitudes for Today?
Blessed Are You Feb 15, 2007
The Beatitudes may seem like a strange way to begin a sermon, but they famously form the opening lines of Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount" in the Gospel According to St. Matthew. These pithy, paradoxical promises have fascinated Jesus' followers from the beginning of the Church, serving as a kind of manifesto of Christian spirituality.
"The Beatitudes for Today" is a series of creative and hortatory essays about the eight Matthean blessings. (Luke has four blessings and four, less popular woes.) It's well-suited for private meditation or group study. James Howell, a Methodist pastor, does a good job of explaining the key Greek words, and he steers clear of many misuses and misinterpretations of the text. Most readers will appreciate his widely ecumenical selection of supporting voices, from John Calvin to Therese of Lisieux.
Though the Beatitudes can be seen as attitudes to emulate, steps toward spiritual maturity, and even as a platform for social change, Howell never lets us forget that they are, first and foremost, divine blessings. And that is a good place to begin.
Great for discussions Feb 27, 2006
James Howell presents a very accessible and engaging look at the Beatitudes. The book combines straightforward study of the gospels with the insigth of contemporary lives and writings, including Frederick Buechner, Dorothy Day, and even J.R.R. Tolkien. The modern commentary and examples help to give new insight into these long-cherised verses from the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Each chapter is followed by three questions for individual reflection or discussion in a group. I highly recommend this book for individuals or for groups discussions in a church or neighborhood setting.