Following the Call
Living the Sermon on the Mount Together
by Eberhard Arnold; Dietrich Bonhoeffer; Mother Teresa; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; C. S. Lewis; Wendell Berry; Dorothy Day; Leo Tolstoy; N. T. Wright; Richard Rohr; Madeleine L’Engle; Thomas Merton
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 07 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 07 Sep 2021
Plough Publishing, Plough Publishing House
Practicing Jesus' impossible possibility: Fifty-two readings to spark discussion on putting Jesus’ most central teaching into practice
Jesus’ most famous teaching, the Sermon on the Mount, possesses an irresistible quality. Who hasn’t felt stirred and unsettled after reading his vision of God’s kingdom, which get to the root of the human condition?
This follow-up to the acclaimed collection Called to Community: The Life Jesus Wants for His People taps an even broader array of sources, bringing together trusted and prophetic voices from every era and a range of traditions to unlock the implications of Jesus’ most essential words.
More than a commentary or devotional, however, this book is designed to be read together with others, to engage and inspire communities of faith to seriously consider what it might look like to put Jesus’ radical teachings into practice today. For, as captivating as Jesus’ words are, they are also inflammatory, a challenge to the world as it is. Yet as these readings make clear, the Sermon on the Mount is neither an impossible ideal nor or a new ideology, ethical framework, or set of rules. Rather, when Jesus calls people to himself, a new social order is born.
Jesus not only casts a vision of what righteousness, peace, and love looks like in God’s kingdom, but invites us to respond with everything we have and are, to make it a reality.
A Note From the Publisher
"As I read this collection, I tried to imagine the authors of the various reflections in conversation. What would Leo Tolstoy say to Karl Barth, or Francis of Assisi to Wendell Berry? The more I read, though, the more I started to imagine all of them in one place—listening to Jesus give the Sermon on the Mount. And, before long, I found myself blending into the crowd with them, hearing these strange, arresting, upending words of life. This book will prompt you to surprise, to delight, to melancholy, to argument, and, at every turn, will lead you back to Jesus." —Russell Moore, Christianity Today
"From Teresa of Avila to Mother Teresa, from Martin Luther to Martin Luther King, from Francis of Assisi to Francis Chan, from Dorothy Day to Dorothy Sayers, these excerpts can deeply enrich personal study and devotion. But they are also meant to be read and discussed in community and then acted on. Prepare yourself for a healthy feast, but then prepare yourself for obedience and service in the church of our Lord Jesus Christ!" —Craig L. Blomberg, Denver Seminary
"A magnificent collection of reflections on Jesus's most familiar, and most radical, teaching." —James Martin, SJ, author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage
“A treasure chest of wisdom drawn from some of the greatest thinkers and saints the church has known." —Greg Boyd, Senior Pastor, Woodland Hills Church
"Beautiful and challenging? Yes, indeed. Ecumenical and faithful? Certainly so. This book... is the most delightfully curated, fully inter-denominational book we’ve seen in a long time." —Hearts & Minds Bookstore
"Moore has brought together compelling selections from more than a hundred writers to call for the formation of a fellowship of disciples who will simply live as Jesus taught us to live. I strongly recommend this book for study, reflection, and prayerful living." —Richard J. Foster, author of Celebration of Discipline
Early review copies to publications
Featured in Plough Quarterly, circulation 15,000
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Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 10 members
This is a wonderful selection of readings that invite us to consider how connecting ourselves with Christ calls a new social order into being. The wide range of voices represented highlight how truly universal and globally transformative the Sermon on the Mount has already been, and can become even more so through our active working with it. The book is beautifully produced and a pleasure simply to look at and leaf through, but its real power will come about through working with it and making its message real in community. I'm grateful to have had the chance to preview it.
Plough's collections do a great job of picking classic writers with a knack for saying something substantial in the most beautiful way, and this book is no exception. Very thought-provoking, encouraging without being sappy, and a great way to get exposed to some excellent Christian thinkers.
I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, via NetGalley. Eberhard Arnold; Compiled and Edited by Charles E. Moore Publisher: Plough Publishing House This is a collection that features writings from a variety of writers and theologians, including Mother Teresa, Leo Tolstoy and John Wesley. I was drawn to the book because I was intrigued to see the group of authors featured in the text. I was really excited to read Leo Tolstoy’s contributions, for example, because I really enjoyed the discussion of faith in Anna Karenina. Previewing a Devotional This is my first time previewing a devotional and it was a much different experience for me than reviewing a fiction book. While I usually bookmark sections that the Lord uses to speak to me, so that I can revisit them, I found myself wanting to bookmark about 80% of the pages. The book, a compilation of voices that spans centuries and cultures, is meant to be read in community, just as it was written communally. I can certainly understand why it is meant to be read in groups, as it prompts discussion. Structure and Themes The weekly devotional covers the entire Sermon on the amount, divided into 52 sections for a year-long study. Most chapters feature multiple authors, although some are one, longer piece of writing. Something I really appreciate is that the entire book is about the Kingdom of God. This is one of the main themes that I more frequently encounter in allegory, rather than in Christian circles. It is, however, central to Jesus’ teachings! The book is divided into four sections: Kingdom Character (Matt. 5:1-16) Kingdom Commands (Matt. 5: 17-48) Kingdom Devotion (Matt. 6:1-18) Kingdom Priorities (Matt. 6:19-7:28) It feels a bit strange to say that one section of a devotional was “my favorite,” but I would say that the most meaningful section, for me, was the section about prayer (Kingdom Devotion). Overall, I would describe the book as being full of grace, truth and beauty. It consistently promotes Jesus’ Kingdom, centralized on the idea that Jesus meant what he said. There is no room to qualify or lessen His words. Audience Reading through the book rather quickly for the purposes of review reminded me, a bit, of my college honors program. At the Torrey Honors Institute, we blitzed through theology, philosophy and classics, sometimes reading and discussing two seminal works in a week. I would definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy reading theology. Although I don’t typically enjoy reading theology, I found this book to be very impactful. I also feel that, because the sections are fairly short for a whole week of study, readers do not need to be theology fans to appreciate the study. The spacing allows for plenty of time to ruminate on what you are reading. Recommendation: I highly recommend the title as a community read for friends and groups spanning different ecumenical traditions. I think this is an excellent resource, contributing to unity in the Body of Christ.
The Sermon on the Mount is the blueprint for how to live a Christian life. This new book from Plough offers essays interpreting and discussing this most important part of the New Testament by famous authors including Augustine of Hippo, Martin Luther King Jr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and many others. Every essay is different and thought provoking. They give new ways of understanding Jesus' teachings and how they relate to everyday human life. I think it would be a great book for study groups and discussions. It is truly a book that not only enhances the way you read the Sermon on the Mount, but changes your life for the better. I received a free e-copy of this book in return for a fair and unbiased review.
Following the Call Pub Date: Sept 7,2021 Plough Publishing House Thanks to Plough Publishing House and Net Galley for the ARC. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Following the Call is a gathering of reflections on Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. It is designed to be read as a group reading and provides 52 weeks of material to learn, discuss, and meditate on. I believe this would be beneficial to small groups and a meaningful study. I like this devotional's message and structure. It's unique and inspiring. 4 star
A great collection of weekly meditations to see you through the entire year, written by some well-known and recognizable names: poets, theologians, authors from the past and the present. Although the book is meant for group discussion, it can definitely be used for your personal devotions.