Crucifying Morality by RW Glenn
"Christianity is not moralism. Christianity is not religiosity. Jesus was crucified because we are committed to saving ourselves by our religious stamina and moral efforts. The Beatitudes in their simplicity are not commands to be followed, principles to live by, or attitudes to adopt. They profile people who have crucified their own morality in Jesus’ death, resurrection, and rule."
This book is a walk through the Beatitudes of Jesus found in Mathew 5 and the cover sums up this book perfectly. First, the Beatitudes are not about morality, (which is often how they are presented), but instead are a picture of the life of a Christian bearing the fruits of the Gospel in their life.
As Pastor Glenn states in chapter 1, there are no moral imperatives here, no commands for us to obey in order to please God. Instead he affirms that the Beatitudes are the profile of a Christian. The Beatitudes characterize sinners who encounter God's grace in the gospel. He closes out chapter one contrasting religious morality with it's "Do this and you will live" mantra with the "I have done this, so you live" truth of the gospel.
This book is perfect for small groups. Each chapter has questions at the end and they are broken down by questions for your head, your heart, your church, and your city. A great way to take what you've learned and tie it into your life, individually and with others in you life.
This book is a great antidote for the two great dangers to the Christian walk, legalism and license. A healthy understanding of who we are in Christ as outlined in the Beatitudes will keep us from both. Luther taught that we should preach the gospel to ourselves every day, we need to constantly be reminded of all that God has done for us through the gospel. This book gives you the gospel in every chapter and shows us how we should live in light of that gospel. As Pastor Glenn states, the Beatitudes are a gauge to see if and how well we understand God's grace. This book is a great resource and I can't recommend it enough.
As I started the book I thought I was going to benefit the most from the chapters on poverty and mourning and I did, but it was the chapter on Matthew 5:7 (Blessed are the merciful) that really hit home. I realized that though I have received great mercy through the gospel, I am often unwilling to show that mercy to others. It was a chapter I really needed to read and those words of Jesus to extend mercy took on a new meaning and urgency in my heart. Thank you Pastor Glenn!
Read this book struggling and weay saint, and you will encounter the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ that shines forth from each verse of the amazing Beatitudes. Highly recommended!
I received a free copy of this book from Sheperd Press in exchange for my unbiased review.