Thursday, December 12, 2013

Book Review: Beautiful Attitudes

The Sermon on the Mount must be one of the most-preached and most-written-about sections of scripture. I've preached it, in whole and in part, in my time in this parish, and there are probably more books on it than anything else. The sermon by Jesus early in Matthew's Gospel is compelling, attracting students and writers and preachers from the words were first uttered.

In this ebook, Scott Evans tackles the 'Beautiful Attitudes: Living out the Christian Manifesto.' Right at the start, he places the text in its proper context:

'This moment in Jesus' life is not just crucial for the teaching it gives us but also for how it shapes our understanding of the ministry that follows. It's a revolutionary manifesto about being people who bear the image of God and what it means to live that out... this sermon is an invitation for them [the disillusioned and disenfranchised] to become participants, to be builders and citizens in a new Kingdom.'

Through the course of the book, Scott examines each of the Beatitudes in turn, with greater or lesser success. As with his earlier book, Closer Still, there are some things that he says well, and others that sound unorthodox or ill-advised. Again, it's all in the mix, and unpicking the issues would cause the whole garment to become threadbare.

On the whole, I liked this better than Closer Still, but it's still not something I'd be recommending. If you want to go for it, Beautiful Attitudes is available for your Kindle.

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