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Sermon on the Mount Project


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As I've mentioned before, I'm a lay preacher and lead a Saturday night service. For a variety of reasons (I won't bother going into here) and after much prayer and consideration, I have canceled the Saturday service and have been busying myself restructuring and planning something different: in short, it will be a gathering to meditate, pray on and INTENSELY study the Sermon on the Mount. This gathering will also aim to motivate itself to practical, almost grassroots-styled application of the SotM's lessons.

I'm planning on launching the project 14 April, to meet every Saturday after as a time-slot replacement for the night service that was a bit more traditional than what I have planned - in structure, content and application. The structure was by form - yet a concise version of - a typical Sunday service, will now be composed largely of silent meditation and creative praise. The content was by lectionary or the preacher's discretion, but will now be verse-by-verse study and sermon, one section at a time, out of the SotM. I also plan to cross-reference to and discuss OT, other ancient texts and various commentaries. The personal application was nearly non-existent, my hope is to foster a community holding one another accountable (in support, not criticism) for direct pursuit of the SotM's tenets - especially emphasizing those currently studied - through the week and throughout the entire project.

What I would like to hear from any of you who would like to offer, is any suggestion at all concerning the project - but especially books, resources or other media I should be buying now, while I'm still in the planning stage.

Here's what I've already at my disposal, and have long been preaching out of the most:

Translations: NASB, Amplified, (KJV, NIV, and a couple others, but I don't find myself using them quite as much)

The Apologetics Study Bible (Holman)

The Interlinear Bible: Hebrew-Greek-English (JP Green)

The Strongest Strong's Exhaustive Concordance

The IVP Bible Background Commentary (NT & OT both)

Nave's Complete Word Study Topical Bible

Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words

The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Vols. 1 & 2 (Charlesworth)

The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated (Martinez)

The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible (Abegg, Flint, Ulrich)

These are the types of books I'd especially like to beef up on, personal writings by or about people that are inspired by the SotM and/or it's practical application:

The Kingdom of God is Within You (Tolstoy)

The Cost of Discipleship (Bonhoeffer)

Mere Christianity (Lewis)

The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (Cistercian Studies)

The Lives of the Desert Fathers (Cistercian Studies)

The Book of Ammon (Hennacy)

The Sermon on the Mount (Wesley) <-The only book I bought especially for this project, it's a Methodist church I'm doing this for, so, you know, Wesley.

Planned purchases I am under the impression would be of use or have been suggested, I would appreciate input on what my priority should be for these:

The Sermon on the Mount (Expositional Commentary, Boice)

Harlots of the Desert

Dark Night of the Soul

The Little Flowers of St. Francis

Rule of St. Benedict

The Irresistible Revolution (Claiborne) <-? ...recommended, but from a dubious source.


Christ Notes

Early Christian Writings


Internet Sacred Texts Archive

The Skeptic's Annotated Bible

Scriptural Index of John Wesley's Sermons <-Also started looking at only recently for this project, for the same reason as above. You know. Wesley.

I'm sure I'm missing something, but those are my basic supplies that are used often enough for me to remember right this second. I would welcome ANY recommendations, especially from peculiar, extreme or conservative points-of-view from which I lack information. I would also welcome discussion about why I shouldn't be using something I listed above, or if there is a better resource than what I have. I'd be happy to supply which edition or publication I have if a need to update is a concern.

Κύριε Ἰησοῦ Χριστέ, Υἱὲ τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἐλέησόν με τὸν ἁμαρτωλόν.

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Stanley Hauerwas & William H. Willimon, Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony.

Hauerwas is a professor a Duke Divinity School, Willimon a Methodist Bishop (or was when he wrote this), so fits. Structured around the Sermon on the Mount.

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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The easy way to view SoM is as a template for political action. I would recommend extreme avoidance of political analysis and lessons from this project. I like your angle of working for individual response and application within the group. Or at least that's what I grasped from your opening explanation. Good. EXCELLENT. I would like to point out that peace making in SoM doesn't begin with individual consciousness, for example. It sorts begins and ends with one's response before God and one's conscience. Advocating, for example, is not mentioned in SoM. Doing, believing, and responding is. Working for a policy is not. Actual mourning, for example, is.

The more one is forced to apply this inwardly and then confess one's gleanings, the more one might grasp what it is that God wants. The more one compares SoM with, say national policy, the greater temptation there can be to intellectualize the process and be satisfied to leave it at that. Or worse, join some cause and think that one is doing the SoM. Try not to systemitize this, or systemitize some sort of response. Direct response is preferred over sending a check. Feeding is better than marching or "sitting/occupying". That's what I'm getting at.

Edited by Rich Kennedy

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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