A few things in me have been settled this past month or so on this sabbatical– one of which is that it’s time to release my Sermon on the Mount book. It’s been over twenty years in the making, sits at 350 pages right now, and it’s time. My plan is to teach it one more time this year – probably as an elective this fall – putting the final tweaks on each chapter as I go – and release it in 2010. It’s really a life work but even the release of this book would be no finish line for me in terms of my life-long journey with the Sermon on the Mount.
Here’s a pdf link to the first 25 pages. Let me know what you think. The working title for the past five or six years has been “Obtainable Expectations: Timely Exposition of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount” and that, in terms of Biblical studies, is the angle in which I approach the Sermon on the Mount. The original plan was to release four books in an “Obtainable” series. My first was Obtainable Destiny which came out in 2004 (1/2 Timothy, Titus), then was to come Obtainable Expectations (Sermon on the Mount), then Obtainable Greatness (Hebrews), and finally Obtainable Victory (Revelation). Dr. C. Peter Wagner, a seminary prof for forty years at Fuller, says what I’m doing here is the “new wineskins in Biblical Studies.” He did a similar style commentary on Acts.
Yet the latest counsel from my publisher is go with my other title suggestion which is “Living in the Second Mile” as that too captures what I see as the main thread running through the Sermon on the Mount. The thought is that more books will sell under that title. Some of you will recognize the artwork I’ve used here on this post as it was done the last time I preached through the Sermon on the Mount at Church at the Gate. There has been cover artwork done for “Obtainable Expectations” title but I can’t find that file on this computer. It matches the fonts/look of my Obtainable Destiny book only it’s in red tones not blue.
I’d be honored if you did read these first twenty-five pages and I particularly welcome a conversation or comments from you on what I say about the difference between magnificence and the miraculous, the first mile and the second mile and the importance of the Sermon on the Mount lifestyle today. Which title do you like more and why?