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Living Jesus: Doing What Jesus Says in the Sermon on the Mount (Anglais) Broché – 12 juin 2012

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Book by Randy Harris

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7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Great text for intentional communities 31 décembre 2012
Par Bret Wells - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Over time there have been countless expositions and interpretations of the Sermon on the Mount, and many of them seem to fall into one of two (mis)readings of the sermon. Some see Jesus as teaching us to "out Pharisee the Pharisees" - a harsh and legalistic reading which beats the life out of its adherents. Others have basically said that the sermon is intentional hyperbole or an impossible standard. This reading tends to come from the "all people suck" camp and sees the passage as a reminder of our total depravity and need to throw ourselves at the mercy of the court. We can't live up to this message, and Jesus knew it.

The problem with both of these readings is that we have to basically ignore the text itself to get there. Jesus directly and fearlessly critiques the Pharisee's tendency to dwell in harsh legalism to ensure their elite awesomitude. And yet Jesus also speaks very directly about how his disciples will actually live - a deeper, more significant righteousness which grows from our identity rather than one which forms the basis of it.

I'm pretty convinced that one reason the Sermon on the Mount is often seen as unattainable is that we continue to read it the same way the Pharisees read the Law. We see a set of external rules to be obeyed rather than the description of a transformed self and society.

The bulk of Living Jesus takes us through the sermon passage by passage, considering how each piece serves to show us how to live as citizens of a new kingdom - in ways which neither legalism nor "woe is me" are capable. This reading makes considerably more sense in the context of forming a people and describing a new community...beyond just heaping expectations on the isolated individual.

Within the publishing world there seems to be a growing expectation that when we read about church or faith, we'll do so in conversation with others. To this end, it has become common practice to include a mini study-guide at the end of each chapter or section of a book. Though the questions are often overly elementary - less challenging than I would have used with a junior high discipleship group back in the youth ministry days - I very much love what they imply.

Their presence may be a marketing strategy, but it is a strategy that suggests we're beginning to take communal practices more seriously...even in the case of something as private as reading a book. The reminder is constantly before us - this isn't just for you, its for us.

One aspect of Randy's discussion questions is particularly exciting. Beyond just discussion questions or very general application moments, there is a specific suggestion for practice associated with each chapter. It doesn't just say, "look for ways to be forgiving." Instead he calls us to make a list of people we have wronged and contact one person a day for the next week (or however long it takes). Specific practice in the reader's actual context is a powerful and needed tool. In the closing section of the book we see why this is important for Randy as well.

For the past few years, Randy has been working with a "quasi-religious order" among college-age men at ACU. This monastic community is ordered around a shared Rule of Life and covenant to living out the Sermon on the Mount.

Randy suggests - and I whole-heartedly concur - that the lack of covenanting community is part of what hinders the development of discipleship in our churches and makes living according to the teachings of Jesus infinitely more difficult. He encourages Christians to consider ordering their lives more intentionally regardless of where they live or in what stage of life they currently dwell.

The Sermon on the Mount is a foundational passage and it has consistently held an integral role in monastic communities throughout history. I have no reservation recommending Living Jesus as an accessible resource for groups who are currently wrestling with what it might look like to pursue more intentional community in the way of Jesus.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Sermon on the Mount as a way of life 29 juin 2012
Par Joan N. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Some say the Sermon on the Mount are the most important words Jesus spoke and we should shape our lives by them. Some think the words are too hard to even consider.
Harris suggests, "Yes, they are too hard but by God's blessing and grace we must try to keep them." (11) He is convinced we must take these words as a rule of life.
He shares his journey of discovery and invites the reader to come alongside. He goes through the Scripture in sections. He notes that, while there are commandments, it starts with blessings. Harris believes, "it's impossible to live out the Sermon on the Mount if we don't first understand that we are loved and blessed by God." (33) He touches on the various topics addressed: lust, foul language, lying, revenge, wanting to be seen, and judging. He adds personal experiences and stories to illustrate his teaching.
He suggests memorizing the Sermon on the Mount. "...[I]t gets into you, " he writes, "in ways it doesn't when you just read it."
He gives the example of a community he created on the college campus where he teaches. The students in the community commit to live out the Sermon on the Mount. Harris also gives ideas for creating such a community, suggesting the use of the DVD series of the book.

This book can stand alone or be used along with the DVD as a field manual for groups and individuals. Each chapter has "Discussing What Jesus Says," and then "Doing What Jesus Says." There are some practical suggestions and strategies included in them.
While an individual would be rewarded by reading this book, I think it would best be used in a discussion group setting.

Harris encourages the reader to make a decision. "The sermon is not a body of material to be cognitively mastered. It's a life to be lived." (20) Jesus offers a different way. What kind of person will you be?

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Living Jesus: A Review 15 juin 2012
Par David Porter - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I was quite interested to read Living Jesus, as I was teaching a series on the Sermon on the Mount at the time. I have to say that I was not disappointed! Randy Harris, a professor, and Greg Taylor, a pastor (his name is in smaller print), worked together on this book. Where Taylor comes in I'm not quite sure. Harris seems to be the `I' behind the word, as far as I can tell.

Harris speaks of personal experience teaching the words of Jesus found in Matthew 5-7, and of leading a monastic/non-monastic type of group in endeavouring to live out Jesus' words. The book is well-written and engaging. It helped me further my understanding of what Jesus said as recorded by Matthew.

One word in particular which I liked (I used the word myself before reading this) was `embedded,' referring to how Christians are to be salt and light in the world. We are in it but not of it, but we have to engage it, or be embedded.

On Jesus' teaching about pigs and dogs, Harris and Taylor enlarged my understanding. I'm no expert, but I've done enough reading and studying of the Sermon on the Mount to be familiar with and comfortable teaching it. And yet there is always something new to learn or to consider.

Whether you have no idea what the Sermon on the Mount is, or you are an expert in it, you will benefit from Living Jesus, in more ways than one!

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes, but I am not required to submit a positive review: my views expressed here are my own.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Welcomed Stepping-Stone 5 octobre 2012
Par Durough - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
We talk a lot ABOUT the "Sermon on the Mount," but it's not often we see people LIVING it. This is why books like LIVING JESUS are important, helping us learn to put into practice some of the most difficult exhortations in the Bible. Randy Harris writes, "I'm not attempting to write a scholarly book on the Sermon on the Mount. I'm trying to provide a field manual for living the life Jesus wants for us" (12). Harris urges his readers to ignore the perspective of "Jesus raising the bar so high that we can only try and fail and so learn a lesson about the grace of God," stating, "This isn't `Suggestions on the Mount'" (13). We are encouraged to take seriously the words of Christ and live them. "This is not only a life that should be lived. It's a life that CAN be lived" (22).

Harris breaks the text down into twelve sections, providing practical commentary on each passage, after which several discussion questions are provided for group study, as well as a few challenging examples for living each section. The book concludes with a description of the covenant Harris has made with a group of college students to take seriously the Sermon on the Mount, to memorize it, and hold one another accountable to living it daily. The "Monk Warriors" of Tau Chi Alpha ("Toughest Christians Alive") may seem a bit gimmicky--we ARE talking about college students--but the journey they share is provided as an EXAMPLE of how to "live Jesus," not THE way. Further aid comes by way of suggested reading material and the DVD series by Harris upon which LIVING JESUS is based (not having seen the series myself, I cannot comment on its effectiveness, though I would recommend the book on its own).

One consideration I offer is realizing an holistic approach to living the Sermon on the Mount after reading LIVING JESUS and attempting to live particular sections at a time as they are suggested. Harris has provided a welcome alternative to the boring, redundant, and ill-approached sermons on the "Sermon" many of us have heard all our lives, but it is only a stepping stone in actually living the life into which Jesus calls his disciples. It is good to spend separate periods of time learning to live out all the different avenues talked about by Christ, but they also must not be used as substitutes for the final stage of holistic living. Indeed, it is time to "live Jesus."

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from ACU Press/Leafwood Publishers as part of their ACU Press Bookclub Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
A Unique Call to Christian Discipleship 14 mars 2013
Par Robert R. Hostetler - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Anyone wishing to follow Jesus must confront and apply the Sermon on the Mount, comprising chapters 5-7 of Matthew's Gospel. This is what Randy Harris (and coauthor Greg Taylor) seek to do in their recent book, Living Jesus: Doing What Jesus Says in the Sermon on the Mount.

After a brief introduction that lays out the premise of the book and the importance of taking Jesus' words seriously, as imperatives for the authentic Christian life, the authors treat the Sermon on the Mount in twelve chapters. I loved the decision to begin the treatment of the text with the last six verses of the Sermon on the Mount, stressing Jesus' emphasis on actually building one's life on his words. Chapters two through twelve then expound on the themes of Jesus' sermon, such as his call to "deep integrity" (chapter 7) and to charitable judgment (chapter 11). Each chapter concludes with two helpful sections providing discussion questions appropriate for group study and practical actions to help the reader actually do what Jesus says.

My favorite parts of the book were the second chapter, titled "You Are Blessed," in which the authors emphasize the beauty of Jesus opening his discourse with blessings rather than commands, and (especially) the final chapter, describing the covenant community Harris has begun among college students who commit to "a rule of life" consisting of the Sermon on the Mount.

Living Jesus is a helpful, insightful study of the Sermon on the Mount, and a unique call to Christian discipleship.
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