Sermon on the Mount, The
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This book focuses on the Sermon on the Mount as the locus classicus of the teachings of Jesus. It argues that the Sermon is an expression of the divine perfection in which it is grounded. The center of the book is the injunction contained at the center of the sermon itself—"Be perfect as your father in heaven is perfect. "
Perfection of this kind is a human response to a divne gift. Consequently, all the Beatitudes and obedience to all the ethical prescriptions in the sermon should be understood as expressions of divine perfection and as finite reflections of God's own work in the world. The Sermon on the Mount requires a transformation of the spirit before its message can become intelligible.
"The Sermon on the Mount is a stimulating interpretation of a familiar text. This book's clarity, organization, and frequent use of autobiographical material make it lively and well-paced. Vaught brings with him a philosophical heritage which provides valuable conceptual tools for interpretation. I found new insights at every turn. "—Merold Westphal, Hope College
"This book is a clearly written, well argued exposition of one of the richest texts in the Bible. It incorporates the best insight of modern New Testament theology and moves beyond the traditional dilemmas of interpretation by concentrating on the primary action of God in Christ realizing the promise of the Sermon and bringing the believer into this action. The Sermon on the Mount is like good homemade bread—solid and nourishing. "—Charles C. West, Princeton Theological Seminary