The Old Rugged Words (John Frye)

The Old Rugged Words, by John Frye.  We cannot separate the old rugged cross from Jesus’ old rugged words found in Matthew 5:38-42. “Let the word be as rugged as it really is; its ruggedness carries its rhetorical power to call his disciples into the kingdom where retaliation will end” (129). What are those rugged [Read More...]

Words without Props (John Frye)

Words without Props, by John Frye I realize I have quite a challenge in reviewing The Story of God Bible Commentary: The Sermon on the Mount by Dr. Scot McKnight. Scot compresses so much into succinct and provocative paragraphs. Living in Grand Rapids, MI, the home of the Amway Corporation, I liken Scot’s writing on [Read More...]

The New Moses and the New People (John Frye)

John Frye, our friend up in Grand Rapids, is working his way through my Sermon on the Mount and I look forward each week to his post about what he’s seeing and how he’s responding. Over to John… The New Moses and the New People Scot McKnight instructs us to begin reading the Sermon on the [Read More...]

What Kind of Ethics in Jesus’ Famous Sermon? (by John Frye)

The Sermon: What Kind of Ethics? Scot McKnight names a few scholars in his Acknowledgements and thanks them “for some pushback on the introduction” to his SGBC on the Sermon on the Mount (xi). This caught my eye and made me want to pay more attention to the introduction. Many of us are so eager [Read More...]

The Sermon on the Mount: A Review (by John Frye)

What? Am I going to review Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount? No, I am not worthy. I shall write a number of posts reviewing Scot McKnight’s The Story of God Bible Commentary: The Sermon on the Mount. With this task, I feel a little more worthy. Having been in pastoral ministry since 1975 and having [Read More...]

How to Read the Bible as Jesus Did

Our passage [Matthew 5:17-20] is the most significant passage in the entire Bible on how to read the Bible, with a nod to Luke 24:13-49, Galatians 3:19-25, Romans 9—11 and Hebrews, because Jesus tells us how to read the Bible. The entire Old Testament or, in Jesus’ Jewish shorthand summary, the Law and the Prophets, [Read More...]

Jesus Begins on an Angular Note

I’m thinking about the Beatitudes of Jesus, those “blessed are…” statements.” What are they about? What’s the point? What’s their rhetorical impact at the very beginning of this sermon? Why begin with some “in” and “out” statements?  What did they sound like in a Jewish context? I draw here from my Sermon on the Mount. [Read More...]

The Sermon on the Mount as Gospel

In a day when some are erroneously suggesting that the Sermon on the Mount is law, law, and some more law (one scholar said it was Moses mossisimus) there are others of us who think the Sermon on the Mount is gospel. The Sermon on the Mount, I contend, is the gospel. On the basis [Read More...]

Theologians Thinking with Scientists

This is the second part of my presentation at BioLogos in March. Theologians thinking with scientists Let me give two examples of topics that are probably safer places to begin that practice of pastors and scientists thinking aloud together. My father was an English public school teacher; my church was fundamentalist; I was armed against [Read More...]

Squeezing the Heat out of Jesus’ Sayings

The Sermon on the Mount is laced together with strong statements by Jesus. How do you read the strong statements of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount? Pick one below and give it your best shot. How does the follower of Jesus’ ethical posture exceed the Pharisees? Is anger the same as murder with [Read More...]


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