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The Beatitudes for Today (For Today #1) [Paperback]

By James C. Howell (Author)
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Item description for The Beatitudes for Today (For Today #1) by James C. Howell...

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.

Publishers Description

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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Item Specifications...

Studio: Westminster John Knox Press
Pages   124
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.58" Width: 5.48" Height: 0.38"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2006
Series  For Today  
Series Number  1  
ISBN  0664229328  
ISBN13  9780664229320  

Availability  149 units.
Availability accurate as of Sep 21, 2017 04:52.
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More About James C. Howell

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! 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.

James C. Howell has published or released items in the following series...
  1. For Today

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > New Testament > Study
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Worship & Devotion > Devotionals
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > Devotionals
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > Inspirational

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > General

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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.

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