Friday, September 4, 2015

An Understandable Look at Jesus' Greatest Teaching: The Sermon on the Mount

Christians are familiar with the Sermon on the Mount, but this book takes it one step further. Schuller breaks Bible passages down into sections and devotes a chapter to each section. The substance of the chapters is familiar from the Beatitudes, to the Lord's Prayer, but Schuller has brought the sections into everyday parlance.

Each section contains theological theory, but also examples from the author's own life. There are also explanations of what the ancient Hebrews would have understood some of the passages to mean. I found this particularly fascinating. In the section on marriage and divorce. Schuller goes to some length to explain tjat women were considered almost like property. At the time, a husband could divorce his wife for almost any reason from adultery to putting too much salt in his food. If the woman was divorced, she had few options to keep from starving to death, one of them being prostitution. If she was given a Certificate of Divorce, at least she had a clean reputation. This makes sense of some of the ideas in that section that seem out of step with our modern era.

I encourage every Christian to read this book. It's easy to understand, almost like chatting with an old friend. While each chapter discusses different verses from the Sermon on the Mount, the prevailing image is that Jesus is trying to encourage his followers to believe with their hearts, not to blindly follow the law. That's an excellent lesson for today as well.

I reviewed this book for PR by the Book.