The Sermon on the Mount
A Theological Investigation
Imprint: Baylor University Press
Sales Date: 2001-02-01
214 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
- Published: February 2001
This revised edition of Vaught's theological investigation of the Sermon on the Mount begins with the assumption that the text cannot be understood apart from a transformation of the human spirit. The stages of this transformation are outlined in the Beautitudes, and, against this background, the book comes to focus on the perfection that Jesus demands from his followers.
Vaught's study is a theological attempt to explore some of the ways in which perfection can be achieved. The text moves from Matthew's Beatitudes, through simple illustrations of salt and light, to indications about the way in which Jesus fulfills and transcends the religious tradition from which he comes. In The Sermon on the Mount, we also find suggestions about how to deal with the practical problems of murder and anger, adultery and divorce, the problem of retaliation, and the problem of responding to our enemies.
Part I: Divine Perfection and Christian Maturity1. The Context of the Message2. Entrance into God's Kingdom3. The Outward Journey4. Persecution and the Real Order5. Two Overarching Metaphors: The Salt of the Earth and the Light of the World
Part II: The Past and the Future: Five Practical Problems6. Jesus as the Fulfillment of Tradition7. Murder and Anger8. Adultery and Divorce9. The Problem of False Vows10. The Problem of Retaliation11. Love Your Enemies
Part III: Six Expressions of Perfection12. Being Seen and Being Noticed: Secret Acts of Charity13. The Inner Room and the Lord's Prayer14. Fasting as a Centered Act15. Two Treasures, Two Ways of Seeing, Two Masters16. Beyond Anxiety17. Judgment and Condemnation
Part IV: Final Considerations about God's Kingdom18. Access to Transforming Power19. The Golden Rule and the Narrow Gate20. Wolves in Sheep's Clothing21. Two Final Analogies: Houses, Rocks, and Sand
...a gracious invitation to rediscover the Sermon on the Mount... it reflects years of discipline in reading texts closely while also paying full attention to their contexts. The lucid, lively prose makes the solid, substantial content all the more attractive and accessible.~Merold Westphal, Fordham University