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Monday, April 1, 2013

"Crucifying Morality"

TITLE: Crucifying Morality
PUBLISHER: Wapwallopen, PA: Shepherd Press, 2013, (116 pages)

This book is an exposition of Matthew 5:1-12, commonly referred to as the Beatitudes of Christ. The key problem in the reading of the nine beatitudes is that many have turned it into a modern platform for legalism and morality. In nine chapters, Glenn shows readers how Jesus comes to earth not to install more rules, laws, and regulations, but to crucify morality and to set us free. To be 'poor in spirit' means recognizing that by ourselves we are broken and empty, messed up and utterly poor in ourselves. We need poverty of spirit to help us recognize that we are helplessly desperate as children of God, for our Father in heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, not because they are downcast or upset, but because of the promise of comfort. Blessed are the meek because the worldly and the powerful foes of this world are only temporary. Eventually, God gives all things to the meek, his people. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled, for to hunger is better than to have.  True satisfaction is only from the Lord and in the Lord. Blessed are the merciful because we recognize first of all that we are all recipients of mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart because a simple focus on God alone is the only way to let God manifest his presence in us. It helps us to be honest and true. It is not religious steps but graciousness from God. Blessed are the peacemakers for peace is not obtained by war and violence, but through peacemaking and love. Only the person of peace can be ambassadors of peace. On persecution, Jesus reminds us that when we are being persecuted, it is not about us. It is about Jesus.

Four guiding questions enable readers to read better. First, questions for the head help readers to check for key concepts. Second, the 'heart' question searches the inner part of our hearts. Third, there are questions to help us connect with Church and minister through the Church ministry. Four, the "city" question enables readers to look beyond their comfort zones to reach out to others. Glenn has taken the beatitudes and warn readers against turning these into laws or their laundry list of do's and don'ts. Calling it a "new moralism," Glenn has preferred to focus on the later part of each beatitude, choosing to remind readers that the beatitudes are all centered and refers to Christ as a person. It is not about doing things in the name of rules, but behaving like Christ in the name of Jesus. It is not about instilling some kind of a moral code, but restoring the lost essence of what it means to be a disciple of Christ. Most importantly, Jesus personifies, exemplifies, and lives out the entire beatitudes. They are beautiful, and the keeping of these beatitudes will be richly beneficial, not because we have to, but because we want to.

Rating: 4 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me free by Shepherd Press and CrossFocusedReviews without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

1 comment:

  1. Conrade,

    Thanks for contributing to the blog tour.

    Shaun Tabatt
    Cross Focused Reveiws