Feedback on Matthew 5 from LRG


You point listeners to the complete "righteousness" that is to be

found in Christ alone. This gospel reality can save us from the

self-righteousness and perfectionism that is too chracteristic of us

church types. I appreciate your take on the beatitudes not as a program

for making ourselves acceptable, but for trusting wholly in the "One who

is finally the subject of the sermon on the mount...God's pronouncement

of blessing is on Him". You sum it up succintly in your concluding



Your honesty in dealing with the reality of pain and failure is

refreshing. Too often we preachers give the impression that perfection

or something close to it is required of disciples. Your acknowledgment

of divorce, bereavement, etc tells listeners that they too are able to

participate in the faith community. The Emmaus commissioning that was

part of the sermon serves as a living illustration of what you were

speaking about.


You focus on the beatitude, Blessed are those who hunger and thirst

for righteousness, for they shall be filled. You wisely deal with the

term righteousness and the possible negative connotations and

misunderstandings. The emphasis on commitment-keeping and humility

steers us away from self-righteousness, and your concern for the social

dimension corrects the privatistic tendencies of our time. Good closing:

How hungry are you?


The beatitudes are susceptible to an overly privatistic interpretation,

so I like how you have tied them in with the felowship and community

life of the church and Christian friendship. It's good to remind our

folks, as you have done, that relationships are always in transition but

they can endure through frienship with God.


Thanks for this powerful message to preachers. It is a real reminder

that we have good news to tell.


The beatitudes as a description of life in the new kingdom of God.

Korea offers a potent analogy of two vastly different realms side by

side. Crossing from one to the other is very difficult. I was very moved

by the explanation of receiving an honored name in Kores.