Giving and Receiving

Avarice, greed, concupiscence and so forth are all based on the mathematical truism that the more you get, the more you have. The remark of Jesus that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35) is based on the human truth that the more you give away,… Continue reading

The Yoke That Fits

At seminary I was introduced to the writings of the German martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The first of his books I read was The Cost of Discipleship in which he exposed the dangers of what he called “cheap grace.” This term referred to the pseudo-gospel peddled by those who promise salvation… Continue reading

How Essential is the Sermon on the Mount?

The Sermon on the Mount (SOM) is regarded by biblical scholars as the greatest distillation of Jesus’ teachings. This collection of commandments, pithy sayings, and wisdom traditions is found in Matthew 5-7. Here we find challenge and comfort. We are confronted with the awesome demand for discipleship as well as… Continue reading

Matthew 5:3-11; 7:12-27 Clarence Jordan

[This article begins with Clarence Jordan’s “Cotton Patch” Translation of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-11) and the closing verses of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:12-27). You may want to read them first in the New Revised Standard Version (or any other version), and then ponder Jordan’s translation. Jordan tried… Continue reading